Amid today's growing movement to enable solution development, there is an increased push for utilizing low-code or no-code (LC/NC) frameworks and tools to allow non-technical employees — referred to as citizen developers — to create business friendly applications.
By expanding the ability to create applications beyond the traditional IT skillset with a LC/NC strategy, organizations can significantly alleviate the burden on IT teams and open them up to innovative work that supports evolving digital transformation journeys — a critical move in today's IT labor shortage.
However, as tech leaders move to adopt LC/NC development, some are worried about employees without coding experience building applications this way — there's a reason programming is a specialized field.
"While low-code/no-code strategies offer benefits for IT teams, they also introduce new vulnerabilities that are of increasing concern — notably compliance and security risks," cautions Deepak Mohan, executive vice president of engineering at Veritas Technologies.
He explains that because citizen developers don't have the same experience in implementing security and privacy, many of the applications they develop won't be adequately protected and protection policies may be inaccurately applied.
"As a result, not only may organizations face compliance issues, but their applications may also create new vulnerabilities for bad actors to exploit," he says.
To combat these issues, Mohan says organizations should incorporate LC/NC governance and security requirements that properly restricts the ability to create applications that are unsafe.
"Furthermore, IT departments need to ensure they have programs in place to provide proper oversight and visibility into what applications are being created and how they are being used," he adds.
Lastly, organizations need to consider and factor in any licensing costs or intellectual property issues that may arise well in advance of building out these applications through LC/NC strategies.
Shortening Development Time, Keeping Scale in Mind
Yehuda Rosen, senior application engineer at nVisium, points out that skilled software engineers can be difficult to recruit and tend to be expensive.
"If a project can be completed via a low-code/no-code solution, the company will not only reduce their need for a hard-to-find engineer and better utilize their engineering resources for needs that can't be addressed otherwise," he says. "Additionally, the speed of which an application can be built within a low-code/no-code strategy results in a dramatically shorter time-to-market."
However, he cautions low-code/no-code is not a magic fix and won't remove the need for traditional software programming.