According to Gartner, 70% of new applications will be developed using low-code or no-code platforms by the time 2025 rolls around. This projection means that by 2025 traditional full-stack file-based application development will account for the minority of SLDC and DevOps efforts at enterprises. This shift in development practices begs the question about the future of DevOps and traditional SLDC processes. DevOps and Agile represent the result of decades of software development learnings. However, file-based application development methodologies may not all translate to the speed, nuance, and app-infrastructure of platform-built applications.
The Future of DevOps
I have often wondered if in the future, DevOps will be called DevOps or if it will evolve into something else. I have considered that as DevOps becomes the modus operandi, Site Reliability Engineering may become the long-term IT operating de jure. I reason that the term DevOps doesn’t describe an action or outcome in business terms, but Site Reliability Engineering does. You don’t need to be technical to understand, conceptually, what Site Reliability Engineering is all about.
Changing Economic Headwinds
Regardless of what software development practices will be called in the future, the future of application development is dramatically transforming now. There are economical and thus business drivers behind this change. The learnings from the first couple of decades of the 21st century have undone a century of the tried and true business principle of building a business around a static business model. Reliance on an inflexible business model demonstrably leads to extinction or retraction.
How do companies operate against an adaptable or agile business model? The short answer is software because it’s “soft.” This reliance on software means that the IT strategy is the business strategy! This change in business operation has heightened competition, driving the expectation and demand for highly shortened return on capital investments. This ROI pressure is juxtaposed against the omnipresent job shortage in IT, especially in software development roles.
How Low-Code & No-Code Helps
Low-Code Application Platforms (LCAPs) like ServiceNow solve two problems associated with building software and gaining value from it. First, LCAPs lower the barrier to entry for software “developers.” LCAPs provide many built-in capabilities, functionality, and services, reducing the technological know-how a software developer needs to produce applications. Second, LCAPs reduce the time to deliver new software. Because LCAPs represent a pre-built ecosystem of capabilities, functionality, and services, applications can be assembled rather than built. Developing apps on an LCAP is akin to producing a car on an assembly line. The heavy lifting of integrating APIs, fault handling, data protection, and other low-level tech concerns have already been solved, which allows less technical people to produce more value with less labor.
Leveraging Your ServiceNow Investment
At ServiceNow Knowledge, two women came on the stage and competed to see who could first build an application on their App Engine Studio. The winner is inconsequential as the live demonstration proved how quickly an application could be made using ServiceNow’s low-code platform. Thousands of companies own ServiceNow and use it for ITSM. They are either unaware or unwilling to take advantage of this platform to meet the needs and expectations of the business they support.
The IT industry has and will continue to have a shortage of software developers. But even if there wasn’t a shortage of coding talent, analysis by Gartner, Forrester, and others shows how insanely productive app builders can be using LCAPs versus traditional file-based methods and development languages. Servicenow’s MQ-leading low-code platform is part of the answer to address strategic directives at lightning speed against a perennial labor shortage, agile business models, and hyper-competition.