Published on January 22, 2024, 12:23 am

Custom applications have been the go-to solution for organizations looking to meet their unique business requirements. However, there are some drawbacks to these applications, including longer build times, higher maintenance costs, questionable transparency practices, and the use of generative AI that comes with its own set of issues. Additionally, there is always a risk that the original developers may no longer be available to maintain them.

In light of these challenges, the question arises: do custom applications still hold value in today’s world where citizen developers are using local or no-code platforms? Ankit Gupta, the practice director at Everest Group, delves into this topic in a conversation with PodChats for FutureCIO.

Gupta believes that custom applications are still relevant because they allow organizations to drive meaningful business outcomes on top of existing platforms. He emphasizes that technology may be designed to be simple but often ends up being complex. Custom applications bridge this gap by providing tailored solutions that align with specific business needs.

With the evolution of software-as-a-service (SaaS) and cloud computing, expectations around custom applications have also evolved. Business leaders now see them as tools to drive revenue and understand their cost function. Gupta highlights how architecture has changed over the years, mentioning mainframes and hybrid cloud environments as examples. Architects need to consider various factors such as business context and decide whether an application should be on the cloud or a different platform.

Furthermore, Gupta points out changes in how custom applications are executed. Developers now have more responsibilities beyond coding, including platform engineering, performance optimization, and quality assurance. The demand for custom applications has also expanded from mega-applications to microservices and micro-applications. This shift reflects the need for interconnected systems that provide users with a seamless experience across multiple stakeholders.

While there is a rise in no-code/low-code platforms and democratization of programming, Gupta assures developers and programmers that their roles will not disappear. He believes that local coding platforms will enhance developer capabilities, while citizen development will facilitate process orchestration and integration for users.

The potential impact of artificial intelligence (AI) on application development is something Gupta views as enormous. Global service integrators are heavily investing in AI capabilities, which will significantly increase productivity through automation.

In conclusion, custom applications continue to hold value in today’s technological landscape. They provide tailored solutions that align with specific business needs and drive meaningful outcomes. While no-code/low-code platforms and AI have their own implications, they augment existing development practices rather than replace them. Developers and programmers will still play a vital role in creating customized applications that meet the unique requirements of businesses.

To learn more about the future of custom applications, you can listen to Ankit Gupta’s conversation on PodChats for FutureCIO by clicking on the player above.

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