In 2020, the low code development platform (LCAP) market was a $4.44 billion industry. That number catapulted to $5.571 billion by the end of 2021. Much of the growth was attributed to the gathering pace of digital transformation and agile adoption. By all accounts, no-code development tools were making it easier for in-house developers (citizen developers included) to build exceptional digital experiences.
Fast forward to today, and the LCAP market is on its way to becoming a $39.7 billion industry by 2027 at an impressive CAGR of 30.9%. This is when the low-code development technologies are being intensively employed for digital disruption and hyper automation.
Gartner highlighted this growth in a look at just the last couple of years. In 2019, these technologies represented a $9.1 billion market opportunity. That increased to $11.2 billion in the subsequent year and then to $13.8 billion in 2021.
At least some of that is due to growing interest in financial services companies. Operational automation, periodic reporting, self-service, AI-driven service delivery, microservices, API proliferation, data analytics, and workforce management have combined to demand the attention of CFOs and CTOs alike.
Today's financial services are focused on innovation. A growing number of companies are aggressively seeking out the tools, talent, and technologies that offer the most competitive and innovative solutions to achieve their business objectives.
Some of the most innovative changes are occurring on the no-code/low code side of the spectrum, where the bar for entry is significantly lower. As such, the role of developers within financial services firms, especially core banking institutions, has changed. There's a paradigm shift on the horizon that is expected to be felt in the talent, technology, and culture outlook for financial services firms.
To that end, this article aims to explore the innovative opportunities that no-code tools are creating in the financial services industry.
The agile values of interaction, working software, collaboration, and change-responsiveness are not new. In anything, they are being heard more loudly in today's financial services marketplace. And with good reason.
For starters, the ability of core finance teams to collaborate with non-finance teams (such as IT) has become a critical success factor. In fact, financial services firms without a dev team or full-stack developers are at a distinct disadvantage as they struggle to create an agile business operating model in the early stages of their digital transformation journeys.
No-code tools help realise agile finance by facilitating seamless business-IT collaboration. Customarily, stakeholders beyond the IT team aren't prepped to issue IT requests because the tooling required to build the most innovative digital solutions tends to be complex. Plus, the institution cannot expect them to be thorough with the software code needed, which is problematic since the output of that code is one of the primary contributors to digital innovation.
That's where no-code tools come in. They help bridge this gap by allowing non-technical users to participate in the development lifecycle by tapping into a library of pre-built, ready-to-use visual components. Result? Social collaboration is realised, and "time-to-innovation" is reduced.
Conceptualise user stories for a better understanding of the user's requirements and the associated development sprints
Expedite visual design, which allows for fast iteration and rapid prototyping
Reuse existing components and libraries, which leads to continual improvement and timely delivery of the user story
All in all, the no-code approach helps financial services companies advance their agile operating model and embrace concepts of rapid delivery, continuous improvement, and user-centric development.
“The economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic have validated the low-code value proposition,” says Gartner’s research VP Fabrizio Biscotti.
In the post-pandemic era, no-code development platforms have made a deluge of change possible for finance teams. For one, developers are no longer the province of IT alone. Management is nimble, agile, and open to revamping the development methodology. There are fewer boundaries, less bureaucracy, and fewer impediments. IT is now the facilitator, not the gatekeeper, which allows for more innovation and agility at the frontline.
But what exactly is "changing" to spark this proactive and collaborative approach?
As mentioned, no-code tools help break the silos, especially in business and finance teams. A shared understanding of their development journey is essential for all involved in the process.
More than that, they introduce new ways to accelerate production, inhibit hassle, and reduce time-to-market. For instance, LCAP platforms with an automated testing suite and component-driven development allow finance teams to iterate faster and revise more often.
And when it comes to business users (or citizen developers), these tools allow them to quickly turn content into prototypes (or even production-ready applications) with fewer resources.
Then there's the facility of cloud-native deployments that allows for rapid scaling, which means quicker results and greater agility.
These technological shifts also put security concerns, which otherwise run deep in financial sectors, to bed.
No-code development platforms are becoming easier to learn and use. Sure, you can say that the technical skills of a developer cannot be discounted, but there's no denying that compared to visual programming, coding is steeped in complexity.
What does this mean for the employee? Simply put, no-code platforms lower the barrier of entry and democratise development.
Of course, skills are required to delve into the intricacies of programming, but it's a far cry from the expertise required in the traditional approach. In fact, companies can now afford to try new things and implement new ideas. What's more, they can empower their employees with the tools to bring those ideas to fruition.
Such empowerment is not only good for democratisation, but it's also great for innovation. That's because it:
Encourages experimentation by multiple parties
Spotlights cost-beneficial solutions
No-code tools are a win-win.
Employees feel more empowered and motivated to contribute to creative solutions
Companies reap the benefits of innovation
Of course, the jury's still out on the potential influence of no-code platforms, but one thing is clear. Change is already underway, and it's not showing any signs of slowing down.