It may have sounded too good to be true when low-code and no-code technologies started to appear a few years ago. After all, they were promised as an elixir that would shift application development responsibilities from the professional programmer to end users in departments such as marketing, inventory, payroll, and finance.
Did those tools eliminate the need for professional developers? Not at all, consider how many developer job postings are still out there. Did they empower end users -- so-called citizen developers -- to build complex business-critical applications? Not really. Think more in real terms of business users modifying forms and workflows as business needs change or generating their own queries for analytics applications. The biggest benefit from low-code and no-code? It seems to be how the tools make professional developers more efficient.
Those are some of the signals coming from organizations that have embraced those minimal coding technologies. Learn more by reading through the user case studies and analysis articles posted by InformationWeek.com over the past year.
Low Code and No Code Benefits and Risks
Low-code platforms come packed with promise, but how do they perform in the real world? Let’s take a look.
Far too many organizations today expect magic from low-code tools and their initiatives fail. Where do they go wrong? It often boils down to people and planning issues.
Even in a simple development environment, machines and algorithms are still powered by human intelligence. No-code, low-code (horizontal) machine learning platforms are useful at scaling data science in an enterprise. Still, as many organizations are now finding out, there are so many ways that data science can go wrong in solving new problems.
Deeper pushes to modernize and deploy fast shows how automation is increasingly part of software deployment. In the span of a few years, low-code and no-code platforms, which reduce the burden on professional developers to create certain apps, have matured vastly.
Can "citizen developers" eliminate the need to hire professional coders? A growing number of enterprises hope so. Low-code/no-code development platforms represent an improvement in speeding up time-to-value on creating applications.
The use of low code and no code is growing as organizations attempt to deliver value faster. Before putting too much at stake, think carefully about what you're doing. When a platform doesn't scale well or its capabilities are too limited, the entire application may have to be rebuilt from scratch.
Business/citizen developers will neither take over the world nor ruin it. Rather than focus on extremes, enterprises should consider the targeted use cases for low code. Consider what enterprise leaders need to know before empowering their business employees with low-code development tools.
The exponential growth of citizen developers in organizations is forcing IT to rethink its role and the skillsets that it has historically valued. What are IT organizations doing to adjust? The idea of a non-IT professional in a business department developing applications that are specialized for his/her area of the business is rapidly gaining traction as a corporate business strategy.
The Enterprise Experience
The construction company streamlined its application needs, data analysis, and eased some of the burden of finding new talent by putting Quickbase on the job.
Settlement planning company finds a more efficient path to its digital modernization by working with Creatio’s platform. What started as a plan to get one tech project back on track opened the door for overall transformation at settlement planning company Ringler Associates.
The cookware company needed to create a digital engagement platform it could control rather than remain solely at the mercy of social networks. As its business became more and more digital, Pampered Chef found a way to augment its online connection to customers through a platform developed with low-code resources.
An aircraft engine maker leverages platform from WEBCON to tighten up some of its operations. The company expanded its use of a low-code resource to streamline operational processes and make more efficient use of its veterans’ institutional memory.
Bakery ingredient distributor Dawn Foods found new flexibility to develop its e-commerce site, even as team members in Ukraine fled for safety, through a low-code/no-code option.
Banking and financial services giant turned to Genesis’s platform to tackle certain app development. ING’s exploration of low-code and no-code development seems to show this resource is maturing to do more of the heavy-lifting required for core enterprise operations.
Snack food giant Mondelēz, maker of brands such as Chips Ahoy and Oreo aims to get ahead of the curve in software development by building up its citizen developer community.
This curated guide, originally published last year, was updated in 2021 to include our most recent software development content.