Who doesn’t love a meaty predictions list, especially one about a technology that’s literally transforming the way software is developed?
Every year, businesses across the world are realizing the power of low-code app-building. The pressure to meet digital transformation initiatives in record time has never been greater. Because low-code empowers anyone—no matter their technical skill level—to build and manage their own custom applications, we’re opening up radically new business opportunities that have never been possible.
Last year, I predicted a breakout year for some aspects of low-code application platforms and expected some evolutionary changes for others. Lo and behold, I did pretty well! Arguably, I wasn’t looking for super drastic changes happening in the industry. Thankfully, there were no world-changing events to surprise us.
If anything, 2019 was largely the year of integrations, and that momentum will continue into 2020, although in a different chapter. With so many predictions out there for low-code in 2020, how do you know which are plausible? I’ve selected 5 juicy predictions to weigh in on for this year:
1. Will low-code reach a tipping point of growth within organizations?
Some might argue that this tipping point has already happened, meaning that most companies that are looking for low-code platforms will not look back. While I agree that businesses who have chosen the low-code path will not look back, I disagree that we’ve seen a tipping point. Regardless of where the line is drawn, the momentum seen in the growth rates of low-code application building companies like TrackVia and others in the space proves that we’re in an exciting phase as we transition from having to explain what “low-code” is to what it’s truly capable of doing.
2. Will low-code centers of excellence gain prominence within organizations?
First of all, what is a low-code center of excellence? It’s really just a name for a formalized practice group within your organization. Like other software projects, applications built in low-code need best practices, governance, etc. What we’ve seen from some customers are “centers of excellence” around TrackVia, where knowledge about the platform and apps can be coalesced and shared across the team and the organization. I believe this prediction is accurate as more and more businesses adopt low-code apps throughout their entire organization.
3. Will the term “developers” come to a crossroads?
This one is a little sticky for sure. To date, the term “developer” has been reserved for those individuals who have a background or degree in computer science, or who have otherwise been taught to write code. Today, with the advent of low-code, the term “citizen developer” is used to describe someone who has never written a line of code in their life. This loosening of the definition has certainly fueled some interesting discussions on our teams, and I’m certain the discussion is far from over.
4. Will integrations continue to explode in growth?
One of my favorite things to see when talking to customers is when they experience those “lightbulb” moments after putting together the needs of their organization with the capabilities of our technology, and most importantly the confidence to marry the two into a solution. These lightbulb moments are truly inspiring. This year we’ve seen an inordinate number of customers realizing what our TrackVia Integrations can do and how easy it is to connect systems that were not connected in the past simply because it was difficult to do so. I do not expect this will slow down anytime soon.
5. Will data governance in the world of integrations cause more headaches?
As much as I promote the value of integrated systems, I also realize the upcoming concerns for many companies will be around data governance. Meaning what systems are defined as “systems of record” and what other systems are allowed to modify the data throughout its lifecycle. Think of data governance like this: if you have a system that tracks orders and other systems that can update the fulfillment date for an order based on an approval process or procurement detail, then you’ve got multiple systems that need to work together to give you an accurate fulfillment date. So, data governance includes figuring out what systems have what rights to make those updates? What systems do you need to audit to verify accuracy? Who in your organization will know the details of these transactions well enough to answer the constant question of, “Who changed this date?!”. This is, of course, an oversimplified description; there are many other aspects to data governance, but hopefully, it gives you a sense of the challenges this year brings.
Again, these predictions shouldn’t sound like great stretches of the imagination; they are, in fact, stair steps to a world where the software you use to run your business reflects the uniqueness and nuances of your own internal processes, as well as the new, easier way to build these custom systems. Most importantly to remember, we’re all in this together! So, please make sure to keep us in the conversation. We want to make sure we can support you on your journey.