Is low code the solution to labour shortage?

  •   4 min reads
Is low code the solution to labour shortage?

The labour shortage is everywhere, but nowhere is the shortage more pronounced than in coding — so, is low code the answer to the labour shortage?

It’s recruitment time. The economy is recovering, but where has labour gone? As we pointed out recently, the labour shortage appears to be a worldwide problem; and different people have different explanations. In the UK, remainers blame Brexit; in the US, republicans blame the benefits system; democrats blame employers; Down Under Covid related isolation policies are blamed.

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Wherever you look, you see the same problem, but a different cause is cited.

What we can say is that the labour shortage is here to stay; we know this because of demographic changes.

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Media stories claimed that China’s population fell in 2020, although the data has not been formally released yet. It will be the first annual drop in China’s population since the late 1950s.

This, in turn, is changing the relationship between employer and employee.

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It is clear we need automation. The discussion on whether technology will destroy jobs is either over or on hold. No, the problem is not that technology might destroy jobs; rather that it will destroy some jobs, create new ones, but the current skill sets to complete the new ones will be insufficient.

Don Schuerman, Chief Technology Officer at Pegasystems reckons low code provides a partial solution — that is where software and software automation programs can be implemented by individuals with minimums usage of code.

“The problem is, many organisations are relying on outdated legacy IT systems. This decades-old technology often requires specialist knowledge of specific programming languages to maintain. This means IT teams are focused on finding candidates with advanced coding skills,” stated Schuerman.

He added, “In this day and age, hiring experienced coders is unnecessary and short-sighted. The need for businesses to digitally transform and invest in new technologies such as AI and automation will only continue."

“There is technology on the market that enables teams to achieve their business goals without having to hard code processes, called low code software. Moving to low code means organisations don’t miss out on exceptional candidates just because they don’t know outdated programming languages. Low code software makes it quick and easy for anyone with basic digital skills, known as citizen developers, to run, update and create new business processes. And because enterprise-grade low code platforms can easily connect and wrap around existing legacy systems, organisations can continue to pull value from legacy technology while building their digital platforms for the future."

“Deploying low code also means businesses can improve the way they run everyday operations, as it drives process efficiency, saves employee time, and boosts customer satisfaction. Using low code means organisations can be much more agile and adapt to change quickly, which the COVID-19 pandemic showed, is imperative."

“Using a low code platform is the ideal solution to underpin all of a businesses’ processes because it is not just IT professionals that are in the driving seat of digital transformation but business leaders too. With low code, IT and businesspeople have a common understanding of achieving objectives and closely collaborate throughout projects."

“Low code software is the missing piece of the tech talent puzzle. By investing in low code technology platforms, organisations can fill their openings faster so they can focus on what matters most.”

There is a caveat though. The current state of Low Code is not quite the nirvana it promises. At present the Low Code providers typically have deep process knowledge in particular industries or business functions. This allows them to create the building blocks of the existing processes into tasks and then arrange those tasks into an automated process.

The software company providing the 'Low Code solution' is therefore able to automate what you already have and not necessarily what you're about to build. RPA, while a kind of Low Code solution itself, goes one step beyond this and offers more flexibility in that it allows you to create processes without having the deep domain expertise that a lot of Low Code companies have.

Flexibility has seldom been more important, as businesses shape themselves to a fast changing environment and a moving set of expectations. At the same time, the drive to automate legacy and systems and processes is high on the agenda.

We expect to see significant leaps forward in the next 18-months as Low Code, RPA, AI and Process Mapping company's begin to merge their businesses into a more comprehensive, end-to-end offering. Which begs the question, where will we find the kind of talent that can pull this all together?

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