How Low-Code No-Code platforms can bring greater diversity to the technology sector

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Most people don’t need much convincing that the technical skills gap in the UK is growing exponentially, in part due to the increasingly rapid pace of technological innovation and development. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) are changing not just the required skills profile, but the very nature of work itself, through automation, knowledge and data capture and the optimisation of business processes.

At the same time, technical developments are offering different ways to think about related challenges. An example is the way in which low-code, no-code (LCNC) platforms are opening up application development to a more diverse range of aptitude and talent. These platforms offer a visual environment that allows users to move and combine application components quickly and easily without the need to write code line by line.

Low-Code No-Code platforms allow people with little or even no previous coding experience to quickly learn enough to develop and test applications through the configuration of pre-designed modules. LCNC platforms can empower business users and domain experts to rapidly prototype, develop and deploy applications with minimal coding effort in areas such as IT Service Management, Enterprise Asset Management, HR and Strategic Portfolio Management. Since the majority of these platforms are often cloud based, the time to market can be extremely rapid, offering additional cost-savings and efficiencies.

Organisations can start to close their skills gaps by gaining access to more applicants and a more diverse array of talent, and people who might have previously struggled to enter a career in technology are given more opportunities and subsequent choices to further develop their skills in software development.

How Low-Code No-Code can enable greater workforce diversity

The diversity profile of traditional ‘core’ technology roles in compute infrastructure, applications development and solutions architecture, remains slow to change. At Sopra Steria, we see the career options offered by LCNC roles as an opportunity to address the acknowledged diversity problem within the UK tech sector.

Women, for example, continue to make up only around 20-26% of these roles in the UK, and people from minority ethnic backgrounds are also heavily under-represented. These roles themselves remain critically important, but improving diversity takes sustained, long-term effort, such as encouraging the uptake of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects in education, and in re-skilling and upskilling people for new career opportunities based on aptitude. Major LCNC platform providers are investing in the latter, especially, going out of their way to attract people from under-represented groups. We’re collaborating with our LCNC partners to support these initiatives. As a result, over half of new staff recruited during 2023 for our LCNC practice were women and people from minority ethnic backgrounds.

Why diversity matters more than ever in new technology

Using LCNC opportunities to encourage a wider selection of people into the tech sector links to other important issues of ethics and agency in technology. Historically, the development of technical capability has primarily belonged to a limited group of people. But technology now impacts almost every person in the UK to some degree, with many critical services increasingly reliant on digital platforms. The input and influence over how solutions are designed and implemented must represent different viewpoints and experiences. Current advances in LCNC includes using AI to assist the developer in generating the application in the same way that applications like ChatGPT can assist with the generation of content. We need to be mindful and remember that AI is a tool in our hands, and it’s our responsibility to use it wisely, ethically and without introducing bias.

Making the tech sector recruitment pool more diverse can only help close the skills gap. More critically, diverse teams will help make the direction of tech development safer and more universally beneficial. We remain invested in the longer-term approach of influencing the take-up of tech learning by the next generation of talent, but the exciting aspect of LCNC is that it offers us a broader, more diverse array of talent right now.

At Sopra Steria, we provide end-to-end solutions to make our clients more competitive by combining in-depth knowledge of a wide range of business sectors and innovative technologies with a fully collaborative approach.

Learn more from our colleagues and how they use low code, no code technologies here.




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