(this article originally appeared on Venturebeat.com)
Nearly half of small and medium businesses (SMBs) say they use low-code/no-code (LCNC), according to new research from Accenture.
Past waves of IT democratization have already helped SMBs accelerate their business growth, optimize their operations, and compete with larger rivals. It is fair to assume LCNC will have an equal, if not larger, impact on SMBs. Today, there are a growing set of examples of SMBs employing LCNC to enable and simplify everything from customer acquisition to back-end operations and processes.
41% of the SMBs surveyed are using LCNC platforms to create new user experiences, 37% are using it to develop new customer-facing applications, and 37% are using it to develop new business applications.
This is significant because SMBs have traditionally struggled to attract digitally fluent staff, let alone developers as this talent is easily snapped up by large enterprises. In fact, one in five SMBs said that their search for a LCNC platform was driven by the scarcity of digital fluency in the workplace.
The ability to innovate through LCNC platforms yields significant benefits for SMBs, including greater business agility (cited by 79% of SMBs), improved speed-to-market (56%) and higher productivity (53%). LCNC platforms can also help SMBs overcome the limitations of software-as-a-service (SaaS) and commercial off-the-shelf solutions (34%), as well as avoid vendor lock-in (20%).
Expect this trend to accelerate, as 56% of these SMBs plan to increase their weekly usage of LCNC platforms relative to other enterprise software. What’s more, 58% of the SMBs that use LCNC today expect their investment in the platform to increase.
However, LCNC platforms still suffer from a relatively high churn rate. Around 20-25% of SMBs have stopped using LCNC platforms that they had previously purchased primarily because LCNC platforms still have some way to go in understanding and addressing SMBs’ needs.
For instance, providers overestimate the importance of visual modeling and automating B2B interactions but underestimate the importance of cost savings and user interfaces — factors that significantly influence SMBs’ purchasing decisions.
Quantitative analysis includes n=458 US-based respondents from a mix of organizations (40% <1,000 employees, 34% 1,000-4,999 employees, 26% >5,000 employees) across 10 industries. Respondents either work for an organization that develops a low-code/no-code platform (49%), uses a low-code/no-code platform (31%), or supports/enables a low-code/no-code platform (20%).
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