“The worldwide market for low-code development technologies is projected to total $26.9 billion in 2023, an increase of 19.6% from 2022,” according to a recent press release from Gartner. “A rise in business technologists and a growing number of enterprise-wide hyperautomation and composable business initiatives will be the key drivers accelerating the adoption of low-code technologies through 2026.”
Gartner is a well-respected technological research and consulting firm with a track record of spotting and forecasting tech trends. Though we may not be surprised by their prediction—we know the power of low-code development—we’re thrilled to see that they also recognize the growing demand for high-quality low-code tools.
We’re going to focus on the two main factors that they point to as motivating low-code adoption: hyperautomation and the composable enterprise. We’ll break down what those terms mean, how they’re playing out in today’s business landscape, and how low-code is a key enabling technology.
“Organizations are increasingly turning to low-code development technologies to fulfill growing demands for speed application delivery and highly customized workflows. Equipping both professional IT developers and non-IT personas—business technologists—with diverse low-code tools enables organizations to reach the level of digital competency and speed of delivery required for the modern agile environment.” explains Varsha Mehta, a Senior Market Research Specialist at Gartner.
Hyperautomation, as the name implies, is all about taking automation to the next level and applying it at scale. Simply put, hyperautomation entails automating everything that can be effectively automated.
Gartner coined the term and provides a definition for hyperautomation: “Hyperautomation is a business-driven, disciplined approach that organizations use to rapidly identify, vet and automate as many business and IT processes as possible. Hyperautomation involves the orchestrated use of multiple technologies, tools or platforms.”
They go on to cite specific technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI), robotic process automation (RPA), and low-code/no-code tools. The key to understanding hyperautomation is that it’s the product of a technological confluence, a whole that’s greater than the sum of its parts.
Hyperautomation often involves a chain of automated actions that work in sync. For instance, let’s say a customer submits a scan of a handwritten form through a web portal. An AI may use optical character recognition (OCR) to convert their handwriting to digital text, and that text will then be parsed by a natural language processing (NLP) algorithm to automatically populate fields in a database. When that happens, it could trigger other automated actions, such as assigning a task to a human customer service agent while simultaneously sending a confirmation email to the customer.
So how does low-code play into hyperautomation? While hyperautomation is certainly possible with high-code development—and some technologies, such as machine learning, aren’t feasibly created with today’s low-code tool sets—low-code is a foundational technology for hyperautomation for a few key reasons.
Let’s focus on that last reason, orchestration, because it’s the main way that we’re seeing enterprises apply low-code to hyperautomation.
Essentially, low-code development platforms act as the glue that holds everything together. When we need to hand data off from one technology to another, for instance, low-code gives us an easy to use visual programming interface to make that happen.
Besides making it easy, low-code tools also give us the flexibility to alter our hyperautomation orchestration as technology changes. While a high-code program would be hard-coded to fit an exact setup, a low-code environment makes it fast and easy to change automation pathways as needs change.
“Interest in hyperautomation continues to grow due to rising operational optimization demands, a widening skills gap and increasing economic pressures,” writes Gartner. “Gartner forecasts that the spending on hyperautomation-enabling software technologies will reach $720 billion in 2023.”
As a key enabler, low-code technology will be a major component of that equation.
Composable is another term that Gartner coined to describe today’s tech-enabled business landscape. In their 2020 Keynote, Gartner defines the term, saying “Composability in a business context [means] architecting your business for real-time adaptability and resilience in the face of uncertainty.”
The easiest way to understand it is by comparing Legos to puzzles. Lego bricks are interchangeable, and any piece can fit together with virtually any other piece, while puzzle pieces only fit together in very specific configurations. Legos are composable; a puzzle is not.
In the keynote, Garnet points to four basic principles of a composable business:
A composable enterprise leverages composable technologies to achieve these principles. Going back to the flexibility, adaptability, and agility of low-code tools, we can see how low-code and no-code fit the bill
“Investments in low-code technologies that support innovation and composable integration will also grow as organizations embrace the composable enterprise,” Gartner writes in the recent press release. “Composable enterprises require better reuse of existing packaged business capabilities (PBCs) for agile application development to create custom user experience for new workflows and processes.”
Because business technologists can use low-code to orchestrate existing capabilities while also creating new ones on the fly, this technology is proving itself essential to the composable business.
“Low-code development technologies are supporting the composable enterprise by enabling the creation of more agile and resilient software solutions,” says Jason Wong, Distinguished VP Analyst at Gartner. “These technologies can be used to compose and recompose modular components and PBCs, to create adaptive custom applications for changing business needs.”
A growing demand for hyperautomation and composability may be the main drivers behind the increased adoption of low-code tools, but they’re far from the only motivators.
Technologically mature enterprises will be able to put low-code to good use, especially for orchestrating multiple technologies together, but businesses ranging from start-ups to legacy enterprises can benefit from low-code by starting small, finding valuable use cases, and building out from there.
“The high cost of tech talent and a growing hybrid or borderless workforce will contribute to low-code technology adoption,” continues Wong. “Empowered by the intuitive, flexible and increasingly-powerful features of low-code development tools, business technologists and citizen technologist personas are developing lightweight solutions to meet business unit needs for enhanced productivity, efficiency and agility—often as fusion teams.”
Blaze provides all the benefits of low-code with the ease of no-code. Both citizen and professional developers use Blaze to quickly and easily create custom applications for uses ranging from web apps to databases to full-blown hyperautomation at scale.
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