Organizations can foster applications rapidly and spryly – even at the departmental level with low-code and no-code tools. As a specialist board shows, there are a few interesting points.
More Speed In Software Development
When companies digitize, automate, and modularize their business – keyword: composable Business- they need help in the quick turn of events and organization of new applications. The essential speed can’t be carried onto the street with traditional IT improvement techniques and the creation and handling of intricate details and determinations, which frequently follow a “100 percent claim”. This is where modern low-code/no-code platforms come in: App production is faster, which is why value can be added much earlier.
Employees from departments with little or no IT and programming know-how – the so-called citizen developers- can create their applications on such a platform. This relieves the professional developers in the IT departments, which are usually overburdened. Since citizen developers know the technical problems, tasks, and processes well, the path from the first idea to the finished application is generally shorter. This is how the digital business transformation overall accelerated.
The trend towards low-code/no-code development is not the least due to a generational change in companies. Younger users have grown up digitally, they expect business software to be operated intuitively – just as they know it from their private apps on smartphones or tablets. To do this, it is necessary to bundle the individual steps of a business process into an automated, consistent, and clear end-to-end process. What many ERP systems that have been used for years still need to improve is often offered by the low-code/no-code platforms.
Tight IT Budgets Slow Down Low Code/No Code
Self-developed workflows, modifications, and process extensions can be created and operated on a low-code/no-code platform. The prerequisite is that the necessary connectors and integration with the ERP system are available. The media can streamline ERP systems and use them as standard as possible, reducing the effort and costs for maintenance, operation, and release changes. If business and market changes mean that extensions and new processes are required, these can be implemented and operated in the low-code platform without burdening the ERP system.
Despite all the euphoria, the use of the platforms is being slowed down in many places by tight IT budgets. In the longer term, however, most larger companies are likely to invest in low code/no code because the agile and rapid delivery of new applications in the digital Business is increasingly becoming a business-critical factor. When choosing the platform, it depends on the purposes for which it is needed. While many use cases can now be implemented with low code, no-code media possibilities still need improvement. Dealing with a platform also requires a particular affinity for programming from the citizen developer.
Avoid Shadow IT Through Governance
The panelists see the strict adherence to governance principles and rules as a key challenge when using such a platform. If citizen developers were to configure and automate complete processes or individual process steps with a low-code/no-code tool without securing the support of the IT department, the growth of shadow IT could hardly be prevented. Apps created in an uncoordinated way often need to meet the governance requirements and thus pose a security risk.
There was agreement in the discussion that the dimension of citizen development should be clarified early by all involved. Do you want to replace Excel solutions with simple apps? Or is it about developing more complex applications? Likewise, it must be determined from the outset which end users can work with low-code/no-code and what their authorizations should look like. These can be assigned without any problems via the platform and, if necessary, revoked.
Of course, any app that citizen developers create or help develop must have data security, protection against data theft, and strict compliance with GDPR guidelines. Modern low-code/no-code platforms usually already provide security functions and features. Equally important, security-by-design principles are supported throughout the lifecycle of a low-code/no-code application. And finally, the platform must support the integration of the apps into the existing IT landscape.
The Introduction Of Low-Code/No-Code Is A Top Priority
The introduction of a platform is of great strategic importance and must therefore be approved by the board or management. However, the administration should by no means order but always involve the IT organization in the decision-making process and convince them of the concrete benefits. Conversely, IT must be willing to open up and share software development between professional and citizen developers. If this does not succeed, a low-code/no-code project will fail.
In the best case, it doesn’t matter whether the initiative to introduce a low-code/no-code initiative comes from top management or the CIO or CDO (Chief Digital Officer) because business-IT alignment has long been part of everyday life. To exploit a platform’s advantages and protect yourself from errors, it is advisable to call in external experts who can accompany such a project through all phases. Low Code/No Code for your Business should be evaluated in a clearly defined pilot project or Proof of Concept(POC) to minimize project risk.
Business Benefits And RoI Must Be Right
The added value measures the success of a low-code/no-code application for the Business and the fastest possible return on investment (ROI). Those responsible must also be aware that cultural change is inevitable and that clever change management is required. But most companies have already gained a lot of experience with agile software development and DevOps approaches, so they are well prepared. Depending on the industry and requirements, not one but several no-code/low-code platforms should be used in the long run.
Like cloud computing, it boils down to a multi-platform strategy because the offerings are increasingly specialized and can be used for different scenarios. They flank the large standard software packages, map data, and document-intensive workflows or concentrate on IoT use cases. However, it is to be expected that the provider market will gradually consolidate, and the dominant platforms will be expanded to cover more business cases. At the end of the round table discussion, the proposal was to set up a standardization committee to standardize technologies and interfaces on low-code/no-code platforms.