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Total 39 companies invested
Total 79 companies invested

Low-Code/No-Code – a strategic way of cutting corners

For decades, businesses had only two options to develop applications: buy off-the-shelf apps from an external vendor with limited customization options, or build and customize their own from scratch with skilled developers and programmers. The first option is comparably cheap but inflexible while the second option is expensive but flexible to accommodate specific circumstances. For a couple of years already, a third option has been available – low-code/no-code methods (LCNC). So far LCNC has not been in high demand among business leaders, but the COVID-19 pandemic pushed more companies towards LCNC technologies as the digital transformation accelerated. And today, we are seeing LCNC approaches emerge and evolve, whereby any company employee can become a developer.

What is low-code/no-code and why is it useful

Low-code/No-code is the creation of software products by people without or only with a limited theoretical or practical background in IT. While No-Code is mainly used to create interfaces, websites and very simple apps, low-code is able to accommodate more complex initiatives such as business process automation or complex applications. The most crucial point here is that it is not rocket science.

Introducing simple and accessible LCNC tools empowers users, accelerates innovation and reduces the burden on IT departments.

There is always the possibility for employees to configure platforms independently and make quick changes without going through the IT department. The main argument for LCNC, however, is that you can increase the speed of product development extensively. Furthermore, it is possible to teach employees to work with LCNC in just a month or even several weeks, depending on the complexity of the platform, which ultimately supports your internal IT and their immense backlog on updates and patches.

And of course, LCNC is ideal for MVP development. While in theory MVPs by definition should already be cost-efficient, Low-Code/No-Code MVPs enable an even further cost reduction. If further development is desired — the MVP might be handed over to a more specialist service provider.

Financial overview of the industry and industry forecasts

In the US, the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated the shortage of software engineers to exceed 1.2 million by 2026. The projected growth for the software development employment sector is at 22% year over year growth. This is significantly higher than the average for all sectors, namely 4%, from 2019 to 2029.

While the job opportunities appear great for developers, the growing crisis of skilled labor shortages in the area of software developers seems dire. To counter businesses’ limited ability in making software and to address the industry’s challenges of underperforming efficiency and slowed innovation, Low-Code/No-Code platforms offer an alternative solution.

According to a recent Gartner survey, by 2024 more than 65% of the world's applications will be developed on LCNC platforms. The projected growth rate during this period is 165%. With the introduction of LCNC tools in companies, the number of LCNC developers can be increased. As already mentioned, LCNC tools are designed for people without any prior experience. This means that the main driver for solving the skilled labor shortage are the companies themselves. The key challenge at present is that the power of LCNC tools has not yet reached a common understanding at the C-level and therefore lacks wide support. Nonetheless, users are gradually realizing the benefits of rapid, problem-free application development for virtually any business task and are starting to either request such training or are simply doing it by themselves.

Thinking globally, even at a time when the adoption of DevOps is highly accelerated, the time it takes for an application to evolve is still enormous. This slow implementation is driven by complexity both in engineering as well as bureaucratic terms, which results in prolonged launch cycles.

However, change is in sight. The mixture of low-code and conventional innovation is projected to be adopted by 75% of businesses in the next five years and by 2030, the global low-code development platform market is expected to produce $187 billion in revenue.

LCNC vs classical development

LCNC does not exclude the classical development process, but accelerates the processes and makes it possible to involve employees with little experience. We are not saying that you can get rid of your programmers and software engineers, but that an additional layer of expertise can be added. So IT departments should not look at LCNS as a threat, but on the contrary IT can benefit from LCNC platforms by streamlining complex processes and increasing efficiency and flexibility. In addition, the large number of LCNC developers will allow the company to reduce the number of IT bottlenecks and reduce the workload for engineers. IT departments will still be able to manage and implement LCNC projects, but they will get rid of the routine and time-consuming tasks associated with writing code. According to recent estimates, IT and business users work together on more than 60% of development projects using the LCNC model. Harvard Business Review also reported that one IT developer can accompany up to 10 LCNC developers, increasing the overall flexibility and productivity of the entire process. LCNC allows a company to use software engineers for more advanced tasks while assigning easier ones to LCNC developers.

Low-code supports drag-and-drop integrations and built-in development interfaces, and if the platform has a manual coding option, it can speed up development for users who are used to programming through writing lines of code.

Challenges of LCNC

The main challenge of using LCNC is limited flexibility. With traditional codes, developers can customize the software to any degree they want, whereas low-code and no-code rely on the built-in functionality of the platforms and the plugins. If a certain functionality is not provided for, then the development team might have a hard time fulfilling related requirements.

One more challenge is that the more a business invests in the use of a specific Low-Code/No-Code platform, the more difficult it is for them to switch to a different platform. This might increase the dependency of the business on an individual vendor.

LCNC portfolio companies at Joint Journey

Now it is time to feature some of our Low Code/No Code portfolio companies, striving to exceed the limitations.

The first is Directual. They started their journey in 2014 as a prototype Low-Code platform. Now, Directual is a Low-Code platform that allows you to scale and go further than just building MVPs. The platform is extremely flexible, high load tolerant and is easy to integrate with other Low-Code/No-Code platforms and services. The company switched from Enterprise customers to mass market customers and eventually, they decided to pivot into Web3.

Target audiences of Directual are:

  • Startup founders at the MVP stage, who are the most active participants of Directual’s community.
  • Startup founders past the MVP stage. These firms approach other, much larger companies and cater to their secondary development needs. With the help of a No-Code platform, they simply offer services that can be done both faster and cheaper as opposed to a dedicated dev team.

Joint Journey and Directual are about to launch a platform they developed together which automates inbound application processing and portfolio management.
The second company is Sizze. They help simplify development for teams of any size, niche, and skill level. It provides Figma Design to React Native Code. Sizze creates fully responsive prototypes in Figma and afterwards helps to enable a faster development of the actual product with developer-friendly code outputs. It is ideal for clients to develop applications together with the entire team and release apps and design solutions quickly. They have all sizes of customers and have experience delivering their services to one person or one thousand people strong companies. Sizze makes it really easy to create adaptive designs in Figma and convert them into clean, reusable React Native Code for both IOS and Android devices.
And last but not least is WeLoveNoCode. It is a platform founded by Nik Shevchenko and Danila Gorenko, which helps to get full-time, long-term remote No-Code jobs with some of the largest companies in the world such as HP and Siemens. Now not only small startups, but also the largest companies in the world are using No-Code, and through this platform everyone has the opportunity to work at Airbnb, Tinder, and many other well-known companies. WeLoveNoCode is also a great community of No-Code developers and No-Code tool founders who are ready to share their experience and knowledge with beginners in LCNC. Moreover, every user can explore over 100 hours of video tutorials, tons of ebooks, and no-code articles, as well as pass the tests and get certificates from WeLoveNoCode.