To say the increasing demand for technology talent in Asia Pacific – especially in coding, data and cybersecurity – has not been sufficiently met, is an understatement.

Technology has become a key catalyst for business growth. However, its advancement could be impeded by a talent deficit, as a recent IDC report finds that between 60% and 80% of organizations in Asia Pacific have struggled to fill roles in the areas of security, development, and data compared to 2022. 

In the Asia Pacific region, many companies, from SMEs to large enterprises, have accelerated digital transformation in the past couple of years as a response to the COVID-19 crisis.

The outcome is an alarming shortage of tech talent

Unable to retain talent, 55% of companies have reported experiencing greater numbers of employees quitting. This worrisome trend has led to 37% of organizations delaying projects and another 36% changing their tech approaches.

While companies are pushing for upskilling and reskilling, they also need to realize outcomes as soon as possible to retain their standing in this increasingly competitive landscape. To continue the momentum of digitalization, here’s where low-code and no-code technologies come in, as they can address the twin threats of talent shortages and the need to roll out offerings tailored to customer demands in record time.

DigiconAsia finds out more from Suresh Sambandam, CEO, Kissflow:

What is low-code/no-code technology all about?

Suresh: Low-code platforms enable users to build custom apps with minimal coding. They are typically open-ended systems that give users the freedom to build or extend functionality for their services. For example, developers can add employee onboarding and payroll modules to transform their human resources management systems (HRMS).

On the other hand, no-code platforms are best suited for non-technical workers as they rely on drag-and-drop functions and visual programming. Basic functions and components can be activated by automating or bundling multiple workloads together. Because of their simplified nature, users can bypass IT assistance, which shortens applications’ time-to-market.

How do such technologies address the tech talent shortage?

Suresh: Both low-code and no-code platforms are designed to eliminate the technical complexities of app development, which can boost companies’ digitalization efforts. Even though low-code platforms require some knowledge of coding, developers need only write small snippets to get services or apps up and running. This allows organizations to make full use of existing tech talent while also lowering hiring requirements.

Whereas with no-code platforms, they are designed to enable anyone with no technical expertise to build apps by simply dragging and dropping workflows and automating certain processes. IT expertise isn’t necessary, as they can simply determine the business logic of app functions through graphical representation. This, in turn, enables business teams to deploy services that can satisfy customers’ expectations and employees’ need for convenience.

Ultimately, both platforms can push organizations to innovate faster and cheaper without having to wait for employees to achieve the right level of competency.

What is the key distinction between low-code and no-code for organizations looking to leverage one or the other?

Suresh: On the surface, low-code and no-code platforms have similar capabilities in that they both empower employees with fast and simplified app development experiences.

However, what separates the two is the target user and the complexities of the application they want to develop. No-code platforms are aimed at business teams that have no coding knowledge but are able to chart functions and workflows visually.

Despite its ease of use, developers may struggle to implement advanced functions and components that require technical expertise.

This is where low-code platforms come into play, as they bring business and IT functions together within a single console. Minimal integration allows developers to scale, bundle, or customize application functions within a shorter timeframe.

However, because codes are not pre-architected, there is a risk that developers may create vulnerable or inefficient systems that can disrupt business operations.

When choosing between low-code or no-code platforms, companies need to consider how much technical knowledge their employees have and what types of apps they are looking to create. If their workers do not possess any coding skills whatsoever, then it is best to use no-code platforms that are suited to creating basic and easy-to-use apps.

However, companies that desire more freedom to customize and transform app functionalities may benefit from low-code platforms. With its minimal use of coding, workers do not have to spend too much time upskilling and reskilling themselves, and they can reap the benefits of the platform relatively quickly.

There are also cases where leveraging both platforms prove to be more effective.

How can low-code/no-code bring business and IT together?

Suresh: One of the main challenges we’ve noticed when organizations are undergoing digital transformation is that IT teams do not involve business users in the app development process. This setup hinders effective service provision, as business users have domain knowledge of the relevant functions that are necessary to achieve success.

For this reason, a unified low-code/no-code platform is necessary to enable both business and IT teams to translate ideas into apps.

For example, business users can use no-code platforms to build project management software or service request tools that fulfill a specific use case. From there, IT teams can transform these programs into sophisticated systems by integrating code modules.