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The Promise of Low-Code/No-Code: Closing the Skills Gap – Spiceworks News and Insights

Even if software development with LC/NC is faster and more efficient, the developers required for this will not fall from the sky. Further training programs or individual initiatives are necessary to learn the required LC/NC qualifications.

The demand for software developers has never been higher, and this shortage of skilled labor is creating gaps and stunting many businesses’ innovation and growth pipelines. In this article, Sebastian Schroetel, vice president, head of LC/NC products at SAP, dives into how organizations can enable a workforce of citizen developers with LC/NC that not only maintains “business as usual,” but also accelerates digital transformation and improves future business productivity.
According to OECD estimates, digital technologies will change more than one billion jobs in the next ten years. That’s nearly one-third of all jobs. Yet a gap is emerging between the skills needed and those available. On the one hand, digitization and automation will change many work processes, but on the other hand, experts will be required to develop and operate these new technologies. 
According to the industry association Bitkom, the number of vacancies for IT specialists in Germany rose to 96,000 last year. That’s twelve percent more than in the previous year. Further, two-thirds of companies believe that the shortage of IT specialists will become even more acute in the future. This tight labor market is putting pressure on IT leaders, who are now forced to reprioritize or even hit pause on digitization efforts.
So how can leaders start taking steps to close this expertise gap? This is where low-code/no-code (LC/NC) methods come into play, i.e., software development where little or no programming skills are required. Instead of text-based programming languages, low-code uses visual application design tools and other graphical modeling techniques. IDC analysts believe that using LC/NC is an efficient tool for developing new solution approaches. For example, 24 percent of IT executives surveyed by IDC believe that LC/NC significantly speeds up and simplifies the implementation of custom business processes. As a result, LC/NC has now become the top IT trend. Gartner expects its use to nearly triple by 2025, at which time 70 percent of all new applications will be based on LC/NC.
See More: The Tech Skill Shortage and the Rise of Low-Code/No-Code
But even if software development with LC/NC is faster and more efficient, the developers required for this will not fall from the sky. Further training programs or individual initiatives are necessary to learn the required LC/NC qualifications. To this end, companies must offer various options for building suitable LC/NC know-how.
This could include courses for non-technical employees who have little or no previous programming experience. The pieces of training provide knowledge on how to implement LC/NC technologies. They provide an overview of the basic concepts of LC/NC application development that can be used to create mobile apps as well as app extensions. Finally, course participants are guided by experts at hackathons and other best practices to foster their own developer communities. 
The goal of these free courses is certification as a Citizen Developer to develop and operate appropriate LC/NC programs with the help of personal application expertise. In this way, Citizen Developers relieve professional developers of simple routine programming tasks so that they can increasingly become involved in the strategic work of application development.
Companies using LC/NC can leverage their in-house talent to develop and deploy applications faster. The evolution of the subject matter expert into a Citizen Developer means faster application development, and that subject matter expertise is better leveraged and more deeply regarding the development of such solutions.
However, LC/NC is not only for Citizen Developers; professional developers are also increasingly resorting to this technology for tasks that are too complex for a citizen developer, such as security functions (e.g., single sign-on), unusual API call-ups or response time-sensitive production interfaces. Companies can reduce development costs by using a unified development platform while achieving a faster time-to-market.
The expertise of experienced software developers will still be needed in these instances – but with the help of LC/NC, they can develop these functions faster and more securely, and then add them to a library, so Citizen Developers can then use them in the future.
Hence, the knowledge gap described at the beginning of this article may soon be closed as LC/NC becomes a more powerful player in the software category. LC/NC is expected to become the de facto standard method for creating almost any application and can be leveraged to create an ecosystem where numerous new apps can be quickly built and productively deployed. This will also have an impact on software development in general.
According to Gartner, in the future, applications will be designed and developed by the teams that will subsequently use them. According to Gartner analysts, this will make the previous technological and organizational silos of application development obsolete – such as automation, integration, and governance.
How are you leveraging low-code/no-code capabilities for your organization’s digital transformation? Share with us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. We’d love to learn more!

Vice President of Machine Learning & Intelligent Robotic Process Automation, SAP
On June 22, Toolbox will become Spiceworks News & Insights


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