The transformative impact of low-code on the SaaS industry in 2023

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Low-code SaaS factory

Amid skyrocketing costs for software developers and a shortage of talent, low-code is fast becoming a faster way to start software companies.

Low-code will create a ripple effect of value creation and wealth transfer affecting software companies, developers, cloud providers and customers.”

– Cary Landis

MORGANTOWN, WV, UNITED STATES, Dec. 15, 2022 / — Amid a global software developer shortage and inflation, low-code is fast becoming a faster way to launch software companies — and is redefining the industry. According to Gartner, by 2025, companies will develop 70% of their new applications with low-code or no-code. If this is true, then low-code development will transform the software industry with the same force that cloud computing disrupted data centers. Small companies will skip big companies. The pace of innovation will explode. History is full of grossly underappreciated technologies that have unexpectedly transformed industries. Cloud computing was one of those forces. Low-code application development is another.

If you haven’t been following low-code application platforms (LCAP) closely, the term refers to online GUI tools for building software applications with more mouse and less coding. With low-code, it is often possible to build business systems in days and thousands of dollars that previously took years and millions of dollars. This is an intentional simplification, but it sets the stage for contemplation. It begs the question, “What will happen to the SaaS and software industry as a whole when low-code becomes the norm rather than the exception?”

The history of computing tells us that those who adapt will thrive and those who don’t will wonder what just happened. Low-code represents a crucial maturation of the cloud computing industry, democratizing SaaS development to a degree reminiscent of the GUI’s influence on desktop computing in the 1980s. The impact will be far-reaching and deep, affecting every aspect of the software development industry. This article examines the transformative impact that low-code will have on the SaaS industry in 2023 and beyond.

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If most new software applications are developed with low-code developers, we need many more low-code developers. Many of today’s low-code developers are making big bucks for their skills, despite the fact that low-code is said to lower developer skill requirements. It’s just supply and demand. If we remember the early days of the cloud, almost anyone could get a good job if they knew how to click a few buttons on the AWS portal, but eventually people caught up. The same will happen to low-code for the next few years as the low-code workforce catches up with growing demand.


As it becomes easy and affordable to participate in the software industry, the next few years will see the long tail of specialized SaaS applications for every imaginable niche. The impact will be similar to that of self-publishing for the book industry. We can expect a rapid emergence of alternative SaaS applications that will overtake long-standing competitors. Why would anyone want to pay $25 per user per month for a SaaS application when there are hundreds of alternatives on the market for a fraction of the cost? In the early days of SaaS, customers didn’t have a choice, but as low-code platforms become more prevalent, we will see more software choices.


Until recently, the $200+ billion SaaS industry was largely reserved for the venture capitalized elites. However, with the advent of low-code development and AI tools, as well as remote working, the playing field is quickly leveling. The long-standing Silcon Valley startup model is open to a new era of savvy entrepreneurs who use low-code tools to launch SaaS companies without having to spend years raising venture capital. The market shift is enabling a wave of new SaaS startups targeting specialized SaaS markets and overtaking competitors with alternative offerings. With low-code, a West Virginia entrepreneur has all the tools needed to build a SaaS business that is in direct competition with companies in tech hubs like Austin, Boston, and New York.

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In the old folk song, John Henry died with a hammer in his hand trying to hit the steam hammer. It is human nature to resist change. Many software companies are surprised by the change. Many software companies don’t give low-code the attention it deserves because it’s not considered “real programming.” In the early 1980s, IBM didn’t give desktop computing the attention it deserved because it wasn’t considered serious computing. A common argument against low-code is that it works well for simple applications, but not for building serious systems. A decade ago, we heard data center managers say the same thing about cloud computing. As with data centers, there will be a “changing of the guard” so to speak. Many legacy software companies will be left behind as new innovators enter their markets at speeds never before imagined.


When it comes to low-code, it’s easy to get distracted from the less important issue of selling tools and overlook the transformative impact on the global software industry. More importantly, low-code will create a domino effect of value creation and wealth transfer affecting software companies, developers, cloud providers, and customers. Many traditional software developers are being pushed out by low-code developers. Traditional SaaS companies are being overtaken by easy-to-use, lower-cost alternative offerings. New software applications are being written and legacy software is being rewritten to reduce the need for expensive software teams. The impact on software developers will be similar to the impact cloud computing has had on IT professional jobs. Enterprise customers will also be impacted as they turn to low-code to reverse problematic software development projects; or as a way to escape the enterprise software companies that have long held organizations captive.

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Cary Landis is the founder of the Low-Code SaaS Factory, a West Virginia initiative that helps entrepreneurs start SaaS companies with minimal or no investment by providing access to training, workshops, and low-code tools. The SaaS Factory actively invites cooperation with companies, universities, investors and early adopters. Learn more at

Cary Landis
SaaS Manufacturers, Inc.
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