7 Ways Businesses Meet the Growing Demand for Apps with Low Code

Aug 01, 2021. 3 Min read
Learn timeless success principles that keep your business steady as low code evolves.
The need for enterprise apps is skyrocketing, in part due to the fact that many companies have been forced to digitally transform their business processes in a short period of time. As we embrace the new way of working, CIOs are looking for digital solutions that allow them to build new apps quickly to meet rapidly evolving business demands.
Unfortunately, there aren’t enough professional developers to build these apps — the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the need for software developers will grow by 22% over the current decade (relative to 4% growth expected for occupations overall). IT departments are meeting this challenge by turning to citizen developers: everyday people who use low-code tools to support their company. Enabling business users to take on tech challenges allows for reduced development costs, faster time to market, and enhanced collaboration among colleagues.
There are several principles that remain true, even as low code evolves. The following concepts provide a foundation for citizen developers and professional developers alike to work together in quickly turning business problems into solutions.

Empower business users


Due to the rapidly increasing need for digitization, organizations of all sizes are struggling to meet the demand for IT resources. As digital transformation needs continue to expand, IT departments have growing backlogs that can become bottlenecks to innovation. To help address this, organizations empower business users to become citizen developers, reducing the demands on IT.

Business users can be enabled with the right tools, training, guidance, and governance processes to ensure rapid application development while still adhering to established processes and quality standards. A successful citizen developer cohort will be key for organizations hoping to scale their app-building capacity given rising business demands.

Create tools everyone can use

Traditional code is often difficult to create and maintain. But low code offers a variety of visual builder tools, so creators can quickly address use cases without a deep background in technology. These tools allow builders who are subject matter experts in their area — but who may not be versed in complex code — to directly engage in creating solutions for their business needs.

Embed automation and intelligence

A key aspect of building applications is automation, where an event (such as updating a record) triggers an action (for example, sending a welcome email). In the past, enabling automation was often left to developers. But now low-code tools give power to business users, with an array of automation features that can be built declaratively.

As the world moves to low-code development, organizations are looking to effectively guide app builders wisely, regardless of their role or technical background. Low-code tools can now leverage AI to provide real-time app-building recommendations to application builders. Example recommendations might include prebuilt application templates based on use case, next steps to take, unused or redundant features, and ways to improve component and page performance. This guidance will enable teams to build and deploy applications faster. Better yet, they can deploy with more confidence in their security, performance, and adherence to best practices.

Collaborate strategically

It’s also important for business users to be able to work hand in hand with professional developers and centralized IT departments. Builders need IT help and oversight to ensure company policies around data storage and technology use are enforced. Low-code software development platforms can simplify how teams collaborate around a project. They do this by enabling IT with seamless ways to empower citizen developers, while still allowing for centralized IT approval, review, and application management.

Customize critical preferences

Part of what makes low-code tools so fast and efficient is that a lot of the requirements are already prebuilt or available via templates. Oftentimes, a prebuilt template or solution will still not be a perfect fit, so these can be customized and extended by builders in a point-and-click manner. If needed, they can be customized further by developers via code. This allows teams to work together to create best-in-class solutions for each unique organization’s needs.

Allow developers to focus on high-value activities

Because application development teams are often resource-constrained, new tools allow citizen developers to get started on their own. Low-code software providers offer tools that business users can leverage out-of-the-box. In addition, there are resources such as Salesforce AppExchange, a marketplace which allows builders to take advantage of prebuilt partner solutions. With these building blocks available for business users as a starting point, developers no longer have to devote time to the most basic use cases. Developers can stay focused on high-value activities, such as building custom functionality to support their organization’s unique use cases.

Make it sustainable and future-proof

Metadata, a set of data that describes and gives information about application elements, can be used to help developers create solutions that can withstand the challenges that come with the constant evolution of technology. Unlike app elements that have been hard-coded in, metadata can be reinterpreted as new technologies emerge. This is important as companies begin to evaluate solutions such as voice or AI. It is easier to maintain and extend applications that have been built with metadata.

Low-code tools are the future of modern application development. With less time, and simple clicks, business users can leverage their domain expertise to create apps. No more relying on an already overburdened IT department. Even as the low-code landscape evolves, these principles remain steady in creating a strong business foundation for years to come.


About the Author

Farhan Tahir
VP Product Management
Salesforce Platform
Farhan Tahir is a Vice President of Product Management for the Salesforce Platform. During his time at Salesforce, Farhan has held various positions in account management, support engineering, R&D, and now product management. He has previously worked on bringing Sandbox, Locker Service, and Lightning Web Component products to life. Currently, his mission is to democratize application development with innovations in the low-code space.


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