• Damiano D'Amici

Need for speed: low-code

Aggiornato il: 11 dic 2019

Whether you are a developer (or a business user), you have certainly come to terms with the necessity that the software you develop (or utilize) is adapted to the context of use. Traditional development methods struggle to answer such need: the development cycle is too long, and the necessary skills to produce a qualitatively adequate software are sorely lacking in an ever-growing and fiercely competitive market.

This has been a problem for years, further exacerbated by the growing need for digitalization faced by businesses in all sectors. Such a context gave rise to the emergence of low-code development platforms, technologies that promise to speed up the development cycle so much that release can be reached up to ten times faster. In contrast to regular coding, in a low-code platform software is developed with the means of a graphical interface with configurations. Usually, this translates into features such as reusable (configurable) graphic components, drag-and-drop tools, and BPM.

This makes the development process accessible also to non-technical people, who can start contributing after a short training phase. Single developers or small teams can experiment with the platform, easily iterating the software to reach the release of a functional product in days or weeks. The (often kept) promises of low-code brought this market to a 50% yearly growth, with a global value of $4 billion, and this trend does not appear to be ending any time soon.[1]

The advantages of low-code

The success of low-code platforms can be mainly attributed to these six advantages that they bring to whoever adopts them to develop their software:

  1. Rapidity: the adoption of a low-code platform can reduce the time necessary to develop functional software up to ten times. This not only lowers a software project’s TCO, but it also frees up resources that can now be employed in the project’s functional analysis and design, or on other projects.

  2. Coherence: the standardization and BPM tools provided by a low-code platform help businesses enhance the coherence of their IT portfolio by developing custom software solutions that work well with one another.

  3. Involvement: the development environment with a graphical interface offered by a low-code platform is built to be easy to learn and use. This enables business users to partake in the development process and developers to better focus their efforts.

  4. Ownership: the adoption of a low-code platform makes it much easier for businesses to develop their own IT portfolio in-house. This, in turn, empowers them to retain its ownership and make sure of its coherence.

  5. Control: the chance of managing the entirety of a software project’s life cycle within a single platform enables a level of control hardly possible with traditional development.

  6. Agility: low-code development encourages the adoption of agile and iterative methods, easing prototyping, the evolution of software, and the involvement of business users in the development process.

Low-code will not make traditional development obsolete, and it is not a silver bullet able to solve all the problems that plague software development. However, it is a paradigm that, if adopted wisely, can bring non-negligible advantages and help businesses to rapidly digitize and build an IT portfolio that is coherent and of easy evolution.


[1] Rymer, J. (2018). Forrester. Retrieved on 10/04/2019 from https://go.forrester.com/blogs/why-you-need-to-know-about-low-code-even-if-youre-not-responsible-for-software-delivery/.