A slew of startups and early-stage companies are choosing NCLC, no code, low code software when the Indian software engineers’ monthly remuneration is witnessing a sharp uptick.
The two primary reasons these companies rely on these no-code tools are their low cost and easy and quick deployment. Today, businesses across India use these tools for everything, including but not limited to
- Building products
- Validating their ideas
- Experiment with a new product
- Build smartphone apps
- Build responsive websites
- Quicker launch and deployment of products
Reportedly, even established companies have started adopting no-code platforms.
A cohort of platforms like Air Slate, Stacker, Grid, Adalo, Glide, Airtable, and Bubble enables people with little to no coding abilitiesto build websites and applications.
“Even though low code app development is not new, a conflux of digital disruptions, hyper-automation, and the surge of composable business has led to an inrush of tools, and the demand is mounting with every passing day,” Fabrizio Biscotti, Research VP at Gartner (1).
According to experts, NCLC tools as a technological and social movement will continue to grow at a significant pace.
NCLC Stats for Perspective
- More than 500 million digital platforms will be developers by 2023 (2)
- About 65% of applications will be created using low code platforms, and about 66% of established firms will use more than four low code platforms to build apps (3)
- By 2026, the low code development platform market is likely to reach 112.43 billion USD (4)
- The global low-code development technologies market would reach 13.8 billion USD by the end of 2021, a 22.6% increase from last year (5)
What is LCNC?
As per the web’s definition of LCNC (6), “it is a software that offers a development environment used to build application software via graphical UI and configuration instead of traditional hand-coded computer programming.”
In other words, LCNC is basically a collaborative approach to software development that utilizes visuals for ease of working.
The LCNC platforms are sorted into web-based, server and desktop-based, and mobile-based tools, either hosted on the cloud or on-premise based on the type of application.
Even though low code platforms are meant for professional developers and need certain programming degrees, most business users can use no-code platforms (more popular than low code platforms) without coding skills (7).
Development of LCNC Over The Past Years
Over the past decade, businesses globally have been steadily switching from traditional methods to digitizing and automating their operations.
Notably, businesses spend a huge chunk of their IT budget on procuring or creating core application software exclusively for them. However, they are not without a set of drawbacks.
If you wish to develop a custom application, you will need to deploy extensive software developers, a pricey venture, and offer them typical development cycles of at least a few months to more than a year.
On the other hand, if you wish to procure ready-to-use software, it can build application silos. And often, such software does not integrate with other IT applications seamlessly.
In contrast, LCNC platforms offer you simple visual drag and drop interfaces that you can use to automate forms and other processes, allowing you to quickly build an enterprise-grade custom app without writing any code at ten times rapid pace.
“These NCLC platforms have built a new layer for non-coders and coders. People have started moving towards no-code platforms and launching new apps and websites without stressing about learning code. And now they can launch their products faster than ever before,” Madhuri Maram, Co-founder of Experian, which launched a no-code tutorial platform, Nocoloco, last year (8).
Notably, these platforms are not new. They have been around for years. These platforms emerged from earlier RAD, rapid application development tools like Lotus Notes, Excel, and Microsoft Access that put excellent development-like abilities into the hands of business users, aka non-IT professionals.
Over the past few years, these platforms have witnessed a rising demand as they proved to be a more cost-effective, secure, and quicker way of developing apps.
Some of these entities include AppSheet; a no-code platform acquired by Google in January last year, Honeycode; an equivalent by Amazon launched in June 2020, Microsoft Power Platform; a low code platform, NoCode.tech, NoCodeAPI, Bubble, and Appsmith.
These platforms have been designed to provide a simple UI that allows people with no coding skills to create apps (9).
“A conventional coding program is entirely tax-based. You will first need to write the code and then check it somewhere else. This repeated process of writing and checking is pretty painstaking and time-consuming,” said Abhishek Nayak, the co-founder of Appsmith, Bengaluru (10).
You can use low code platforms which need minimal coding to develop apps. Notably, most of the coding processes are rapidly being replaced with the drag-and-drop visual interface.
“It is a simple process. With these no-code tools, you do not have to do anything except drag and drop with your mouse. You don’t need to write a single code. And you will get results within seconds,” stated Mohd. Danish Yusuf, the founder of NoCodeAPI, Aligarh (11).
The LCNC has witnessed a massive surge during the digital boom, mainly driven by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“During the pandemic, most organizations implemented WFH. Whether we talk about an established IT firm or an early-stage startup, every business understands the importance of money and time. These LCNC platforms rank high on both of these factors,” stated Abhinav Girdhar, Founder and CEO of Apply Pie, a Noida-based no-code solution to build apps, websites, chatbots, to more than seven million users (12).
The “New Normal”
LCNC platforms became the game-changer amid the pandemic when businesses were slowed down because of the coronavirus safety guidelines. When there was uncertainty, it gave non-programmers a viable option to keep their businesses afloat.
This new approach to creating web and mobile apps is growing exponentially across different software development stages worldwide, and the story is no different in India.
