Low-code software development: from crisis technology to basic technology

Mendix, a Siemens company and global leader in modern enterprise application development, announced the results of its “2022 State of Low-Code in Key Verticals” survey, which shows that most organizations plan to use the low-code more than traditional coding by 2024. With this in mind, Gartner estimates that by 2025, 70% of applications developed by enterprises will be built with low-code or no-code technologies, compared to less than 25% in 2020.

The report also shows that low-code has gone from a crisis technology during the pandemic to a mainstream technology today in 69% of organizations surveyed. Almost all (94%) of these companies use low-code, up from 77% in 2021.

The survey, which was commissioned by Mendix and conducted by research consultancy Reputation Leaders, collects the experiences, insights and opinions of business leaders in France, Germany, the Netherlands, the UK UK and US working in the banking, financial services, insurance, public sector, industrial manufacturing and retail sectors. The survey was conducted from June 8 to June 20, 2022.

“The way we run our businesses has fundamentally changed over the past two years. It is now absolutely essential to digitize operations and engage with customers and employees through different modalities and touchpoints,” said Tim Srock, CEO of Mendix. “At the same time, increasing technological complexity and the accelerating speed of business necessitate the use of low-code to ensure that business value creation is technologically possible and can be achieved in a fast and agile manner.”

General trends

Businesses today are using low-code as the foundation for digital transformation. Since these technology purchases are considered strategic, they are now driven by the C-suite, including CEOs, CIOs, and CTOs. Around 70% of respondents consider low-code an integral part of their business.

If the businesses surveyed hadn’t made a technological leap during the pandemic, one in nine said their business would have closed because it would have lost customers; suffered damage to his reputation; price increase ; Loss of income; or let the staff go.

Among all the companies that have used low-code during the pandemic, priorities have continued to shift as macroeconomic conditions and customer expectations evolve. In 2021, low-code was adopted for collaboration, cost reduction and speed.

Now, in 2022, low-code is accelerating the development of customer portals, productivity apps, and enterprise software. The current goals are to achieve greater business agility, facilitate technology adoption, and embed security into applications from the start. Four out of ten use low-code for critical applications.

“The majority of large enterprises, regardless of industry, are using low-code to deliver higher quality digital experiences, improve back-end automation, and increase overall business agility,” said Ron Wellman. , Head of Industrial Clouds at Mendix. “They need a low-code platform that supports rapid change, business/IT collaboration, legacy renewal, and evolving customer and employee expectations. To help accelerate the creating value for our customers, we have created industry-specific ecosystems for key verticals with leading integration partners and ISV solution developers to populate the Mendix Marketplace with templates, connectors and additional customizable solutions, such as underwriting automation in insurance, institutional integration in banking, and team exchange in retail.”

Low-code moves from a supporting role to a leading role in the factory

During the pandemic, manufacturers have used low-code to connect to devices as well as to support logistics and quality assessment. Today, the greatest perceived needs for low-code are IT (50%), production engineering (43%), product design and quality control. Low-code is also used to improve collaboration across multiple domains, disciplines, and geographies, as well as to connect and access transportation and suppliers (64%). One of the main goals is to use low-code to bridge IT and OT.

Some use it to replace old local systems around quality or manufacturing processes, and many use it to mitigate supply chain issues. Unsurprisingly, almost a third of these respondents say they are frustrated with their company’s legacy systems, which is why 39% are demanding proof that low-code will integrate with them. The majority (63%) have used low-code to mitigate transportation, logistics, and supply chain issues.

The top two perceived benefits of low-code in manufacturing are better real-time process visibility (39%) and better real-time data visibility (38%). Data integration facilitates these benefits. It also enables data sharing outside of engineering; improving calls for tenders; and the creation of mobile and workflow applications. The top two challenges for manufacturing are modernizing legacy IT and monitoring production, both at 32%.

Currently, the top three use cases in production are peer-to-peer sharing applications, connectivity to shop floor devices, and connectivity to legacy COTS software. Going forward, respondents want more manufacturing-specific app models. They also want to make legacy systems accessible on the go and integrate low-code and its AI capabilities with IoT for smart manufacturing.

Finance, banking and insurance companies automate quote services and simplify processes

Fintechs and insurtechs were already disrupting incumbents before the pandemic hit, and in 2020 traditional organizations had no choice but to go digital first just to maintain their customer bases. Low-code played a central role in this leap. Now, low-code is used on the back-end to improve internal efficiency and on the front-end to provide better customer experience.

The top three perceived benefits in these areas are quote automation (60%), standardization and simplification of the purchasing process (55%), and improved customer service (50%). Meanwhile, data integration helps improve internal efficiency and customer experience for about two-thirds of respondents.

In 2022, financial, banking and insurance companies are using low-code to build secure and cost-effective applications, and to further accelerate software development.

Public sector entities prioritize process efficiency and cybersecurity

The public sector still relies heavily on spreadsheets despite the increasingly digital nature of modern society. Federal, state and local governments use massive spreadsheets to manage information, even though they are difficult to maintain, lack versions and are outdated.

During the pandemic, government organizations have primarily used low-code to create innovative solutions that meet lockdown restrictions. About a quarter have already adopted low-code, and about half are starting or midway through adoption.

Half of public sector respondents say the main benefits of low-code are improved, centralized and standardized authentication of citizen identity; better access to services; and improved planning and management of budget and physical resources.

About three in 10 say low-code helps organizations cope with the growing volume of data and could better integrate with data and processes than traditional software development. Cybersecurity is a priority, with 30% saying they expect low-code to reduce security issues.

Retailers want to improve customer experience, data usage and internal efficiency

Retailers have had to double down on their digital presence during the pandemic and embrace new delivery models such as curbside pickup. Today, customers expect “unified retail,” which provides a consistent experience across all channels, because they are tired of inconsistent pricing and different systems saying different things.

Retailers are trying to address these issues head-on with low-code, with more than four in 10 saying the top three benefits of low-code are increased cross-organizational collaboration, customer service and synchronization of customer data. More than a third (36%) said low-code had already helped them implement hybrid retail, 32% said low-code had made it easier to opt out of digital purchases, although 53 % say they need better supplier integration.

While retailers see customer service as a top priority, they also need to share data with suppliers to enable accurate, real-time inventory management to reduce customer frustration and preserve margins.

“Organizations differentiate themselves by being nimble and quickly creating new digital solutions unique to their brand and responding to market demand, regardless of the stage of their modernization efforts. Retailers are using low-code to digitize processes and increase collaboration across their ecosystem of partners, vendors, and third-party solution providers for increased visibility and actionable insights. This is critical to delivering exceptional customer service and experiences, especially as retailers focus on personalizing in-store experiences. said Erika Arena, director of retail industry at Mendix. “A modern application development platform enables organizations to create unified experiences by extending and connecting solutions across the enterprise.”

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Gordon K. Morehouse