Low-code software has caught a significant tailwind during the pandemic as enterprises need to deploy new apps to adapt quickly to a sudden change. That's good news for Appian (APPN 1.95%), a cloud-based, low-code software provider.

In this Backstage Pass interview, aired on Nov. 24, Appian CEO Matt Calkins explains what the future of low-code software looks like and what that means for Appian.

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Jeremy Bowman: You mentioned the growth of low-code. I know one data point or one forecast from Gartner, I think they see 65 percent of apps being developed with low-code in maybe about 2025. I wanted to ask if you could maybe paint a picture for us, where you see the market going in a few years. I don't know what the number is now, but that sounds a pretty big deal when you think of the majority of apps being built on a platform like Appian's.

Matt Calkins: Yeah. I predicted this before the decade started. I want to take a little bit of credit. Before we got to year 2020, I predicted that in the 2020's that most of the world's applications would be written on low-code platforms. Of course at that time I had no idea that we were about to go into a period of intense, difficult change for organizations that would force them to focus and prioritize platforms that gave them agility. But that's only helped the case in the end, and I believe we are headed for a low-code world in which low-code is the new way to develop most applications. I want to say though, that statistic may not capture what's most important about the low-code revolution.

After all it depends on what you call an application. If I put a macro on my email box, is that an application? Well, if I count that, then yeah, that will be really easy to have a lot of low-code applications out there. That's not what Appian is focused on. Appian's got a place in this market. I'm proud of what our place is, and it puts us a little bit out of the firing line from new start-ups and out of competition with Microsoft and Salesforce. We belong at the top end of this market. We use low-code not for the volume of applications, but for the strongest applications. Appian technology -- unique in the world of low-code -- is focused on industrial strength, mission-critical applications for large important organizations. That's where we belong.

It is not our mission to try to make most of the world's applications low-code. But I would love it and I'd be proud if we were able to make most of the world's most important applications built in low-code, and I think we have a good case for why they should be. At the low end, maybe low-code is popular because it's empowering. At the high end, it's popular because it enables agility. It's exceptionally fast to build a low-code application and to change it. That's an important thing now for mission critical applications, they can't afford to be rigid anymore like they used to. We've got to be able to change them when times change and to flex them according to strategy. That in my opinion, is where the world needs agility the most, and that's where we focus. If we could make those applications into low-code, then that would be our particular triumph. That's the end of the market we're aiming for.