Revenue from low code development technologies will grow 23 per cent this year as organisations turn to it because of a lack of skilled developers and more remote workforces, according to Gartner which has released its first forecast of low code.

While developers remain in short supply, the COVID-19 pandemic has driven further demand for digital and automation technologies – and the application software they require – making the more accessible low code options more popular and more profitable than ever.

Low code technologies provide development platforms for creating applications with graphical user interfaces and configuration rather than the traditional hand-coded approach.

The approach is increasingly popular because it opens up development to a greater range of user skills, at a time when the highest skilled developers are in high demand.

Low code forecast

Gartner has analysed the low code market for the first time, finding demand surged during the pandemic because of a shortage of skilled developers and high demand for business automation.

The service management and research company projects worldwide low-code development technologies will total $13.8 billion in 2021, an increase of 22.6 per cent from 2020.

“While low-code application development is not new, a confluence of digital disruptions, hyperautomation and the rise of composable business has led to an influx of tools and rising demand,” said Fabrizio Biscotti, research vice president at Gartner. 

According to Gartner, most of the revenue boom comes from Low-Code Application Platforms (LCAP), which provides rapid application development and deployment using low-code and no-code techniques such as declarative, model-driven application design and development together with the simplified one-button deployment of applications.

That particular low code technology alone generated US$4.4 billion in revenue last year and will grow to US$5.75 billion in 2021.

But there is growth across the board of low code technologies, with revenue rising for business process management, RPA, and multiexperience development platforms.

What’s driving low code adoption?

IT leaders are turning to low code at a time when they are under increasing pressure to dramatically increase application delivery speed and time to value, Gartner says. But the technology is increasingly popular outside the IT department too. Gartner predicts that half of all new low-code clients will come from business buyers that are outside the IT organisation by the end of 2025.

“The economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic have validated the low-code value proposition,” said Gartner’s Biscotti. 

“Low-code capabilities that support remote work function, such as digital forms and workflow automation, will be offered with more elastic pricing since they will be required to keep the lights running.”

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