What is the value of No-Code and Low-Code?
According to Gartner the markep cap of Low-Code and No-Code is 48 billion US dollars annually, and it’s growing by 25% every year. It’s easy to dismiss this as hype, simply because of all the shiny ideas we’ve seen the last 20 years in our industry, and how many of these are on the scrapyard of history today. However, Low-Code and No-Code is different for reasons you’ll hopefully understand as you continue reading. Before I can explain why, we will have to define Low-Code and No-Code first.
Defining Low-Code and No-Code
No-Code is typically implemented as tools that allows “citizens” to create software, which is why it’s often referred to as “citizen development”. Citizens here of course implies people with no prior software development experience. It’s often implemented by creating drag and drop interfaces, where you can create software using high level abstractions, facilitating for visually creating software. We’ve arguably had such interfaces for decades through constructs such as FoxPro, Visual Basic, and Macromedia Dreamweaver, so it’s really nothing new.
Low-Code on the other hand is typically implemented by automating parts of the software development process, resulting in modifiable code, allowing existing software developers to become more productive. Obviously there’s a distinction between these two ideas, even tough they are often seen as one and talked about as the same thing. The software industry loves acronyms and the 4 letter word typically used to describe the combination of No-Code and Low-Code seems to be “NCLC” these days.
Here at Aista we’ve more or less chosen to completely ignore No-Code. Not because we don’t see the value proposition. Having “citizens” being able to create software obviously has value, if for no other reasons than that it democratizes software development, and results in access to more resources being able to solve the problem at hand. The latter of course being important in an industry where we have a net negative unemployment rate and it’s almost impossible to find qualified resources to do a job these days. The reasons why we’ve chosen to ignore No-Code is because we believe it’s simply “moving the problem”, and we want to solve the problem. So for us it’s all about increasing productivity, at which point we don’t see No-Code as a viable and permanent solution. To understand our point of view, please watch the following video demonstrating our product. It’s only a minute long anyways.
The value proposition of Low-Code
There are roughly 30 million software developers in the world today. To create something resembling the system we demonstrate in the above video would require probably 2 to 3 of these developers working for a couple of months. The average software developer probably makes 3,500 dollars per month. This implies a price tag for the end product we show you above of at least $10,000, and probably two months to finish it. By automating this process like we demonstrate in the above video, we can have a computer assemble the system in 2 seconds. This reduces the TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) by roughly 99.999999 percent, resulting in that everyone, regardless of how rich or poor they are, can easily create highly advanced administration systems, to automate and improve upon their existing processes. And even if the system needs a software developer’s touch after the automation process is finished, obviously this becomes a very much different price than if it was to be assembled from scratch by the same developer.
The primary business case for this is reducing costs for existing companies. However, it’s easy to forget the more altruistic edge here, which of course is summed up in “everyone” in the above sentence. Imagine non-profit organisations having the ability to become better at what they do, with better transparency and more efficiency, due to having better administration systems. Or imagine some system created during a local catastrophy to help distribute food to the needy, etc, etc, etc.
Obviously we have a business to run, and our primary goal is to make money running our business, but at the core of our value as a company is “serving the underserved”, which of course is why we have chosen to release our entire platform as open source, allowing everyone to use our product, including those without the monetary means to pay for our services. A company is dependent upon profit to exist, but that’s not why we do what we do. Profit is simply “how” we can do what we do. The “why” of course is different.
Anyways, there are 30 million software developers in the world today. These are making in total roughly 1 trillion US dollars annually. Our slogan as a company is “Automating 80% of enterprise software development”. When we reach this goal, we will have saved the world 800 billion US dollars annually. Hence, my argument is that Gartner is wrong, very wrong. The market cap of No-Code and Low-Code is not 48 billion dollars annually, it’s 800 billion dollars annually, and growing … ;)
The market cap of Low-Code is 800 billion dollars annually