An ongoing dearth of tech talent and an increasing number of business technologists are driving an increase in low-code development technologies, which are projected to total $26.9 billion USD worldwide in 2023, an increase of nearly 20% from 2022, according to a recent forecast from Gartner. Business technologists work outside of IT and create tech or analytics capabilities for internal or external business use.
Low-code application platforms are projected to be the largest component of the low-code development technology market, growing 25% to reach nearly $10 billion USD in 2023.
What is driving this increase in low-code tech and adoption?
Gartner predicts that by 2026, developers outside formal IT departments will account for at least 80% of the user base for low-code development tools, which is up from 60% in 2021.
Other key drivers that will accelerate the adoption of low-code technologies through 2026 include an increasing number of enterprise-wide hyperautomation and composable business initiatives, the firm said.
“Organizations are increasingly turning to low-code development technologies to fulfill growing demands for speed application delivery and highly customized automation workflows,” said Varsha Mehta, senior market research specialist at Gartner. “Equipping both professional IT developers and non-IT personas — business technologists — with diverse low-code tools enables organizations to reach the level of digital competency and speed of delivery required for the modern Agile environment.”
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Other benefits of low-code application platforms include faster time to market and the ability to reduce IT overhead as well as increased productivity and agility and improved customer experience.
While LCAP is the largest market segment, the use of citizen automation development platforms is projected to grow at the fastest pace, with a 30.2% growth forecast for 2023. Typical use cases of CADP include automating workflows, building web-based forms, bridging data and content across multiple software-as-a-service applications, and creating reports and data visualizations.
“The high cost of tech talent and a growing hybrid or borderless workforce will contribute to low-code technology adoption,” said Jason Wong, distinguished vice president analyst at Gartner. “Empowered by the intuitive, flexible and increasingly-powerful features of low-code development tools, business technologists and citizen technologist personas are developing lightweight solutions to meet business unit needs for enhanced productivity, efficiency and agility — often as fusion teams.”
Hyperautomation and composability to drive low-code adoption
Interest in hyperautomation of business and IT processes continues to grow due to rising operational optimization demands, a widening skills gap and increasing economic pressures. Gartner forecasts that the spending on hyperautomation-enabling software technologies will reach $720 billion in 2023.
A portion of this spending will be directed at low-code development technologies including LCAP, integration platform as a service, robotic process automation, citizen automation and development platforms, and multi-experience development platforms to support process automation, integration, decision analytics and intelligence use cases.
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As organizations embrace the composable enterprise — defined by Gartner as an organization that delivers business outcomes and adapts to the pace of business change — investments in low-code technologies that support innovation and composable integration will also grow.
Composable enterprises require better reuse of existing packaged business capabilities for Agile application development and to create custom user experiences for new workflows and processes.
“Low-code development technologies are supporting the composable enterprise by enabling the creation of more agile and resilient software solutions,” said Wong. “These technologies can be used to compose and recompose modular components and PBCs, to create adaptive custom applications for changing business needs.”