Enterprise software has come a long way. In the beginning, it was the purview of a select, exclusive group. Running on mainframe computers and accessed through green-screen terminals, software had an almost mystical quality to it—those applications were few and far in between. Fast forward through the client-server, web, mobile, and IoT eras and software has become much, much more abundant. Indeed, software is “eating the world,” to quote Marc Andreessen.
Welcome to the digital age.
More and more business processes are getting automated. However, a fundamental challenge has not gone away—that is the bridging of business requirements with software functionality. There are lots of software choices, but obtaining the right software can still be a hurdle.
Some may argue that the wider choice set has probably made things harder when it comes to driving value. There are just so many options—software on premises, in the cloud, on mobile, on devices, packaged, assembled, and custom software. Implementing the right software could add to a competitive advantage, but the wrong choice could turn into an expensive, embarrassing write off. Evidently, enterprise software failures haven’t gone away—many a time they are just quietly buried.
So what is an enterprise buyer to do? They either buy a software product, build a custom solution, or something in between. Building it will help meet exact business needs, yet more questions abound. Who will do the engineering? IT teams are often too busy. Getting someone within the business to carry out the development seems like the right approach since they know what they are looking for. If only they knew how to code? This is, of course, where today’s no-code and low-code platforms come in with the promise of creating software without having to write a single line of code.
Enter the citizen developer.
Yet, not all applications are suited for this path today. We will still need to hire professional software developers for building ERP/CRM systems and customer portals, for example. However, if one is looking to rapidly expand the reach of software across the enterprise, then low-code/no-code looks like the way to go.
To sum up, several software build options exist, each with their pros and cons. Here is an infographic that outlines how to choose the right approach to your application-building needs. Additionally, there is a buyer’s guide that methodically and systematically walks the reader through these options: when to use what and relative pluses and minuses.
What’s next on the horizon? Software generated automatically from natural language specifications using artificial intelligence? Clearly, there is no such thing as too much software. The demand for software is insatiable in this digital world. The future of no-code is still being written.