Goldman Sachs Injects $90 Million Into Low-Code Software Maker WSO2

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Amid a lack of tech-talent, Wall Street bank is eyeing a growing market for do-it-yourself app builders that put development in the hands of business-line employees

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Mountain View, Calif.-based WSO2 said it will use the new funding to expand its cloud-based low-code platform, which is designed to simplify the process of building business apps for employees outside of corporate information-technology departments. is designed for. It currently has 750 customers in 85 countries, including private sector businesses, as well as state offices, hospitals, schools and other public sector organizations.

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Sanjeev Veeravarana, founder and CEO of the company said that the rise of remote work has put pressure on companies to accelerate efforts to digitize business systems in every department. But those efforts are running up against a shortage of information-technology workers, which predate the pandemic but has gotten worse in recent months, he said.

“There is a huge skill gap,” said Mr. Veeravarana. He added that low-code software provides an intuitive, simple and clear way for non-technical workers to build apps themselves without having to spend weeks or months with IT teams. “You don’t have to worry about all the technical stuff,” said Mr. Veeravarana.

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Low-code platforms—or no-code, as some tech vendors call a pared-down version of the tool—usually include dashboards that allow users to process the app-building process without requiring users to manually enter computer codes. allow to imagine. As they move icons and graphics around the screen, the program accesses the required data, integrates other software tools, and automatically generates the underlying code.

“It’s basically a drag and drop app builder, where every component is tightly coupled to backend logic and data,” said Kevin Wu, head of product marketing at Airtable, a nine-year-old San Francisco-based firm that specializes in cloud- manufactures based. Spreadsheet collaboration software. Airtable launched its own low-code platform on Tuesday, although many of its existing software tools offer similar capabilities, Mr. Wu said.

He said workers outside IT are already becoming more tech-savvy, yet many people are stuck using older apps that weren’t designed for the way they work. With low-code software, Mr. Wu said, “they don’t have to be.”

Low- and no-code platforms are at the core of an emerging corporate technology strategy known as citizen developers or software democratization, which seeks to put software development in the hands of business-line employees who use apps. . It also aims to free up IT teams for high-end digital projects.

Global revenues in the low-code application platform market are expected to reach over $14 billion by 2025, with a compound annual growth rate of 26% from 2020 to 2025, according to IT research and consulting firm Gartner. Inc.

Nearly 37% of more than 1,800 corporate-technology executives at global companies, polled this year by IT-research firm Forrester Research Inc.

He said they currently use low-code, no-code or digital process automation tools. More than a quarter said they encourage non-technical workers to take on software development work through a low-code citizen developer strategy, the firm said.

Last month, US employers posted more than 360,000 IT job openings, a two-year high, according to IT trade group CompTIA.

Macario Gallegos, senior vice president and chief information officer at Seminole Hard Rock Support Services, owner of Hard Rock Cafe, said that employees in the company’s human resources and finance departments worked together to build apps that automate the process of gathering data sources in a low-cost way. Code has started using the platform. Accelerate the task of creating business reports. The platform, he said, makes apps “easy to deploy, easy to configure and can open up a world of options of its own.”

Office workers at Virginia-based freight carrier Estes Express Lines use a low-code tool recently built by software firm Pegasystems. Inc.,

To develop an app that routes the necessary data and paperwork to process refund requests in one place. “We’re not in a place where our truckers are developing apps sitting in their trucks,” said Todd Florence, the company’s chief information officer.

Since launching the citizen-developer program about three months ago, Estes’ non-technical staff have built more than a half-dozen apps, Mr. Florence said.

Utah Valley University used low-code software to enable outside developers to quickly build a mobile app for incoming students to register for classes, find classes and other services via digital tickets.

Troy Martin, a vice president and chief technology officer in the school’s Office of Information Technology, said that less-coded software has made it easier to bring in third-party contract developers instead of hiring new ones. On average, it can take four to six months to recruit, interview, onboard and train new software engineers, he said. “Whereas it takes less than two weeks to increase the existing teams,” he said.

Angus Loten at [email protected]


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