A recent survey of IT leaders from analysts Forrester estimated that the low code development market will be worth $15 billion by 2020, highlighting that low-code development platforms speed up application delivery, dramatically improving the ability of the IT departments to respond to business demands.

One of the key areas of use will be in the development of mobile apps. By the end of 2018 its estimated 84% of the world population will be using mobile technology. Developing and deploying the right business apps will companies become more efficient and profitable.

Greater numbers of companies are turning to low code development platforms to overcome the challenges often associated with developing quality and high functionality apps. Companies are recognising that developing mobile apps is essential to meet the needs of their business users and customers, however, the process of developing and delivering apps in a traditional way, can be complex. They can be expensive to create, implement and maintain and take a long time to develop and update.

The IT skills crisis, with the shortage of developers is also leading some companies to delay or put off developing apps altogether. Low code development platforms could help companies overcome these issues in 2018.

Below are five reasons why companies should consider low code platforms in 2018:

1. Saves Money

An EMM survey found that over 75% of enterprises are budgeting over $250,000 for mobility solutions, with over 25% budgeting over $1.5 million. Using low code development platforms can save companies money, as they don’t need to incur the cost of bringing in an external app development team as they are designed to be used by internal teams. Any updates can also be carried out by the internal team.

2. Plugging The Skills Shortage

The UK’s tech sector is growing twice as fast as the rest of the economy according to the 2017 Tech Nation Report, which means in 2018 the demand for tech talent is going to be even greater. However, it’s estimated 60% of UK companies face a skills gap within their tech departments and with Brexit looming this is unlikely to improve anytime soon. Low code development platforms can help companies plug the skills gap by enabling existing IT staff and non-developers to build mobile apps quickly and easily. According to Gartner by 2018 more than half of all B2E mobile apps will be written by citizen developers and business analysts using codeless tools.

3. Shorter Development Time

Traditionally it takes between six to nine months to develop a custom application or a mobile app, and up to a year in some cases. The development cycle is dramatically shortened using low code development platforms as internal staff can develop the app almost in parallel with specifying the requirements. They also reduce the amount of traditional coding needed, enabling existing staff, to develop sophisticated, full function web, hybrid and even native business apps, in a fraction of the time of other methods and, often, with simply the skills they already have.

4. Minimal Training Needed

Low code development platforms offer staff “no code” and “low code” options that allow for development by selection (point and click app development).  There are also options to enable companies to incorporate pre-existing software or develop new customisation. The tools are designed to be simple to use by internal teams, therefore saving time and money on additional training.

5. Platform Integration Issues Overcome

Creating apps that work for devices from multiple manufacturers with various operating systems and of differing sizes is a challenge, as is database integration and synchronisation. Low code platforms help overcome these issues as developers should only need to develop code once for every device and the app will run on mobiles, tablets and desktops. Equally they should allow data from multiple databases to be used and accessed in a single app, and the information combined for optimum use in the app design. The apps should also fully integrate with back-end systems, including the immediate synchronisation of data between user devices and back-end databases and systems.

I expect more companies will be using these platforms this year as they have the ability to transform the app development process, so companies can capitalise on the explosion in demand for mobile apps. Not only can companies use existing staff, but the process is quicker, more efficient and very cost effective.