Low-code application development is nothing new. In many ways, it’s simply an offshoot of the 4GL trend of the 1980s and 1990s. But in today’s fast-changing technology world, low-code has become more critical than ever.

According to Forrester, the global market for low-code development will eclipse US$10 billion by 2019. That makes sense, since the strengths of the methodology (rapid iterations, simple collaboration and easier long-term maintenance) perfectly complement the needs of enterprises needing to efficiently bring to market applications for desktop, mobile, cloud and client-server architectures.

Put simply, if you need to compete in today’s burgeoning software marketplace, you need low-code development. Here are five reasons why.

1. Near-real-time collaboration between business and IT: Applications are made by developers; they’re not necessarily made for developers. No matter how sleek the UI, how intuitive the UX or how rich the overall experience, an application that doesn’t mesh with business goals is, on some level, a failure.

(Related: Newly independent QuickBase seeks low-code software)

Fortunately, this is where low-code development particularly shines. Because the amount of low-level manual coding is so dramatically reduced (hence, “low-code”), development proceeds extremely swiftly. What takes days or weeks with legacy development methodologies can, in many cases, be accomplished in hours. As a result, business stakeholders can see their vision take shape quickly, leaving time for rapid adjustments. Developers and business users enjoy near-real-time collaboration and exchange of ideas, rather than the traditional “meeting-programming black box-repeat” flow.

Furthermore, in model-driven low-code development, business rules are integrated with the application at a core level. App behavior is driven not just by code, but by this logic itself. In such a scenario, business requirements and the application are inextricably linked: The app must conform to even the most exacting business rules, since they are “baked in.”

2. Increased developer focus on functionality: Companies hire knowledge workers to be exactly that: knowledgeable. When working in a low-code development platform, developers spend less time writing code and more time creating objects representing the functionality of many lines of code. This dramatically increases the potential productivity of each developer, with the end result of more work getting done faster and better utilization of their unique skills.