Many enterprises aim to build functional software for internal infrastructure servicing and programs for customer communication. However, lack of time and resources hinders their business growth. In the current era, low/zero code platforms help businesses to rapidly build relevant applications and are becoming an emerging trend in the SaaS market.
Such tools allow teams to build specific web applications and come with various customisation tools, including an intuitive and simple drag-and-drop interface. With no-code tools, users can create custom applications for their data collection, design their personal workflows, and set up unique rules that will help them propel their businesses further.
According to Gartner by 2024, low-code application development will be accountable for more than 65% of app development activity. In the next 2-3 years, 75% of large businesses will be employing at least four low-code development tools for IT application development. Compared with the traditional software development method, low-code platforms help in much more deployment by deploying pre-built templates and automated software workflows which offer a simple way to build certain applications. The plug n play feature, and quick prototyping also helps expedite turnaround time for making simple applications.
“We are seeing an increase in the demand for low-code products. There are several factors that are influencing this trend. A key factor is the commoditization of the SaaS model. Buying software for a company has become similar to buying a new dress online or from a shop. You go to a website, choose the offering, pay the bill and within seconds, you are set up with access to use the software,” says Venkatesh Ramarathinam, CEO of Vuram.
Organisations in India are continuing to collaborate with technology firms and startups to make their IT operations more efficient and less costly. They want to automate more processes faster and keep costs down. This has grown during the pandemic. Also, this has caused more demand for low code solutions.
“Low code products are definitely gaining popularity, but it is no code that is actually the next big thing in the industry. There is no shortage of innovation and ideas in the Indian market, and no code solutions help turn these ideas to reality. With the current government initiatives like Atmanirbhar Bharat to support startups in India, the demand for such no-code platforms is increasing at an exponential rate. In the past six months, we have experienced growth in paid subscriptions by 5.8X. So yes, there is a strong demand, and it is only on the rise,” says Abhinav Girdhar, Founder of Appy Pie.
Appy Pie has multiple new products that are currently in the public beta phase (Appy Pie Chatbot, Appy Pie Live Chat, Appy Pie Design, and Appy Pie Knowledge) and a couple more in the pipeline. “This is the age of no code, where ideas are more important than skills. We ensure that people with great ideas are not inhibited by the lack of their technical prowess,’ told Abhinav.
Low Code For SMBs
Organizations prefer to use low code for software development for the standard reasons of faster time to go-live, easier upskilling of their internal teams to develop on the platform, lower maintenance costs, rapid continuous improvement cycles and multi-mode delivery. Low-code platforms can be used to build extremely powerful composite applications that provide a 360 degree view of an organization’s process, procedure and data.
“There is a growing trend in the Indian market to outsource technology challenges, get expert help, purchase software or platforms that solve a particular or a set of problems really well. This trend is more prominent in the mid-size market. There is a mindset change from building internally, building ground-up, to evaluating pre-built cloud solutions or platforms that come with templates that can be customized for the individual business,” says Venkatesh Ramarathinam.
Some low code platforms also give out of the box reporting and analytics capacities in addition to integrated version control systems and one-click merge/publishing capabilities. Based on application type, the low code software market is divided into Web-based, Desktop & Server-based and Mobile-based tools which are either hosted On-premise or on the Cloud.
Automated Software Testing
“Low code products are gaining wide popularity in India primarily to shorten the software development cycle so that products can be pushed to the market much sooner in today’s competitive world. The key challenge today is to get all aspects of testing executed quickly with minimal resources, and automation tools can do this flawlessly,” says Ramesh Krish, CTO of Indium Software.
Indium, as part of its uphoriX, generates code for Functional Tests. The company has test automation scripts, and the same can be reused for Performance and Security Testing. This saves a considerable amount of time and resources for its customers. Customers use different languages such as C#, Java, Selenium etc. as their preferred coding language. uphoriX automatically generates code in all of these languages and much more, efficiently and effectively.
Some of the critical features of uphoriX include low code automation which generates scripts automatically and reduces script generation overhead. Then there is smart Scripting, which according to the company saves up to 30% to 40% of effort on automation script maintenance and reusability of scripts.
“Logs are generated for every Test Execution and records are maintained for several test iterations over many builds & releases. This helps our customers to see the trend in quality as they build the software,” explained Ramesh Krish.
Today, Indium has expertise in digital automated software testing and low code development and is eyeing $30 million revenue by 2021 by serving its customers in the nation and abroad. The company’s smart unified testing platform – uphoriX integrates functional testing, performance testing, and security intending to expand the pace and frequency of software and application release.
With the rapidly expanding customer base that cuts across industry verticals, low code companies are looking to expand their field presence and accelerate their product to increase the number of solutions that come out-of-the-box for various software use cases across multi-cloud and hybrid infrastructure.
“Low code is a crowded market, products vary on their purpose, their approach to low code, and the spectrum of features they provide. Under the low-code banner, there are platforms ranging from being a simple forms and workflow builder to a heavy-duty engine that combines complex decisioning, AI, RPA, data, workflow and document management,” tells Venkatesh Ramarathinam.
Low code network automation
Next up is AppViewX, a hybrid cloud, a low-code application platform that enables the automation and orchestration of network infrastructure. The firm uses intelligent automation and orchestration of network and security services for its platform.
“We utilise a big library of pre-built tasks and workflows and its platform enables Ops teams to fast and easily translate business requirements into automation workflows which enhance agility, enforce compliance, eliminate errors, and reduce cost,” Anand Purusothaman, Founder of AppViewX told us.
AppViewX has capabilities such as low-code drag and drop automation, closed-loop automated troubleshooting, intuitive visual tools and most important is the application-centric view and management of network infrastructure. AppViewX has the unique advantage of being the pioneer in this space with some of the solutions like the orchestration of application delivery services and certificate lifecycle automation.
“Our north star is to make our infrastructure invisible so application teams can deliver innovation rapidly across multiple cloud providers and on-prem infrastructure,” Anand told further.
Low code – high value
The global low-code platforms market produced $10.3 billion in revenue in the year 2019 and is predicted to grow a CAGR of 31.1% for the period 2020–2030. This year, the coronavirus outbreak has not only caused a massive digital transformation but has also urged companies to have access to software techniques which are faster and with minimal expenditure.
During this pandemic, when social distancing and work from home have become a part of the new normal, mobile apps have come to the rescue. However, not every business can afford the time and money that goes into traditional app development. code solutions have made it possible, not only to create mobile apps and websites in minutes but also save a ton of money in doing so. Low code platforms minimise the requirement for more developers, and therefore reducing the hiring cost for writing code and application maintenance. Low code applications can also support enterprises to solve the challenges of siloed IT systems (something very common in India) by connecting data across systems.
With agility and cost-effectiveness being crucial here, low-code platforms are frequently turning into popular alternatives for conventional hand-coding tools. Such low code platforms are helping enterprises to develop software applications very rapidly, with minimal manual coding, which is leading to faster software turnaround. Features like drag and drop capability help to build apps 10X quicker, enterprise-grade applications that can be deployed in weeks, gives Indian businesses great agility and a platform to fast experiment and evolve.
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Vishal Chawla is a senior tech journalist at Analytics India Magazine and writes about AI, data analytics, cybersecurity, cloud computing, and blockchain. Vishal also hosts AIM's video podcast called Simulated Reality- featuring tech leaders, AI experts, and innovative startups of India.