Are Low-Code Solutions Replacing Expensive On-Premise Tools for Software Integration?


Low-code solutions are poised to be the next big disruption in tech – a force multiplier that impacts everything from traditional iPaaS to application development to workflow automation, writes Rich Waldron, CEO and co-founder of

ResearchOpens a new window suggests that 66% of companies have software-related skills gaps, particularly in revenue-specific disciplines such as marketing and sales. Specifically, line-of-business (LOB) teams are struggling to keep pace with their work and to complete their most important projects because of the constant changes with their software tools, or “tech stack.” 

Having so many different software applications to manage silos their data and makes it difficult to orchestrate processes at scale. The solution is low-code platforms, which abstract away the complexity of technology and data management. Previously, closing the gaps between poorly-connected systems used to exclusively be the domain of engineers. However, low-code is democratizing the ability of teams, technical and non-technical, across the organization to close the gaps in their stack and do more, faster.

An important step in the path to our impending low-code future is the development of the “API economy,” which has proliferated rapidly with the rise of cloud computing. Effectively, cloud-based software tools which offer open APIs that applications pass between each other – have become enormously popular. 

The best low-code solutions make use of the widespread availability of open-API software that integrates different software solutions to each other. The best low-code tools offer robust, seamless API integrations that let users seamlessly flow their mission-critical data across all their tools.

Low-code solutions give even non-technical LOB users the power to take full ownership of their data, software, and processes – without requiring an engineering degree or support from an already-overburdened IT department. So the immediate benefit of low code to IT teams is how it frees up an organization’s valuable IT resources for more strategic projects such as digital transformation. 

However, low code also puts business teams in the driver’s seat in terms of building faster, more efficient solutions they customize to solve their own unique challenges. No one is more of an expert on your organization’s most important CRM use cases than the power users in your sales organization, after all. 

Low-code solutions have become increasingly important in 2020 due to the increase in urgency for digital transformation to empower companies to work remotely due to the pandemic. However, many companies are still unsure what low-code is and how to implement it. Many are still skeptical that no-, low-, and flex-code solutions are more flash than actual, problem-solving substance, but in fact, low-code solutions can be powerful options for companies who are looking to do more with their existing resources. 

A key component for effective low-code technology is flexibility. Low-code solutions offer less-technical users a level of abstraction to implement and use sophisticated technology for the first time, while also providing developers and engineers scripting support to backdoor into the solution if they need to fine-tune the initial framework to fit their unique use cases. “Flex-code” provides the ability to switch between low-code and high-code interfaces, as needed.

As IT departments turn their focus to digital transformation, security, and governance initiatives to keep up with the rapidly evolving technology landscape, LOB users will no longer have to rely on IT to implement technology. Instead, business teams can leverage low-code technology to fill in the gaps in their skill sets and their technology stacks, to solve business problems faster themselves. 

Since low-code solutions offer so many benefits, it’s not surprising to see them proliferate across enterprises and disrupt many segments of the technology landscape. To examine the transformative impact that low-code solutions will continue to have on the market, let’s take a closer look at three specific technology categories – integration platform as a service (iPaas) solutions, application development tools, and workflow automation.

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How Low Code Is Revolutionizing Traditional Integration Solutions

Until recently, the software integration space has largely been the domain of expensive and cumbersome on-premise tools. Legacy iPaaS solutions, for instance, have been a traditional solution for integrations, but tend to have front-end interfaces that are code-heavy and require IT resources and many months to implement properly. Low-code is breathing new life into the integration market by offering organizations an easier way to integrate their tech stacks. 

It’s been noted that there are more than 8,000Opens a new window different software solutions presently available for marketing alone (to say nothing of sales, customer support, HR, and other functions that each require their own unique tools). In fact, the average enterprise company uses as many as 1,200+Opens a new window different software applications. The so-called “SaaS explosion” has led to a massive and ongoing acquisition of software tools. Each point solution does what it’s supposed to, but communicates poorly with other applications. As such, each solution becomes a silo that locks up its important data, unable to share or flow with other applications. 

