Codeless enterprise software is about creating, deploying and operating applications without needing to see or use software code. In this article, I predict the rapid adoption of codeless enterprise software platforms in 2022 and give my reasons why.
Big leaps in enterprise computer software aren’t always ‘so big’
The rise of no-code application platforms
I write a fair few business books on or around the subject of enterprise IT, but rarely do I make predictions. Being English, I’m naturally cautious. But I think this year we will start to see the first shoots of a codeless enterprise software future, where robots and wizards take over from humans on the majority of enterprise software developments.
It’s strange to think how things have changed in the enterprise computing industry over time and to reflect on those moments when hype curves finally kicked-off, or disappeared without a fizz and bang, like flat party balloons. That said, I’m pretty confident about the impact of this one, and the fact it will happen very soon.
Remember the Millennium bug?
Examine past predictions and it’s apparent that humans aren’t very good at predicting the future of enterprise tech. Many of us still remember the ‘millennium bug’ panic that happened at the turn of the century with many IT pundits expecting hundreds of computers to simply stop working at the gong of Big Ben at midnight.
But the impact? It led to lots of IT leaders holding their breath when the moment came, and plenty of overtime in IT departments, nothing more.
Examples of mobile and web desktop apps designed and deployed on codeless enterprise software
My 2022 prediction for codeless enterprise software
Agility became the subject of my first book – Agilization – that I started writing in 2002 after a couple of years of management consulting in Europe. I was consulting for large corporations and their inflexibility in IT, methods, and organizational structures was crippling their growth. I became ever more convinced agility was something people talked about but didn’t know how to turn into a sustainable attribute of culture and behavior.
In all this, the biggest challenge they faced was the intransigence of departmental and IT leaders prepared to consider a new way of working. Back then, practically everything in the business was hard-coded.
Exec teams saw their organization chart as a true reflection of their organizational design, they were buying ERP systems that were a blueprint design that every other competitor was also adopting. The idea of agile workforces, agile IT, agile business models seemed ‘out there.’
Since the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve seen agile organizations come to the fore and pounce on the market changes that have happened.
Interested in trying out codeless enterprise software? Get in touch.
My 2022 prediction – The era of codeless enterprise software becons
The evolution of codeless software
This decade, I predict we will finally see Codeless enterprise software take center stage in enterprise computing. It will have a more profound impact on the IT world than most commentators forecast. The IT industry has been trying to remove coding from the list of necessary skills to create apps since the millennium.
It began with Enterprise Mashups leading the charge. Gartner predicted these tools would fill the void between inflexible ERP systems and business model orchestrations, serving the long-tail of demands for apps that could be used by individuals, teams and departments to get jobs done.
Within a couple of years, Enterprise Mashups got redefined as Situational Applications solutions.
Then, the enterprise IT audience got bored. But now, pretty much the same group of entrepreneurs that started building application platforms to remove coding from application design, deployment and operations have resurfaced as application Platform as a Service (aPaaS), High Productivity applications Platform as a Service (HPaPaaS) and yes, Robotic Process Automation (RPA) brands.
Why is NOW the right time for codeless enterprise software?
I believe this decade, this time around, Codeless enterprise software platforms are going to hit their mark for three very good reasons:
1. Digital transformation pressures
Digital transformation agendas sparked by new digital technologies and the rapid pace of Business model changes is increasing demands for adaptive apps platforms that reduce the time to market, costs and risks of producing and managing apps.
2. Data security
Data security threats mean companies can no longer tolerate spreadsheet apps, self-authored apps that IT can’t govern, and the existence of shadow data means that spreadsheets are no longer a sustainable answer to citizen developer requests.
With advances in AI emerging every day, the tooling for low-code and no-code development is getting seismically easier to use and with integration Platform as a Service (iPaaS) technology innovations. Technologies like Encanvas’s hyperdrive plugin permit the use of third-party DLLs, code, script, data sources, etc., there’s no limit to the type or scale of applications businesses can design for themselves.
I think COVID-19 has increased pressures on IT solutions to be more agile, and faster to develop. There is a pent-up demand now to build and adapt enterprise apps on a scale, and at a pace, that we’ve never seen before.
The notion that software development teams will sit down in scrums and start coding new apps in agile scrums seems truly outmoded by codeless. New codeless platforms offer MUCH MORE rapid development and integration (with almost no testing overhead). And, thanks to the use of robots and wizards in the software development process, it’s now possible to displace the need of human coders to write the majority of code.
COVID-19, then, might well represent the death-nail in what is now exposing itself as an ageing industry built around human coding of applications.
About Ian Tomlin
Ian Tomlin is a management consultant and strategist specializing in helping organizational leadership teams to grow by telling their story, designing and orchestrating their business models, and making conversation with customers and communities. He serves on the management team of Encanvas and works as a virtual CMO and board adviser for tech companies in Europe, America and Canada. He can be contacted via his LinkedIn profile or follow him on Twitter.