A codeless future
OCTOBER 7, 2020 • BLOG POST • TRISHA HARRY, PRINCIPAL, VENTURE INVESTMENTS, HEWLETT PACKARD PATHFINDER
IN THIS ARTICLE
- No-code is disrupting traditional software development by empowering business users to create applications, breaking the dependency on traditional software development processes
- As the no-code platform leader, Unqork’s cloud-agnostic platform replaces existing systems of record and presents an easy-to-use interface for complex application development by the business user
- We are excited to partner with Unqork to create an on-premise full-stack solution utilizing the HPE Ezmeral container platform and help our customers digitally transform their applications
HPE Pathfinder invests in Unqork, the leading private no-code platform to help customers’ digital transformation
Building applications has always been the province of developers, a mystical practice closed to general business users. As a result, enterprises have spent a significant amount of time and budget luring developers to their companies to build business-critical applications. Unfortunately, extensive coding time and high overhead costs associated with software development has limited productivity. But now companies have a new option. There is a transformation underway that empowers the business user to create software and companies to attain rapid application development. A codeless future is closer than ever.
Natural Next Step
Let’s first review how software development got here. For 40 years the process for developing software remained unchanged — developers write code. The initial low-level languages (with a high learning curve) progressed into the higher-level languages we have today (Java, C, and Python). These new languages added layers of abstraction and ultimately, made programming easier for software developers.
So why is traditional coding no longer working? Besides a lack of skilled developers, there are several other factors involved — the creation and management of custom code as well as the cost, time, and evolving skillset required in developing applications, to name a few. No-code is the natural next step in software evolution’s progression. No-code platforms can decrease the time required to develop new applications and increase accessibility to unskilled application writers.1
No-Code Movement: Democratizing Technology
No-code is not a new idea. The first no-code mass-adopted application was Microsoft Excel. The difference now is availability of no-code for the enterprise environment. Instead of enterprises investing heavily in developers and code-intensive platforms to make businesses more productive, the no-code trend takes a different approach and ensures the business users (even if they have no prior programming experience) are able to quickly and easily create general applications around date-centric functions such as data entry, curation, and record-keeping. By removing barriers, users will become more self-sufficient and agile.
The no-code movement is also viewed as an opportunity to change the face of software. An increase in access and usability of software development tools can lead to a more diverse set of users contributing ideas.
But not all no-code platforms are equal. The frontrunners allow users to easily complete complex calculations, automate binaries, and create code snippets (irrespective of language) with an intuitive GUI to outline relationships between the microservices/application constituents. These platforms can also address instances that require multiple variances and custom codes more effectively than traditional coding.
Public and On-Premises
The no-code opportunities are not restricted to those who want to move their applications and data to the public cloud. The vast majority of the no-code market TAM exists on-premises in the form of legacy applications that need to be refactored and replaced through no-code solutions. Public cloud would make the ideal environment but the realities of data privacy, data gravity, and application dependencies make moving the application to public cloud difficult. Enterprise IT environments are not all public cloud, much of the world’s system of record live and will likely stay on-premises for years to come.
The Expanding No-Code Market
The Low-Code/No-Code (LC/NC) TAM shows a >$40 billion market size by 2025 with a 28% CAGR2. VC investments are also reflective of the growth opportunities with 46+ deals3 in 2020 and $529M invested in LC/NC startups in the US in 2019. This is five times more than five years ago. Behind the growth is the market belief that companies will require more customized software than can be supplied by developers.
The tremendous market opportunity is further validated by a number of incumbents adding LC/NC capabilities to their current solutions, such as Microsoft (PowerApps), Salesforce (Lightning Platform), Atlassian (Automation for Jira), Amazon (HoneyCode), and Google (recent acquisition of AppSheet).
The HPE Pathfinder team is continually looking for new disruptive technologies aligned with HPE’s strategy of helping customers digitally transform their businesses. We have been paying close attention to LC/NC and are now investing in the leading startup in the sector: Unqork.
Unqork: No-Code Software Platform for the Enterprise
The no-code ecosystem is peppered with many companies attempting to solve vertical-specific problems. The feature sets provided by the large cloud providers are geared towards full-stack solutions in a generalist setting. Within the start-up ecosystem, we see few players offering a solution. Unqork is one of those rare instances of a pure play, full-stack platform that supports complex application development with the added advantage of being cloud agnostic. It is an enterprise-grade platform solution with a mature and proven product in complex industries such as financial services, insurance, and public sector. Unqork developed applications become the system of record providing customer stickiness, while the easy-to-use interface enables new applications to easily be developed by the business user.
Unqork is a problem-solver. Some of its most compelling benefits are to:
- Allow customers to quickly train generalists to engage in application development.
- Enable users to build enterprise-grade software without writing code.
- Provide the ability to create applications in weeks versus months or years.
- Offer a near-zero data management structure in a document-based JSON database.
HPE and Unqork: Empowering the Business User
The no-code movement is aligned with HPE’s strategy of helping our customers digitally transform their applications and enhance business agility by enabling the business user. Unqork is cloud agnostic and deployment neutral and we view this as an opportunity to partner and create an on-premise full-stack solution utilizing the HPE Ezmeral container platform. We are excited to work with the Unqork team and provide a solution to our customers that allows generalists and IT professionals to build complex, enterprise-grade applications of business value.