Low-Code Tools are the Future for Digital Transformation By Anil Khatri, Head IT - South Asia, Intelligent Enterprise Client Services, SAP

Low-Code Tools are the Future for Digital Transformation

Anil Khatri, Head IT - South Asia, Intelligent Enterprise Client Services, SAP | Friday, 16 December 2022, 13:24 IST

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Anil Khatri, Head IT - South Asia, Intelligent Enterprise Client Services, SAPCompanies and business leaders ev- erywhere face profound challenges today, including macro-economic fac- tors, market volatility, and geopoli- tical conflicts. Understanding the resilience that is found in technology integration, businesses are doubling down on their digital transforma- tions to survive and prosper. Despite the clear need, many businesses face uncertainty because of a shortage of talent and skills available in the technology sector. 

According to a recent IDC study, 48% of respondents face a shortage of developers to meet their demands today. That’s one of the reasons why only 8% of companies worldwide have been able to achieve their digital transformation goals.  Closer to home, IDC highlights that over 16% of Indian IT leaders recognize skill shortage as the biggest roadblock towards digitally transforming themselves.

Alternatively in PWC’s Global Workforce Hopes and Fears Survey for 2022, we learned that 29% of respondents say that their country lacks the resources required to perform their job – with healthcare, technology, media, and telecommunications topping the list. To address the skills gap, many companies (40%) are investing in upskilling and training programs, while others (33%) are increasing pay to retain top talent.

The demand for software developers has never been higher, and this shortage of skilled labour isn't only creating gaps and stunting many businesses’ innovation and growth pipelines, but also causing exceptionally high rates of burnout among developers. To retain developers in the current tight labour market, organizations should adopt low-code/no-code methods that is, software development where little or no programming skills are required. Instead of text-based programming languages, low-code uses visual application design tools and other graphical modelling techniques.

Taking it one step further, we believe that the key to more impactful business transformation, and the way business can address the skills shortage, lies in unleashing the expertise of those who know business best – the business users themselves. Who do we mean when we say business users? We’re talking about the finance analysts, the supply chain operators, the manufacturing line managers, the procurement specialists, the marketers. Through training and investment in low-code/no-code solutions, businesses can bring the power of software development out of the back office and put it into the hands of people using it every day to innovate, execute tasks, connect, and more. As an added benefit, this approach also addresses the pressure many IT professionals feel, tasked with major infrastructure overhauls and digital transformations.

Organizations can train nontechnical employees who have no previous programming experience, providing knowledge on how to implement low-code/no-code technologies. The goal of these trainings is certification as a citizen developer, which will allow these employees to develop and operate proper low-code/no-code programs with the help of personal application expertise. Citizen developers can then take off simple routine programming tasks professional developers’ plates, so that they can increasingly become involved in the strategic work of application development.

Of course, even those with some level of technical expertise can benefit from low-code/no-code software. Professional developers can leverage low-code/no-code for tasks that are too complex for a citizen developer, such as security functions, or use these tools to develop a program on a budget, without losing the ability to scale. The expertise of experienced software developers is still needed in these instances – but with the help of low-code/no-code, they can develop these functions in a more efficient way.

Technology companies need to create a future that caters to everyone. From the cloud-native developer and the data scientist to the enterprise architect and the application and integration developer, to the UX designer and even nontechnical users. There's a clear need. The total addressable market for low-code/no-code application development and process automation has been steadily growing and is expected to reach $159 billion by 2030, up from some $27 billion this year. 

To support our customers, SAP recently launched a new low-code suite called SAP Build – a set of tools that put our world-class enterprise technology into the hands of regular business users - who will now be able to build the apps they need with no deep coding skills required, instead of raising an IT ticket. SAP Build represents our contribution to unleashing business use cases while also mitigating the effects of the global IT skills shortage by turning anyone into a developer – and every company, no matter how large or small or what industry they operate in – into a technology company.

With the help of low-code/no-code, business users can work more effectively and quickly, IT teams can focus on more critical tasks and companies can better succeed regardless of what the future holds.

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