Reports Say Low-Code Tools Pay Off, but Many Enterprises Still Unaware

New survey-based reports from low-code vendors indicate their tools provide benefits, but many enterprises are still unaware of those tools and those benefits.

One report, titled "2018 Digital Transformation Readiness Survey," comes from Appian, which indicates its low-code and business process management (BPM) platform can help organizations that are overwhelmed by growing technical debt and the amount of homegrown apps needed to support the "digital transformation" so often discussed by research firms such as Gartner and Forrester.

One quick definition of this elusive term came from the latter analyst: "Digital transformation is not elective surgery. It is the critical response needed to meet rising customer expectations, deliver individualized experiences at scale, and operate at the speed of the market."

Noting that technical strategies for achieving this digital transformation vary by individual organizations, Appian said its survey identified three top areas that enterprises are aiming for:

  • Artificial intelligence and machine learning (reported by 93 percent of respondents)
  • Internet of Things (76 percent)
  • Natural language processing (58 percent)

Conversely, Appian said, enterprises believe they're understaffed and overwhelmed in trying to deliver apps to leverage those technologies, listing challenges such as:

  • Inability to support the future of work; 72 percent of respondents don't believe they'll be able to scale their efforts to keep up with business requirements in the coming years
  • Pressure to fix issues quickly rather than fix them right: 91 percent of organizations struggle with growing technical debt that has accumulated over time in a myriad of ways
  • Shortage of skilled workers; 82 percent of organizations can't attract and retain the quality and quantity of software engineers required

The company said its Appian Platform can help with those challenges (though only about half of organizations are aware of low-code development), listing benefits such as simplifying development and deployment of custom apps.

Meanwhile, a new report from FileMaker Inc. -- the "2018 State of the Custom App Report" -- focuses almost exclusively on the benefits of such custom apps, listing the following key findings of its report:

  • Custom apps are quick to build -- 72 percent of businesses had their apps up and running in under six months
  • 93 percent saw a reduction in inefficient tasks
  • 91 percent saw increase in team productivity
  • 51 percent saw an increase of over 40 percent
  • 77 percent saw a reduction in manual data entry
  • 76 percent reported a return on investment (ROI)

The Appian report was conducted by via an online survey in October 2017, gathering data from 463 respondents in organizations of varying size around the world, who were invited to participate through social media and emails sent to IT pros listed in's database.

FileMaker's results were gathered in October 2017 from 370 customers across North America, Japan and Europe. All respondents were involved in the creation of their custom app(s), and were actively using them.

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About the Author

David Ramel is an editor and writer for Converge360.