2021 DevOps Predictions - Part 6
December 17, 2020

Industry experts — from analysts and consultants to users and the top vendors — offer thoughtful, insightful, and often controversial predictions on how DevOps and related technologies will evolve and impact business in 2021. Part 6 covers low code/no code.

Start with: 2021 DevOps Predictions - Part 1

Start with: 2021 DevOps Predictions - Part 2

Start with: 2021 DevOps Predictions - Part 3

Start with: 2021 DevOps Predictions - Part 4

Start with: 2021 DevOps Predictions - Part 5

LOW CODE/NO CODE BECOMES IMPERATIVE

The pandemic has accelerated digitization efforts across every commercial enterprise and government agency in 2020. Low- and no-code process automation software, from workflow, to digital forms, to RPA, helps organizations cost-effectively improve operational efficiencies and drive worker productivity by ultimately freeing employees from spending time on mundane, repetitive tasks that exist in every industry. Leveraging easy-to-use tools for automating processes is no longer a nice to have, it's a must have imperative in 2021 in order to attract and retain talent and service customers with great digital experiences. In fact, Gartner predicts that more than 50% of medium to large enterprises will have adopted a low-code application platform by 2023.
Dustin Grosse
Chief Marketing and Strategy Officer, Nintex

A recurring theme for IT Central Station reviews of low code/no-code development platforms is the need for better data visualization. While many vendors present solutions as single panes of glass, they still lack the necessary flexibility that companies require when digesting data. Vendors who add more flexibility and adaptability to allow for improved visibility of data will pull ahead of their competitors.
Russell Rothstein
Founder and CEO, IT Central Station

With the impact of COVID, organizations have been forced to accelerate their evaluation and adoption of low code/no code solutions out of necessity. With development teams remote and spread thin, the ability to streamline the app development process from design to code and alleviate less complex development tasks has proven invaluable. As a result, we expect to see adoption and use of low code/no code technology continue to increase among enterprise organizations in 2021.
Jason Beres
Senior VP of Developer Tools, Infragistics

In the future, companies will orchestrate their data and software/tools in a way that won't require an engineer. Businesses will be able to tweak everything from product experience to messaging, based upon rules and workflows that they know about the user and it will be all done by business people in a few minutes, without requiring an engineer at all.
Tido Carriero
Chief Product Development Officer, Segment

NO CODE ADOPTION INCREASES

The industry is currently failing to differentiate between low code and no code technology, which is a problem given the stark difference between the two. While low code sounds like a good option, it does not remove full IT involvement. In the new year, given increased IT burnout and reduced resources, I anticipate that folks will begin to understand that the two terms cannot be used interchangeably, reducing the knowledge gap. Organizations will realize that no-code options can empower even the least tech-savvy employees while working remote, thus reducing pressure on IT departments. As a result, I expect no-code adoption to hasten and employee education on how to use and extract the most out of their tools to widen.
Borya Shaknovich
CEO, airSlate

LOW CODE OUTPACES TRADITIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Low-code Outpaces Traditional Development: While using traditional coding languages like Java or MS .Net will still be around, in 2021, more applications will be built on low-code tools rather than traditional development tools. Enterprises will look for tools that embrace the low-code ethos as the default standard for building new applications.
Malcolm Ross
VP of Product, Appian

LOW CODE IS THE NEW CLOUD

Cloud computing is an infrastructure and delivery method for whatever a company does. Low-code will now become recognized not as a monolithic market, but rather as a mechanism for meeting a wide-range of enterprise needs, from low-end citizen development to complex process automation.
Michael Beckely
CTO and Co-Founder, Appian

LOW CODE TAKES ON MISSION-CRITICAL FUNCTIONS

As the low code market matures, low code platforms become increasingly capable in support of complex software development needs by non-professional developers. End-to-end low code platforms emerge to combine experiences, process automation, integration, AI/ML, and reporting in a holistic offering hardened for the enterprise, making it possible for industrial-grade software development done completely by citizen developers. As a result, we will witness more mission-critical software projects done on a single low code platform.
Marcus Torres
Vice President Product Management, Platform, ServiceNow

REALIZING THE LIMITATIONS OF LOW CODE/NO CODE

A new category of platforms will emerge as companies hit the limits of over-hyped no/low-code platforms: While companies flocked to a dizzying array of no- and low-code tools to meet development needs amid the uncertainties of 2020, they will quickly realize the limits of these platforms, and as a result will seek out more advanced platforms that go beyond to enable their development teams in new ways. No- and low-code platforms are fine for building white labeled, minimally capable applications. When those apps become mission-critical, or when a new app outside of the narrow domain of that tool is required, they hit a wall and become obsolete. We'll start to see companies ditch the platforms they adopted as a bandaid in a moment of panic and pursue far more capable modern application platforms that enable any type of application to be built and allow them to not only build quickly but build to the scale, security, and differentiation they need for inevitable future change.
Robson Grieve
CMO, OutSystems

LOW CODE PLATFORMS BECOME MORE DIVERSE

Low-Code Branches: Low-code application platforms become more diverse with speciality into select areas. There will be low-code tools for mobile applications, automation, and even video game development. While we currently see over 240 software vendors advertising themselves as "Low-code," that number will most likely double in 2021 and include a variety of platforms employing low-code design.
Malcolm Ross
VP of Product, Appian

LOW CODE REDUCES THE SKILL GAP

Low-code will make marked strides toward lowering the skills gap for many companies. Low-code adoption will continue throughout 2021 as companies see it as a way to lower the skills gap. Instead of hiring hard-to-find and expensive technical experts, they'll upskill employees on easy-to-use platforms that do the heavy lifting for them. This consumerization of IT is inevitable. We've seen it in a number of technologies — from network storage, routers and switches that once were only for technical network operations to security systems requiring expert installations — that no longer require expertise and we're seeing that same shift happening to application development.
Rajesh Raheja
Head of Engineering, Boomi, a Dell Technologies business

LOW CODE/NO CODE PLATFORMS FOR APPLICATION SECURITY

Throughout 2020, we've witnessed an emerging trend of organizations building applications rapidly using low-code/no-code platforms. Static application security testing (SAST) tools in particular work very well when there is code to scan. I anticipate that in the not-so-distant future, SAST tools will require alterations to the way in which they currently work to accommodate low-code/no-code platforms. I also anticipate changes in how we build software to take place in the foreseeable future. As application security testing tools move towards providing the same experience as low-code/no-code platforms, by providing a few inputs to the tool, they will be able to generate the integrations needed to run the tool on-prem or seamlessly in the cloud. In 2021, I predict that low-code/no-code platforms for application security will emerge and that through such platforms it will become more and more common to see organizations building security into DevOps effectively.
Meera Rao
Senior Director of Product Management, DevOps Solutions, Synopsys

Check back after the Holidays for 2 more predictions series, covering Containers and DevSecOps.

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