Almost two-thirds of software developers have increased their use of low-code development tools in 2020, as they face additional pressure to launch content-based applications at speed, according to new research from content services firm Nuxeo out today.
The research found that 70% of software developers believe digital transformation had become more of a priority to their organisation since Covid-19, but 47% say they lack the tools to build applications and products quickly enough to meet deadlines. 44% say that their organisation has abandoned application projects because they took too long.
The report, ‘The Low-Code Imperative’, explores how common the use of low-code development tools is among software developers and how that has changed since the pandemic. 61% of software developers use low-code developments tools only occasionally or rarely, although 55% say their employer encourages them to use low-code development tools more.
“The pandemic has only served to accelerate digital transformation programmes that were already underway, with businesses having to shift further online, provide new customer experiences and deliver better products quicker than ever,” said Chris McLaughlin, chief product and marketing officer, Nuxeo. “Organisations need the right tools to improve agility, flexibility and to respond to market demands quicker – for content-based applications, the right tools means low-code development.”
Low-code development tools were shown to provide a range of benefits to the businesses that use them. The biggest benefit was that such tools simplify the development process (35%), but differentiating from the competition (25%), helping the company be more innovative (25%) and improving the customer experience (24%) were also mentioned. Customer experience and differentiating a brand have become even more important over 2020 and low-code development tools allow organisations to improve both and bring content-based apps to market significantly quicker.
There are also personal benefits to software developers from using low-code development tools. More than one-third say doing so makes for more effective use of their time, 32% say it enables them to do more varied and interesting work and 29% believe they can bring more value to the organisation. This highlights the impact that low-code tools can have on areas such as retention and personal development. Because of this, software developers want to use low-code tools even more – by 2022 41% of software developers want more than half of their organisation’s app development to be low-code.
43% of respondents said it takes more than three months in their organisation to complete a typical content-based application. Content is vital both internally and externally, so in a fast-paced business environment this is simply too long to deliver a content-based app. Common reasons that a content-based application project would be abandoned include an inability to respond quickly enough to changing market requirements (22%) and the project simply taking too long (15%).
“It’s always been important to be agile, flexible and innovative but it’s become even more so this year,” continued Chris McLaughlin. “To achieve this, organisations need to bring their content-based applications to market much quicker and with a minimum of cost and complexity, and low-code tools will play an increasingly central role in doing so.”
About the Research
The research was conducted by OnePoll, with 200 UK software developers in October 2020. OnePoll is a member of ESOMAR and employ members of the MRS.