SAP to add more governance capability for low-code tool Build

SAP will soon add new governance feature for applications developed on its low-code and no-code platform Build, a move that analysts say comes late in the game for SAP, as there are already well-established governance tools on the market.

The governance feature inside Build will be intended for IT teams to have control over applications developed on its low-code platform as they will be accessed by a lot of other users in the enterprise, said Bharat Sandhu, senior vice president of AI and application development platform at SAP.

“…when the apps are going to be reaching a lot of people, then it has a governance layer there to make sure IT teams can monitor the users, the performance among other things,” Sandhu said, citing the importance of working with critical data, usually stored in SAP cloud but not giving an exact timeline on the feature’s release date.

SAP’s Build currently offers a data control plane for IT teams to let them manage the exposure of critical SAP data to API endpoints including read, write, or access to both as enterprises don’t want anyone to access critical data and change it, according to Sandhu.

Build to just focus on SAP customers

SAP is not targeting new customers currently and Build’s growth strategy will be focused on just existing SAP customers, Sandhu said. “Since we launched Build in mid-November last year, it has seen phenomenal adoption, both with our customers using it and learning about it.”

Over 72,000 daily active users were training themselves on Build via SAP’s learning portal, the company said, without divulging specific adoption numbers.

SAP’s low-code platform however is behind its rivals — including Appian, Google Appsheet, Mendix, Pegasystems, and Outsystems — in terms of control and governance features, according to experts. 

“In the enterprise-class list of products for low-code platforms, SAP is a bit behind these when it comes to data plane control or governance features in general. This is a critical capability for broad adoption and usage of low code in an enterprise while keeping critical business data safe, secure, and accessible to only those authorized,” said Dion Hinchcliffe, principal analyst at Constellation Research.

“Adoption of Build for the SAP market might be high, likely in the low-to-mid double digits,” Hinchcliffe said, adding that Build might gain market share outside the SAP market in due time owing to SAP’s popularity but is still an unknown presently.

In addition, SAP Build’s market share in the low-code market is quite small given it is early days in SAP’s low-code strategy, according to John Bratincevic, principal analyst at Forrester.

India is the fastest adopter of SAP Build

In terms of adoption and demand for SAP Build, India along with the US, Germany, and China are seeing strong growth, according to Sandhu.

India is likely to see growth in the adoption of low-code platforms as some of the large system integrators (SIs) claim to see low-code as key to boosting their own developer supply as they can train non-developers to use these platforms, Bratincevic said.

“We’ve also seen situations where the developer population in India supporting the large systems integrators will sign up for free tier of low-code platforms en masse to learn the platform and earn platform certifications. That could be a factor in SAP’s claim, especially if SAP’s SI partners are tooling up to support Build,” Bratincevic said.

In general, the market for low-code and no-code platforms is expected to continue its growth momentum, analysis from experts showed.

The market for low-code and no-code platforms is expected to reach $21 billion by 2026, according to an analysis by IDC.

“The market for low-code and no-code and intelligent developer technologies is being driven by the global shortage of full-time developers,” said Michele Rosen, research manager at IDC.

“This situation is expected to continue throughout this decade, creating a strong market for technologies that increase developer productivity or expand the potential pool of developers,” Rosen said, citing cloud-native development as one of the major accelerators of demand for low-code platforms.

To an extent, SAP’s Sandhu agreed with Rosen’s analysis and said that professional developers were also using low-code and no-code platforms because of their backlog in application development cycles.

Copyright © 2023 IDG Communications, Inc.

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