74 Percent of European IT executives and developers see the demand for software accelerating sharply, and 69 percent are also concerned about the demand for developers. Low-code reaches mainstream status as a cost-saving, fast and collaborative alternative. […]
Siemens subsidiary Mendix has published the results of the international study “State of Low-Code 2021” on the status quo of low-code technology in the working world shaped by Corona. Together with the opinion research institute Reputation Leaders, the market leader in the field of low-code for companies surveyed 2,025 IT experts from Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, China, the USA and Great Britain in May and June of this year. The results show the increased awareness in recent years, the versatile areas of application as well as the potential of low-code, which enables the realization of digitization projects faster and cheaper than traditional software development.
Demand for enterprise software grows faster than available programmer capacity
The pace of digitization, which has accelerated massively worldwide since March 2020 and is associated with high demand for software applications, has also surprised IT experts: 50 percent of all respondents worldwide did not expect today’s dimension of high time and resource pressure. 74 Percent of the European study participants assume a further accelerated demand for software, 69 percent are concerned about the feverish demand for software developers. Around 80 percent of all software projects today are already months behind schedule.
In Germany, the situation is similar, although not as extreme as in the other markets: 67 percent of the surveyed German IT experts expect an accelerated demand for software development. 44 percent of Germans feel the special urgency of solving the “software jam” – a value that corresponds to the global average. Interesting appears a difference in the
Consequences that the respondents want to draw: A comparatively high proportion of German respondents in a country comparison falls on the intention to hire more external developers (26 percent). In view of the shortage of skilled workers, it seems that the German IT managers are either more conservative or hesitant towards new, cheaper and faster technologies such as low-code or want to accept higher costs. While in the USA 29 percent are taking even more consistent, new paths in software development, in Germany only 19 percent are already firmly in favor.
High acceptance for low-code as an alternative to meet software demand
Low-code is now widely known and often established. An overwhelming majority clearly see the need for alternatives to traditional software development: Almost two thirds of respondents (65 percent worldwide, 60 percent in Germany) see low code in the digital upheaval as a trend that their company should not miss in the long term. And not only in the future, but already now: 77 percent worldwide and 69 percent in Germany say they already use low-code business applications in their organization. The German respondents attest to the high relevance of industrial applications: 54 percent see the potential of low-code to give industrial production digital momentum.
The advantages of low-code are clear: 45 percent of German IT experts see faster development processes, 44 percent see lower costs and 41 percent see better, collaborative cooperation between IT and the specialist department. Other advantages for low-code include improved responsiveness, customer satisfaction and the relief of existing IT resources for 36 percent of respondents. The comparable responses from non-low-code users are also interesting: They see as the biggest problems in software development that processes take too long (47 percent), old legacy systems have to be continued (45 percent) and too little collaboration and exchange projects slow down (35 percent) – core arguments for convinced low-code users.
Not only among IT decision-makers, but also among developers in Germany itself, the low-code technology has gained enormous popularity. Among 38 percent of traditional software developers, respondents even see enthusiasm for alternative low-code development. Only 2 percent currently consider them resistant to low code. At the same time, IT developers estimate that almost 49 percent of everyday work processes can be done via low code.
Diverse fields of application of low-code
Model-based, visual software development via low code involves more employees in digitization and is now used in many different industries. According to the German respondents, the most important areas of application are applications for complex, individual enterprise software (37 percent), industrial IoT apps (35 percent), for automated, existing work processes (35 percent), for data modeling and visualization (34 percent) and for automated applications of robotic process automation (31 percent). Other examples are productivity applications for automated data collection and management, apps for customer portals or as extended functions of existing legacy systems.
According to the respondents, 50.6 percent of the low-code applications developed in Germany are definitely from business-critical areas and of high complexity, such as the replacement of so-called legacy systems. The figure is 54.7 percent worldwide and 52.2 percent in Europe.
For software developers as well as for IT decision-makers, low-code skills count as important future skills, although Germany is still somewhat more reserved here: 47 percent of German IT experts (58 percent worldwide) are convinced of the importance of low code for the next career opportunity. 29 Percent of experienced coders see low-code knowledge as nice-to-have (16 percent worldwide). Among experienced coders, only a negligible 6 percent see the technology as irrelevant for their further professional career.
“The study confirms our experience with customers and partners worldwide and what we have long believed in,” said Derek Roos, CEO and Co-founder of Mendix. “Low-code is the future of software development and Mendix is leading the way. Low-code is inherently agile, it massively increases the pool of developer talent and it is designed for collaboration and rapid software development. Low code, and especially low code with Mendix, is fast becoming a core technology that companies need to succeed in a digitized world.“
Low-code market expert Hans de Visser, VP Product Management at Mendix, adds: “Low-code is becoming increasingly important, even in business-critical applications. The awareness and acceptance on both sides, among IT executives and software developers characterized by classic coding, is already very high today and continues to grow. Low-code can make a significant contribution to accelerating app development – even if IT professionals are missing, as IT-external employees also contribute their expertise to software development. We see worldwide, as well as in Germany, that the demand for tailor-made software solutions is growing across industries, and companies must meet this in order not to be left behind. According to our study, it seems that in Germany people still think about software development in a somewhat more traditional way- but this does not change the great challenges of digitization, the feverish demand and the required pace, which requires alternatives now and in the future.“