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What Johan Den Haan from Mendix predicts about low code platforms?

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The low code platform not only opened doors for non-programmers but also opened the doors for the programmers to channel their idea and provide the best platform for you to develop your custom-tailored apps or even your start-up from the base.

An interview conducted by the industry of things in 2021, highlights the importance of low-code platforms Mendix. It is translated from the German language.

Mr. den Haan, in a press release, published a few weeks ago, you proclaimed “The Year of Low-Code” at Mendix 2021. How do you come to this assessment?

The analyst firm Forrester estimates that 75 percent of all enterprise software will be created with low-code technology this year. This has prompted industry experts to already call 2021 “The Year of Low-Code”. 

That may be premature. But one thing is certain: The need for individual company software is growing much faster than the programming capacities available worldwide. More and more companies are therefore setting up app factories in order to involve more employees in digitization with the help of model-based software development, which is low-code.

Would you say that the use of low-code in companies is being driven forward by the Covid 19 pandemic – almost in sync with digitization in general? Or is this technology a technology that is being neglected in view of the tense economic situation of many companies?

At the beginning of the pandemic, low-code enabled companies to adapt quickly. This enabled them to adapt business processes and keep operations running. New digital solutions could be developed and deployed faster with the help of low-code than would have been possible with traditional programming. 

Low-code helped companies deploy new solutions in days or even hours that would otherwise have taken weeks of development and programming.

However, this also shows what the technological landscape of the future will look like. The economic situation is forcing many companies to continue automating their business processes. Low-code helps with that. It allows companies to create more custom software in less time.

You also keep talking about low-code ecosystems. What do you mean by that specifically and which business areas should specifically benefit from such an ecosystem?

Because of the pressure of competition, companies cannot afford to miss out on next-generation functionality. However, they also cannot afford to develop every digital solution from scratch.

Therefore, we want to offer companies with our ecosystem a new level of agility that they have not known before. In our marketplace, we offer developers all the resources they need to assemble components into complete solutions. 

So you can put together your own application from ready-made software modules, templates, and function packages. Alternatively, there are already fully developed solutions provided by members of our community, partner ISVs, or Mendix itself.

Edge computing, i.e. decentralized data processing at the edge of the network, is also becoming increasingly important. What role does the low-code approach play here?

Low-code can play a crucial role here in making processes more efficient. For example, a manufacturing engineer can write, modify, and deploy his own applications. All without having to involve the IT department.

It’s fairly easy for OT engineers to get started and use low-code because they’re used to abstracting and working with models. And that is exactly the basis of low-code.

The Mendix platform can also be integrated with many ERP systems via our new data hub. This means that we can act as a kind of interface between the machine systems and the business IT.

For this year it can be assumed that the OpenAI consortium will make its language model Generative Pre-trained Transformer 3 (GPT-3) available to the general public. You see a parallel here with a core principle of low-code platforms. What does it look like?

Although AI-enabled decision-making is already taking place in physical environments – whether it’s applying for a loan or getting a speeding ticket – we will see more sophisticated applications of artificial intelligence and machine learning across industries this year. 

As part of this shift, there is a greater focus on integrating models and capabilities into various business processes and operations to enable better insights and data collection.

Additionally, there will be greater advances in developing ways to make AI more accessible to citizen developers by operationalizing AI with low-code technology. This will revolutionize AI as we know it and make it more accessible. 

The barriers to using AI will largely disappear. Citizen developers can then use AI to solve business problems without the need for a developer or data scientist.

What can the future of low-code look like? Where do you see limitations for the principle?

Of course, there are also special requirements that cannot be handled immediately with our platform. But in such cases, you can simply integrate the classic program code. Low-code and programming are not mutually exclusive, they complement each other.

The future of low-code is not low-code in the strict sense, but AI-supported application development. In doing so, we are doing away with ourselves in order to enable the next generation of software development.

Therefore, there are no limits to what can be programmed with Mendix. The only limit that we set ourselves is the framework of the applications: our clear focus is business applications. Computer games or 3D modeling are not part of our field.

So, what do you think about it? Mendix got acquired by Siemens and it can show a clear picture of integrating the PLC systems with a low code tech platform for further unique solutions. Or even further customer-oriented or tailor-made solutions for each company under the same industrial core.

Or even customizing the internal structure of the companies. The benefits of integrating IIOT with low code and the proper utilization of the data.

IDC predicts by 2025, 90 zettabytes of data information will be available per year. It means a capacity of 22 trillion DVDs, stacked on top of each other.

In my opinion, the main purpose of companies is to search for people who can visualize and customize the information in a presentable platform for their employees and customers. I hope it just doesn’t become bothersome or additional work for the non-programming engineers.

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