There are so many examples of businesses building their businesses on LCNC platforms. For instance, Doc Crates, a MedTech startup, used Bubble’s no-code tool to offer health and fitness assessments.
Grab Chain, a networking platform, built its site using no-code stacks with a combination of platforms like Wix, Airtable, and Zapier.
“I started using LCNC platforms last year to build a website and found several tools online. Creating something yourself at this low cost has never been this easy,” states Kunika Agarwal, a no-code enthusiast (13).
According to Gartner (14), 65% of applications will be created using no-code platforms by 2024. Another study suggests that low code technologies would jump at least 23% this year with a market size of 13.8 billion USD (15).
As Gautam Nimmagadda, the CEO of Quixey (16), a no-code solution for application development, explained, businesses will extensively prefer building software with drag and drop tools over the traditional coding in the upcoming years.
A survey by Bubble in 2020 on no-code and traditional programming highlights that app development with no-code tools is 4.6 times faster and affordable. It further suggests these tools are 5x easier to use compared to traditional programming.
How Can It Benefit Your Business?
“We are witnessing an increase in the demand for low-code products. Multiple factors are influencing this trend. The primary factor is the SaaS model’s commoditization. Purchasing software for a business has become similar to purchasing a new dress online. You go to a site, select the offering, pay the bill, and within seconds, you get the access,” explained Venkatesh Ramarathinam, Vuram’s CEO (17).
Indian businesses are continuously collaborating with tech firms and startups to enhance their IT operations. They are looking to automate their processes quickly, efficiently while also keeping their budget in check. It surged massively during the pandemic. In addition, the pandemic also caused further demand for low code solutions.
According to Abhinav Girdhar, the Founder of Appy Pie (18), “LCNC products are gaining popularity with no code set to be the big thing in the industry. In the Indian market, there is no shortage of innovative ideas. And, no code solutions will help turn these ideas into reality. It is an age of no code, where ideas are more important than skills. No code solutions will ensure that their lack of technical prowess does not inhibit people with excellent ideas.”
Below is why adopting LCNC solutions can be beneficial for your business:
- Often LCNC platforms offer analytics and reporting abilities bundled with integrated version control systems with one-click merge and publishing abilities.
- Since the industry is witnessing a rapid expansion of its customer base, low code companies are also expanding their presence and accelerating their product portfolio with a wide range of solutions with various software use cases across the hybrid and multi-cloud infrastructure.
- Since these solutions have a big library of pre-built workflows and tasks, it allows businesses to easily and quickly translate their needs into automated workflows with enhanced compliance and agility.
- Eliminate the cost of hiring people to write code and software maintenance. Most LCNC platforms offer support to businesses to solve various IT challenges by connecting data across systems.
Read Also: Top Robinhood Alternatives in India
Will LCNC Platforms Replace the Traditional Coding Platforms?
LCNC platforms are democratizing the coding culture. What was previously only accessible to a small portion of the community in the tech market is now opened up to a broad range of user bases.
Like what we mentioned in our previous story, Big Impact on Banks with Fintech Players Entering the AMC Space, similarly, LCNC platforms complements the traditional coding platforms. It is not about replacing one with another.
As Emmanuel Straschnove, the founder and co-CEO of Bubble (19), a New York-based LCNC platform that recently closed a 100 million USD Series A funding round, asserted (20), “there is a possibility for these platforms to eclipse the conventional coding platforms as they cater to more people.”
“If leveraged right, LCNC platforms have the potential to be one of the essential things in the tech world as there is a desperate requirement for more accessible tools. Software is everywhere, and the company that will make it truly easy to create will take over the tech world and see the success that not many companies may be able to do,” he added.
The legacy industries like manufacturing and healthcare, which are less digitized traditionally, have been most impacted by the no-code ML and AI technologies. Even though they have domain experts, they often face issues while attracting high-quality AI experts. With no code AI tools, domain experts will be self-sufficient, resulting in increased productivity.
“While LCNC can significantly help companies and entrepreneurs validate their ideas, create products, and business models, there are certain limitations to it. Various issues are associated with LCNC, including privacy and rigidity,” asserted Vivek Bonde, an R&D developer at Finzly India Pvt Ltd (21).
Hence, developers will continue developing for a long time since most of the problems that LCNC platforms solve already exist and are kind of simple, like building another delivery service, or a website, or a marketplace. We still need people to solve harder issues, while LCNC platforms can help people solve issues as they become less complex.
Nonetheless, coding will always be there. However, developers will have to constantly refine their skills to match the growing trend of LCNC.
Launching an app-based business is becoming easier than ever, with the no-code tools gaining prominence worldwide, including India. It has helped several businesses rapidly digitize their operations.
People are creating clones of all sorts of apps, including LinkedIn and Twitter. For instance, Vladimir Lytus from the US created a counterpart of the microblogging platform in less than a week without writing a single line of code (22).
Are you also using any LCNC platforms for your business? How has your experience been so far? If not, what is stopping you from adopting these tools? Let us know in the comments below.