No-code and Low-code Still Require IT Involvement

Despite being touted as easy-to-use, a new survey reveals that users of no-code and low-code platforms still require assistance.

No-code and low-code platforms have seen a push over the last year. Largely due to digital transformation and the work-from-home era, these platforms are intended to make it easier for business users to build and launch apps. The idea is to free up IT departments for other tasks. We said previously that these platforms would not replace coders because somebody has to create them, and these platforms are not good at complicated tasks. Now a survey conducted by Creatio of over 1,000 IT executives shows that these platforms still require IT involvement.

Low-code and no-code platforms, also known as point-and-click platforms, are designed to help business owners who are less technical and cannot afford an IT department, or can’t get time or capacity from overtaxed departments. The problem is, because they do not have the technical expertise, they lack the knowledge and experience needed to use these platforms properly. According to the survey, 60% of respondents see this as a barrier to low-code adoption.

In fact, only 6% of low-code development is done by businesses without any IT involvement, showing that IT departments still need to be involved with guidance and monitoring. “While the adoption of no-code tools by business users is higher, the low-code development approach still requires a basic understanding of underlying technologies and IT acumen,” the Creatio report’s authors observe. “While empowering everyone to become a developer, companies need to ensure IT staff takes ownership in security and system administration, complex integrations and overall consistency of the IT landscape.”

It’s important to remember, though, that devs also use these tools in some instances. Because of that, the survey notes a trend “towards erasing the distinction between simple no-code tools for citizen developers and more comprehensive low-code tools for developers with IT backgrounds. Low-code will shift to a no-code development approach, offering no-code platforms with powerful capabilities for enterprise applications development of any complexity without coding skills or specific training.”

There are two key benefits noted by low-code and no-code users: Speed to market and reduced app development costs. Both of these matter when it comes to launching a product or updating an apps features, but they aren’t the only considerations. If you adopt one of these platforms for your business, but don’t know how to use it properly, it’s not going to work well. If you don’t have an IT department, it is always best to speak with an expert, someone who can properly set up your business with the right low-code or no-code tool. An expert can maximize efficiency and teach you how to use those tools effectively.

No-code and low-code tools are great at some things and not so great at others. But when it comes to development, it is really important that whomever is using a tool has an underlying understanding of how that tool works. Without that knowledge, they will not know the limitations they are faced with and are more likely to make a mistake.

There is definitely a place for no-code and low-code platforms, and at times it can be the better option. But when it comes to development, these platforms are limited in their capabilities. Trying to build something complex is generally not a good idea here. The more complicated your project, the more likely it will be fragile and break often.

Digital transformation is spurring the no-code and low-code movement. Businesses want to be competitive, they want faster time to market, lower costs, everything that these platforms promise to them. But there is an inherent danger in using technology you do not understand, and risking your business without proper research can have dire consequences. Digital transformation is important, every business should be doing it. But they should also be talking to experts along the way, making sure that what they are doing is the best use of their time and is efficient. Don’t dive in head first. Educate yourself and bring in some help.

About the Author

Pieter VanIperen, Managing Partner of PWV Consultants, leads a boutique group of industry leaders and influencers from the digital tech, security and design industries that acts as trusted technical partners for many Fortune 500 companies, high-visibility startups, universities, defense agencies, and NGOs. He is a 20-year software engineering veteran, who founded or co-founder several companies. He acts as a trusted advisor and mentor to numerous early stage startups, and has held the titles of software and software security executive, consultant and professor. His expert consulting and advisory work spans several industries in finance, media, medical tech, and defense contracting. Has also authored the highly influential precursor HAZL (jADE) programming language.

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