xSuite Blog

Expert Knowledge on Digitalization & Automation of Business Processes

xSuite Blog

Expert Knowledge on Digitalization & Automation of Business Processes

Getting to Grips with No Code and Low Code

Topic: AP Automation | Skills Shortage

Blog: Getting to Grips with No Code and Low Code


There has been a lot of hype lately about the terms “no code” and “low code.” In its 2022 half-year report, for example, SAP described no-code and low-code application development as a key technology trend, along with process automation, data, and artificial intelligence.

But what do “no code” and “low code” actually mean? In this blog post, we provide a short and sweet explanation of no-code and low-code development, especially within the context of digitizing and automating business processes.

The objective: to enable even non-programmers to program applications

No-code and low-code platforms aim to enable users with no programming skills to program applications. In other words, users do not need to know a programming language or be database experts, as low-code and no-code platforms offer other options for app programming. These options generally take the form of visual representations. Users are provided with a module, form, or workflow catalog which they can use as a basis for assembling applications, primarily by using a drag-and-drop feature. The finer details can then be adjusted via the settings.

The distinction between no code and low code is fluid. Whereas no code means that applications are created exclusively using the approach described above, low code means that it is possible to necessary to use program code at certain points. Both approaches aim to make developing apps more accessible. In enabling users to program apps by themselves, low code and no code facilitate a kind of democratization of software development. This is why the term “citizen developers” is often mentioned in this context. Citizen developers are employees from specific departments who program apps with the help of low-code or no-code approaches, but are not software developers in the true sense. 

Why no code and low code are necessary: companies need to develop apps even when they have a shortage of skilled workers

Why are these approaches becoming so popular? This question can be answered by looking at the underlying need: to counteract a shortage of skilled workers. This is an issue becoming more and more pressing in many countries. For example, in Germany, there were 137,000 IT vacancies in November 2022, compared to 96,000 at the beginning of 2022 (according to Bitkom, the industry association of the German information and telecommunications sector). This shows that a shortage of skilled workers, especially in IT, is a fundamental problem—and one that is getting far worse.

It is against this background that IT projects are faltering or not getting off the ground at all. When company departments come looking for support, the response from IT is increasingly that there are long waiting times or indeed that projects cannot be implemented at all. For many SAP user companies, this situation is exacerbated by the fact that migration to S/4HANA is still pending but must be completed in the next few years. This migration is often time-intensive, making IT resources even scarcer.

Meanwhile departments such as purchasing or accounting are needing to simplify, standardize, and automate their processes in order to meet growing demand. In these departments, too, there is often a shortage of staff. Low-code and no-code approaches offer a solution by giving these departments a certain degree of independence or reducing dependence on IT resources, which tend to be stretched even thinner.  




Dina Haack is Head of Marketing at xSuite Group. She has been at home in the B2B software industry for around 10 years. At xSuite in Ahrensburg, her main topics are: SAP-integrated invoice processing, electronic invoices and automation.

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