Low-code integration solutions give any business user across the organization the power to build custom integrations between their point solutions, unsilo their data, and optimize their processes. Without having to wait months on an IT helpdesk ticket. Better still, IT teams themselves are free from the burden of building brittle, one-off point integrations for limited, internal purposes only to have to go back and endlessly maintain them each time they break.

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Build Software Applications Yourself – No Engineering Degree Required

“There’s an app for that” is about to become a considerably more popular phrase with the rise of low-code application development platforms, which are ushering in a new era of application development for business users. For the first time, non-engineers and less technical users will have the ability to capitalize on low-code development tools to create unique software and business tools themselves. 

Gartner reports that three quarters of large enterprises will use at least four low-code development tools by 2024Opens a new window , and low-code will account for more than 65% of application development activity.

Additionally, ForresterOpens a new window predicts that the accelerated adoption of low-code platforms will change how teams organize and the market should “expect to see new hybrid teams emerge, with business users and professional developers building apps together with low-code tools built on cloud-native platforms.”

Low-Code Automation – a Key Driver of Increased Productivity

As LOB teams today are challenged to accelerate company growth, customer retention, and digital transformation projects, they will increasingly rely on technology such as process or workflow automation to accelerate their productivity and achieve faster business results. Enter low-code automation, which gives non-technical individuals the power to implement automation technology themselves.

Low-code democratizes the ability to execute highly technical, multi-step processes across one’s entire tech stack. Marketing teams are now using low-code automation to orchestrate their entire lead management lifecycle, from initial lead capture to enrichment to scoring to routing. Sales teams are automating their entire quote-to-cash process from closed-won deals to first invoice paid. 

Low-code puts the ability to solve technical challenges with software applications directly into the hands of the teams who use those particular software tools every day. As a result, LOB teams can use low-code automation to build solutions that are not only effective, but attuned exactly to solve their unique challenges, and adaptable enough to prevent future issues. 

This new wave of automation users – known as “citizen automators” – are the ones who most clearly understand their own functional challenges. They’re the ones who most frequently use the tools in their tech stack…and know the limitations. Finance teams spend all day managing their ERP. Customer support teams work with their helpdesk tool every day. These LOB users are deeply knowledgeable about their tools but still struggle to execute important tasks that require engineering knowhow or complicated data management to fix.

Low-code automation removes the restrictions and empowers both non-technical and technical users to create sophisticated workflow automation to streamline data movement across multiple destinations. Freed from tedious and repetitive tasks, citizen automators, product leaders, and IT can uplevel their skillset with automation to unlock their full potential and solve their fundamental business challenges exactly as they need to. 

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According to the recent World Economic Forum reportOpens a new window , by 2025, 85 million global jobs will disappear as a result of automation. However, the report also found that as many as 97 million new roles will emerge as a result of automation. 

Low-code technology represents a fundamental shift in the business landscape and will enable more end users to tap into the full potential of their business tools. Additionally, low-code offers opportunities to capitalize on the next wave of automation – without requiring an engineering degree to do so.

Low-code is set to open new areas of opportunity for job seekers by empowering people who aren’t engineers – and do not necessarily possess the know-how to code – the ability to secure more-technical careers. Low-code technology presents business users with the opportunity to tackle technical processes and fundamental business challenges in an environment where the usual, highly technical threshold is abstracted away. Low-code will also serve as a gateway to those who desire to become citizen automators by offering them a way to gain familiarity with technology and ease their way into the more complex work of actually writing code and creating frameworks. 

As the pandemic continues to put pressure on businesses to accelerate digital transformation initiatives, increase employee productivity, and drive innovation, low-code solutions will empower more individuals to participate in the new tech landscape. While the full extent of low-code’s impact on the technology and business remains to be seen, the future is bright for low-code solutions.

Do you think low-code solutions will eventually replace all on-premise tools? Let us know your thoughts on LinkedInOpens a new window , TwitterOpens a new window , or FacebookOpens a new window . We would love to hear from you!