New Low Code/No Code development practices: Unlocking value by controlling risks

7 février 2023 | ACTUALITÉS, Cigref in english, Communiqués

Cigref has published a report on the results of its « Low Code / No Code » working group, led by Claire WAAST-RICHARD, Data and Digital Director at Enedis.

Although Low Code and No Code platforms are not new to large organisations, they have become increasingly attractive to teams over the last few years, particularly as some of them are offered « free of charge » and sometimes without access constraints with bundled offers. The market for offerings is growing and the functional coverage is increasingly comprehensive, ranging from the implementation of workflows to data processing and the development of applications or web applications. With Low Code or No Code, these offers are becoming increasingly attractive to businesses that use them to meet a specific need for autonomy or speed of execution. They also appeal to « professional » developers who, thanks to the automation or abstraction of purely technical tasks that Low Code platforms allow, will be able to concentrate more on the functional aspect of applications. Between flexibility, speed of development and production and a cost that (at first glance) seems low, these platforms seem to offer an answer to the bottleneck of requests for the design of small applications, which many organisations face due to lack of time and resources.

However, it is clear that these platforms, despite all the opportunities they promise, sometimes reinforce shadow IT, i.e. the development of digital solutions without the involvement of the IT department, which is both problematic in terms of governance and risky in terms of IT system security. These shadow IT approaches will inevitably pose problems of operability, maintainability, security, application redundancy, and even cost on « simple » business applications developed in Low Code/No Code. These can become very complex or even critical over time, and ultimately cost more than a more traditionally developed application.

Shadow IT is a reality that can be accentuated by Low Code/No Code if it is not supervised. The implementation of clear governance and support as close as possible to the business units are steps that seem unavoidable for the successful deployment of these platforms, especially since, according to a Gartner study, « there will be four times as many citizen developers as professional developers in 2023 […] and there will no longer be enough (IT) professionals to meet the needs of companies.” [1]

IT departments have become aware of these elements. But, in practice, how can we share with the business units the biases or grey areas of Low Code/No Code practices which, at first sight, do not require any development knowledge? How can we organise, lead and support the deployment of these practices within the business units while guaranteeing the right level of security and optimum technical support?

In a context where the demand for in-house application design continues to grow, could the democratisation of these Low Code or No Code uses be an answer to the digital transformation of business units?


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