A $13-Billion Market For Low-Code And DPA Platforms

After analyzing relevant data from over 100 vendors, Forrester estimates that the combined low-code and digital process automation (DPA) market reached $13.2 billion by the end of 2023. This represents a growth rate of roughly 21% since 2019. What drove this growth? The institutionalization of low-code in IT. Based on our most recent survey data, 87% of enterprise developers use low-code development platforms for at least some of their development work.

Looking forward, we expect this growth to continue through 2028. Why? Citizen development. The democratization of development to workers outside of IT shows no signs of slowing down — and as citizen developer strategies mature, we believe that this relatively untapped use case will sustain a 21% growth rate for the next five years, growing to approximately $30 billion in 2028.

The $50-Billion Question

We are in in an exceptionally volatile time. The rise of AI, economic uncertainty, and political crisis could alter the growth rate of the low-code market in either direction. For example, Forrester estimates that the generative AI market will grow 36% annually for the rest of the decade — and low-code and DPA platforms are perfectly poised to benefit from this shift. A roughly comparable AI-fueled explosion in citizen development and AI-Infused platforms could drive the low-code and DPA market to $50 billion by 2028 (33% annual growth).

On the other hand, some have opined the opposite: AI-infused development platforms (TuringBots) could make traditional high-coding so productive that professional developers reject low-code and switch back to high-coding everything. In this scenario, we imagine a deceleration in the low-code market to roughly match the growth of software in general, or 11% annually.

We don’t see either of these scenarios as likely, but both are plausible.

What’s Next

We don’t see these market dynamics slowing down or getting simpler anytime soon. Why? The long-term impact of disruptive trends such as “AI for nearly everything” and citizen development remains unknown. To learn more about the trends driving this market, read our report, The Low-Code And Digital Process Automation Market, 2023 To 2028, or if you are a Forrester client, reach out to schedule a guidance session or inquiry.