How the ‘Great Rebalance’ Accelerates Low-Code/No-Code Adoption
If you were just reading headlines, you would think that careers in tech were limited—especially developers and DevOps professionals. The media and job sites have highlighted layoffs weekly since the beginning of the year, with over 120,000 employees eliminated from 400+ companies (including Amazon, Alphabet, Microsoft, Meta and others). With this much shedding of technical talent, you would think there would be a glut of developers and limited new career opportunities for software developers.
In fact, the opposite appears to be true. In the U.S., job growth accelerated sharply in January while the unemployment rate dropped to a 53-year low. According to a recent report from Bain & Company, at a macro level, the demand for technical talent is still high but is now growing within non-tech industries. “The growth of demand for tech talent from non-tech business has really been a game-changer,” said Jonathan Frick, a partner at Bain and one of the study’s authors. Using publicly available job postings and U.S. government data, Bain determined that demand for tech workers at non-tech businesses outpaces demand at tech businesses for the first time.
So is the “Great Resignation” now being replaced by the “Great Rebalance” as other industries finally catch up and have the opportunity to find and hire technical talent? That appears to partly be true; however, there’s a bigger takeaway than developer talent is simply changing employers … it’s a more fundamental and structural shift in the industry. As talent moves beyond traditional tech firms, non-tech businesses seek to apply software innovation differently. So let’s discuss why this sets the stage for 2023 being “the year of no-code.”
Continuing Demand for Digital Apps
It’s been said that “every business is now a software business” (in the words of Watts S. Humphrey, the father of quality in software and CMMI). Businesses of all sizes and across all industries have taken advantage of software to enable sweeping digital transformation initiatives and put software at the heart of their business strategy. In fact, IDC predicts that by this year, over 500 million digital apps and services will be developed and deployed using cloud-native approaches – the same number of apps developed in the last 40 years. The majority of these new apps will be targeted at industry-specific digital transformation scenarios and will define competitive requirements in every industry.
This exploding appetite for digital apps still vastly outstrips the supply of developers in the market. As a result, non-tech organizations have been desperately seeking new and creative solutions to keep up with demand. This is one of the key reasons businesses across all industries and all sizes have turned to no-code. By accelerating the pace of developing software, using visual and intuitive drag-and-drop tools, no-code levels the playing field and enables more rapid delivery of digital applications without having to wait on scarce IT or development resources.
Headcount Budgets Remain Constrained
Non-tech organizations tend to be more pragmatic about how they invest – unlike tech firms, they are less likely to simply invest in “shiny new technology” but look for stricter business justifications and returns on development projects. Also, the overall continued market uncertainty and concerns about recession will continue to pressure businesses to get the most value from their investments. So even though it may be easier to find developers in the talent pool, there’s not a blank check to hire at any price.
This will drive non-tech organizations to look for ways to enable app development within their business teams as part of a ‘do it yourself” (DIY) approach to software development. The DIY approach enables business teams to play a more central role in app development using low-code/no-code solutions. By democratizing app development, low-code/no-code enables a whole new range of non-developer roles (often referred to as “citizen developers”) within an organization to take on the building of software applications. While IT and professional developers are still important for certain types of apps, the use of no-code has increased the talent pool inside most organizations, allowing employees within the business to take on development tasks.
Non-Tech Organizations Accountable for Everyday Delivery
Startups in the tech industry have been accustomed to a traditional venture life cycle of innovation – which has historically been accepting of years of challenges as long as the startup could demonstrate rapid growth at all costs; a single successful exit would be seen as a reward. However, non-tech firms don’t usually have the luxury of this sort of development model and are under scrutiny to show profitability and quarterly earnings. Non-tech businesses look for approaches to accelerate new sources of sales or add new products to market more quickly. They need to exploit app development strategies that deliver results in days/weeks (not months/years).
Instead, an ‘everyday delivery’ approach to no-code is much more evolutionary and provides a continual but rapid stream of updates to the end user as part of a high-velocity, ongoing improvement cycle. The deployment can be based on specific features without a need to connect it to a specific Agile sprint deadline or other formal milestones. This mode of continuous everyday delivery builds on the rapid development and continuous deployment automation provided by low-code/no-code platforms. Combined, this allows for quick, small updates to be pushed frequently (perhaps daily) to production while maintaining higher levels of quality than traditional “big bang” software releases.
They say every challenge presents new opportunities. While the recent tech layoffs would appear to create challenges and uncertainty, “The Great Rebalance” presents an opportunity for a new accelerated model of innovation across industries as non-technical businesses find new and different models for software development. In the dynamic and unpredictable markets we live in today, those who evolve and leverage low-code/no-code to compete, expand and thrive will outgrow and outpace their peers. This is why businesses are hungrily adopting low-code/no-code tools and everyday delivery approaches to realize the benefits of accelerating time-to-market and reducing time to deliver results.
The article first appeared in DevOps.com
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