Google has announced a new addition to its G Suite of tools, in the form of Google App Maker. This simple addition allows businesses to create their own custom apps without the need for any prior programming knowledge; Google even claims such programs can be built "in days instead of months".
So what does this mean for the world of IT?
Well, first of all, it's important to remember that this isn't the only low-code app creator on the market. Microsoft PowerApps is already available to businesses, as are other offerings from companies such as Salesforce and Oracle.
However, App Maker's ability to work with Google's many pre-existing apps and services gives it a distinct advantage in many ways. It enables businesses to transform the data and programs they already use into custom apps that can be used for whatever specific purpose the company needs.
Writing for TechCrunch, Frederic Lardinois points out that this will allow companies to "develop apps that solve their very specific needs without the need to bring on a developer". This could end up making the use of App Maker an essential skill for in-house IT professionals.
The benefits of App Maker
In a blog post, Google Cloud vice president of engineering Elissa Murphy said App Maker could be used to create applications for bringing new team members onboard, completing staff projects, or approving employee travel requests. In addition, it can create apps for websites that are client and customer-facing.
While Google boasts that even those with no programming knowledge whatsoever can use this app, in actuality it is still likely to be IT specialists who create apps as it will be far quicker for them to learn how to use it effectively. This means that such professionals will have to develop a certain set of skills.
For example, creating an app is likely to be more about creative problem-solving rather than pure technical programming. It will be an IT professional's job to look for internal issues that can be fixed with an app and quickly build one that is fit for purpose, as well as spotting opportunities for externally facing applications.
Overall, as app builders such as Google's become more and more prominent it will become essential to develop a good understanding of how to effectively use them to solve problems and create opportunities. IT professionals may well be granted more power than they have had in previous years.