Low code is not yet a Cure for Overworked IT Departments

Posted by Marbenz Antonio on November 21, 2022

What Are Low-Code/No-Code Platforms? | ITPro Today: IT News, How-Tos,  Trends, Case Studies, Career Tips, More

According to a survey, low-code and no-code platforms haven’t done enough to ease the load on overworked development shops. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t consider this strategy’s long-term advantages.

It should be easier for overworked development shops to use these code platforms, right? A recent survey indicates that it hasn’t yet made much of a dent. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t consider this strategy’s long-term advantages.

According to 319 project managers who participated in a Capterra poll, 39% of those that utilize low-code/no-code methods for software development said that finding the right people with the right skills is their biggest challenge. In fact, those who don’t use these codes methods cite a lack of personnel or talent as their biggest obstacle (39%).

The survey’s authors conclude that some systems are more appropriate for low-code/no-code techniques than others. The limited customization options of their present software, according to at least 31% of managers, is the biggest obstacle to implementing low-code/no-code solutions.

Even though these tools are often associated with citizen developers, the Capterra poll also reveals that its main users are IT professionals. IT teams use 60% of these tools, followed by business analysts (42%), line-of-business managers (41%), and IT teams (40%). “The low-code/no-code method is still new and many companies are hesitant to allow non-IT resources to make changes to software systems,” says Olivia Montgomery, associate principal analyst at Capterra and author of the study. “In fact, of the businesses not using a low-code/no-code approach, 23% cite a fear of risks and mismanagement of functionality not built and tested by IT as the reason why they don’t use it.”

While generally positive about the advantages that it gives to stressed-out organizations, industry analysts also note that these approaches have disadvantages and are sometimes only temporary solutions. “Low-code will not be used for ‘applications’ as such,” says Mike Loukides, vice president of emerging tech content at O’Reilly Media. “Instead, it will be used to solve specific problems by workers in fields where data is available, but where traditional programming is a barrier to using it effectively. When traditional programming stops being a barrier, people can create software to answer questions as they come up, and discard that software when it has served its purpose.”

It’s not that methods don’t yield a return on investment. The majority of initiatives using these techniques demonstrate time and cost reductions. The majority of project managers, 69%, claim to adopt a low-code/no-code method to cut down on time, and 63% claim that their most recent project saved them at least one week. Another 62% use it to save money, and 39% did so in their most recent project by doing so. Additionally, 60% claim increased productivity, and 50% report lower expenses as a result of the strategy.

Industry leaders also caution that highly complex environments often do not lend themselves to these approaches. “As systems grow more robust, their development, system functionality, data security, and data management become increasingly difficult in a low-code environment,” says Prashanth Samudrala, vice president at AutoRABIT. “The introduction of new permissions, settings, or objects creates metadata. Over time, this technical debt will build up, resulting in the deterioration of speed and performance.”

Industry observers propose the following suggestions to make the most of these codes platforms:

  • Offer training. “Train business analysts, or someone with a similar function, and department system administrators on the low-code/no-code capabilities of the tools their teams primarily use so they can perform the work,” Montgomery advices. “Even though a business analyst won’t typically have deep technical knowledge or coding experience, what they do have is actually much more important for low-code/no-code work: they’re business process experts.”
  • Trust the automation. “There are a variety of automated tools that help DevOps teams achieve success in their growing low-code environments,” Samudrala says. “Static code analysis, CI/CD and data backups are critical to support data management and proper oversight of your development pipeline.”
  • Lay the technology foundation. “IT will need to create and manage APIs for self-service data — but that’s not a trivial problem,” says Loukides. “It involves prying data out of departmental silos, establishing rules, and writing APIs that enforce rules, that allow people to access only the data that they’re allowed to see, and ensuring that the data is used appropriately. Data governance will become a much bigger part of IT’s job.”
  • Re-orient the roles of professional developers. “They can play the role of player-coach in a low-code environment. This means they step in to customize low-code apps with traditional coding as needed,” says Samudrala. “Career aspirations of professional developers often remain the same whether they’re leading a team of low-code developers or traditional developers. Tasks still need to be delegated, it still needs to be written and tested, branches still need to be cloned and merged, and stability still needs to be maintained.”

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