For years, the threat of digital disruption and subsequent need for digital transformation has been driving IT strategy. With technology taking an ever bigger role in professional and personal lives, businesses need to innovate faster and deliver high-quality experiences to stay ahead of their competition. Web and mobile development demand is booming, challenging IT departments to keep up despite limited resources. As a result, IT is on the hunt for app development solutions that can overcome this challenge. Hence the rapidly increasing adoption of low-code application development platforms over the last two years.

Innovative IT leaders are now using low-code platforms as a key part of their digital transformation efforts to accelerate delivery of complex applications that improve the experience of customers and the efficiency of employees. 

To research the state of application development, we asked 3,300 IT professionals in all industries around the world about the priorities and challenges for application development and what they are using to speed up delivery. And one of the key conclusions was that low-code is no longer just for innovators and early adopters. In the survey, 41 percent of respondents said their organization was already using a low-code application platform. And, a further 10 percent said they were about to start using one. (By the way, we intentionally promoted the survey through third-party media to ensure we were not just polling OutSystems fans.)

But that was just one of the many findings. After analyzing their responses, the result was our sixth annual State of Application Development report.

Get the full State of Application Development 2019 report

And here are our six key findings.

Have We Got Big Low-Code News for You

As I mentioned before, low-code has crossed the chasm, and the majority of IT leaders now have low-code on their radar. (For those of you not familiar with Geoffrey Moore's Technology Adoption Lifecycle, where have you been for the last 27 years?)

The upshot? Exciting and busy times lie ahead for market leaders like OutSystems.

In Even Bigger News, Low-Code Delivers

With a reasonably large sample size and a sizeable proportion using low-code, we couldn’t resist comparing the responses of those who use low-code with those of organizations who don’t. The results showed that low-code users had several advantages over their counterparts. Take a look:

  • Happier with app dev speed. Low-code users were more likely to describe their organization as happy or somewhat happy with the speed of application development.
  • Faster. Low-code users were more likely to deliver applications in four months or less.
  • More agile. Low-code users were more likely to score their agile maturity as level 3, 4, or 5 (on a scale of 1-5).
  • Fewer apps in backlogs. Low-code users were more likely to say they their app backlog has improved since last year.
  • Higher digital maturity. Low-code users were more likely to describe citizen development as tightly governed.

To get the numbers for these criteria, grab your copy now.

Low-code Adoption - The State of Application Development

So, What Else Is New?

Along with the good news (from our point of view) about low-code, there are some other key facts from the world of app dev in 2019:

  • Demand for application development is at an all-time high. The number of applications slated for delivery in 2019 is 60 percent higher than last year with 38 percent planning to build 25 or more apps.
  • Development time remains excessive. For close to the majority of respondents, the average time to deliver a web or mobile application is four months or more.
  • Backlogs remain stubbornly long. App dev backlogs are not improving for almost a third of respondents.
  • Skilled developers are hard to hire and keep. An overwhelming majority of respondents described app dev talent as scarce and that hiring takes longer and costs more. Moreover, the numbers show retention of app dev talent is of equally grave concern.
  • Agile practices are slow to mature. Most respondents said their organizations have invested in agile tools and services in the past year. However, the average agile-maturity score was lackluster, meaning most organizations are still defining their agile processes.
  • Customer-centricity continues to rise. Many organizations have invested in customer-centric practices in the past year, including customer journey mapping, design thinking, and lean UX. For the new apps slated for development in 2019, those that will be used directly by customers or business partners were identified as most important, out-scoring internal business applications.

Want to see the figures behind these facts? Download a copy of the full report, click here.