Pre-pandemic, we were used to hearing buzz words such as ‘digital transformation’ and ‘automation’
But the challenge with digitisation was that it was slow, and the rates of failure were often high. Fast forward to today, and we’ve had no choice but to digitise. And fast. The events of the past two years have seen us move from a time whereby organisations traditionally relied on recruiting high-skilled technology experts to build apps from scratch through a combination of clicks and code, to an era in which online applications and services need to be built faster than ever before.
Across every sector – and every country – organisations were forced to digitally transform their business model overnight. Banks had to create web portals to manage an influx of loan requests. Meanwhile, meal delivery services had to leverage automation and self-service to support customers, when they needed it. The pandemic has created a world in which technology and convenience go hand in hand. As the demand for convenient living continues to increase, companies are finding it difficult to meet this need. Much of this struggle to keep up with burgeoning online demands is due to a lack of low-code skills within businesses, which is a fundamental tool in efficient app creation and development.
So, as the future of work continues to change, it’s time to recognise that low-code technology is now at the front and centre of this evolution. It’s no longer just nice to have. It’s a necessity. But why?
Enter: Low-Code Technology for Skills Development
We recognise that low-code technology has grown in prominence over recent years. In fact, low-code development will inevitably proliferate even further in the next few years, with the creation of millions of new apps and services being a major indication of that. According to a 2021 Gartner study, low-code development technologies are estimated to value at £23 billion by 2025, with a compound annual growth rate of over 20%, showing the extent of the opportunity here.
The challenge in embracing low-code technology to build businesses sits in an organisation’s ability to upskill employees. Currently, we’re in the midst of a skills crisis when it comes to technology and in particular, coding. The extent of the crisis is so great that the UK government formally acted on recognising the need for schools and higher education to provide digital education through publishing its Innovation Strategy in 2020. Since the start of the pandemic many businesses have had to assess how the lack of widespread coding and web development skills amongst those employees with no or little tech skills is hindering an effective digital transformation in the workplace.
As the digital economy continues to evolve, low-code development can help bridge skills gaps in the workplace and help employees to learn relevant new skills, develop new apps at speed and keep up with the latest sector specific trends. What’s more, low-code tools can also support employees in preparing for jobs of the future.
Low-code for success in the digital community
Just as low-code tools are opening workforce reskilling opportunities, they are also breaking down barriers for communities to succeed in the digital economy. From helping to boost students’ vocabulary skills to enabling them as creators in the digital world, they’re equipping people with programming skills which tomorrow will be just as important as the ability to read and write today.
In many ways, given the rising availability of low-code learning opportunities, development in this area is faster and more accessible than traditional methods of professional development. What’s more, apps can be built from anywhere. Now more than ever, people need access to the technologies and skills necessary to land these jobs of the future. Since the onset of the pandemic there has been a 37% increase in registrations to courses – joining over 2.2 million learners gaining technical, business, partner, and soft skills.
Low-code for building resilient businesses
With this burgeoning skills gap, understandably, IT teams are incredibly stretched.
Embracing low-code technology can support business leaders in removing the current burden placed on their IT teams and the costly investment in ad-hoc external developers who don’t add to the quality of their business on a consistent basis. In fact, this is why we’re leveraging natural language and augmented analytics to help all of our customers drive meaningful decisions, particularly those with no – or low – digital skill sets. Our new AI-powered data stories add automated plain-language explanations to dashboards to help customers to understand and interact with data, at speed.
At a time when budgets have to stretch further, with low-code, businesses can scale with confidence and without sacrificing quality. As employers expand their network of employees who can build apps, this not only provides immediate efficiency in creating and maintaining services and apps to customers frequently, but it establishes a culture of digital sustainability.
Making low-code development accessible will directly empower employees and build a resilient workforce. Instead of looking for external, high-skilled technicians, focusing on upskilling and reskilling existing workforces with basic web development and coding skills will benefit employees and employers alike.
About the Author
Simon Quinton is Senior AVP Tableau UKI at Salesforce. Salesforce, the global CRM leader, empowers companies of every size and industry to digitally transform and create a 360° view of their customers. For more information about Salesforce (NYSE: CRM), visit: www.salesforce.com.
Featured image: ©AndSus