INSIGHTS

No-code/Low-code Platforms Close Emerging Markets Skills Gap

7 min read ·

May 10

George Ionita

Sand Technologies

Chief Engineer

The global tech talent shortage is a pressing issue exacerbated by aggressive cross-border recruiting. A recent ManpowerGroup report revealed that 75% of companies worldwide struggle to fill roles, a trend projected to persist.

In fact, Korn Ferry predicts that 85 million jobs will be vacant by 2030 due to a need for more qualified candidates. Given this pressing issue, companies must explore alternative strategies to address the tech skills gap.

Surprisingly, the absence of tech talent has contributed to a booming trend—the rise of the citizen developer. Citizen developers use no-code/low-code platforms to develop fast solutions with minimal IT resources required.

These platforms represent the future of software development and are growing so fast that Gartner predicts low-code applications will replace 75% of all development by 2026.

This strategy can break down existing barriers in emerging markets and spawn tech startups where, traditionally, talent and venture capital may be in short supply.

What is No-code/Low-code Development?

No-code/low-code development involves designing and developing applications with little to no coding or knowledge of programming languages. Low-code development, in particular, is not new. Salesforce is one of the most well-known enterprise low-code development platforms.

These platforms replace traditional code with intuitive, drag-and-drop visual elements or standardized forms and formats to create functionality without coding. This development strategy enables non-programmers to develop business-critical apps using a graphical, user-friendly interface.

These platforms are suitable for rapid development, quick prototyping, and internal applications, offering benefits to companies with limited resources. With these platforms, citizen developers can develop applications quickly and cost-effectively, creating solutions for some of the most popular needs.

However, this strategy has limitations and risks, like minimal customizations and no options for complex rules or unique design requirements. Top no-code platforms include Softr, Bubble, Glide, Draftbit, Zapier interfaces, Bildr, Backendless and FlutterFlow as the top no-code tools. Low-code top platforms include Salesforce, ServiceNow App Engine, UiPath: Robotics Process Automation, OutSystems, Qucikbase, Spring Boot, Airtable and Microsoft Power Apps.

These platforms represent the future of software development and are growing so fast that Gartner predicts low-code applications will replace 75% of all development by 2026.

A Good Strategy for Emerging Markets

Using citizen developers and no-code/low-code development can be a game-changing solution for companies in emerging markets. These platforms lower the barriers to entry because they require minimal tech skills to build practical applications.

This strategy helps companies develop apps, start businesses, create prototypes and make fast POCs to help startups get funding faster. Example use cases include inventory management for retailers and wholesalers, property management, nonprofit fundraising, customer feedback systems, off-sight or field inspections, appointment schedulers and apps for internal team productivity.

Some of these platforms support solutions that are more than form-style apps. Low-code AI and automation platforms allow citizen developers to move the needle in extraordinary ways with “new tech” solutions. Popular platforms for low-code AI include Appian, Creatio Atlas, Mendix-AI-Assisted Development and OutSystems AI Mentor.

A Strategic Approach to Deploying Citizen Developers

Getting started with no-code/low-code development is more manageable than it seems. Begin by identifying suitable candidates in your existing talent pool.

The best candidates are employees who are logical thinkers, take a systematic approach to their work, know a process thoroughly and have basic data skills or understand the data used in a process.

These fundamental skills ensure the candidates will be confident in the learning process and have the requirements to use these tools successfully. Finally, train the citizen developer on the basics of the app builder platform and pair them with an IT team mentor where needed.

These platforms are an iteration of the next generation of technology that makes software available to more people. The intuitive nature of these tools makes it easy for citizen developers to embrace and learn.

Citizen developers use no-code/low-code platforms to develop fast solutions with minimal IT resources required.

The Tertiary Benefits of No-code/Low-code Development

The no-code/low-code platform trend is growing because it provides companies with several tertiary benefits. These platform solutions use 70% fewer resources than traditional development.

No-code/low-code platforms are also a great example of the democratization of technology. This software category allows employees without college degrees and those from traditionally underrepresented groups to upskill and participate in the tech sector.

As previously mentioned, these platforms help companies address the talent shortage. In emerging markets, finding tech talent can be daunting from an availability standpoint. When employees receive opportunities to upskill, they can use these tools to participate in corporate success through application development, even with AI and automation solutions.

The growing use of no-code/low-code platforms highlights the importance of reskilling and upskilling the existing workforce. Companies have business experts. Investing in upskilling existing talent allows companies to retain their valuable company and industry knowledge.

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