Image courtesy of Google
Rapid application development (RAD) typically falls into two broad use cases: easing and optimizing professional development workflows, and enabling digital transformation by empowering non-developers to create apps that facilitate automated and efficient business processes. Low-code development platforms often cater to both cases, leaving questions regarding their effectiveness for either (as discussed in our 2020 software development trends).
With Google increasing its market share in the RAD space, the tug of war between these use cases tips in favor of non-professional devs (or “citizen developers,” if you like vague buzzwords). Google’s vision for the market is to help companies across industries “modernize their business in the cloud,” and this acquisition brings the vendor closer to delivering on that goal.
RAD’s mini identity crisis starts to resolve itself when a company—even a small mom and pop company like Google—develops a bigger presence in the market. Both buyers and vendors benefit by having a better grasp on where the software is headed. The catch is that while the space becomes more defined, it does so to the tune of one company’s specific goals. Google is open about its vision to “reimagine the application development space,” and it will be interesting to see how the fruits of that vision might shape the future of digital transformation.