Finding the right low-code platform for your needs doesn’t automatically translate to success; it’s only half the battle. We discussed the first half of this battle in the article Low code connoisseurship. The other half of the battle is seamlessly integrating the platform into your business processes.
Ensuring that your chosen low-code platform meets its full potential isn’t always straightforward. Successful software development using low-code platforms is not trivial; it requires many of the same organizational and technological considerations that apply to traditional software development. We’ve identified three key elements for transforming your low-code vision into a platform with high returns on investment:
- The business having realistic expectations of the platform, and effective management of interdepartmental politics.
- IT taking ownership and being an enabler of the platform.
- Business and IT working together to leverage each other’s expertise.
If you’re reading this, there are probably things you want to be able to do that you’re not able to with your current tools. Perhaps you want to look at customer data in a different way, automate communication between platforms, or share information with your colleagues. Often these are important goals, but aren’t on the short term radar of your dev department. So now you’re looking to low-code platforms to help create some of these yourself.
It’s important to acknowledge the human factors involved with using systems such as these. In most organizations, software development is owned by some part of IT. It’s not unusual for people who work in that area to feel threatened by technologies which are seen as a replacement for their skills. It’s not unlike the fear a production-line worker might have when someone starts talking about robotics.
The truth is that low-code platforms aren’t a replacement for skilled software developers; they are a complementary tool which can be leveraged for the right types of work. Identifying those types can be a boon to both parts of the organizations. You get the functionality you need, and IT gets to focus on core objectives.
In using these platforms, it’s important to keep in mind that writing code is only one part of software development. In fact, most software developers would tell you it’s the smallest part. Some examples of other tasks involved in software development would be:
- Planning and managing the infrastructure and deployment of software
- Ensuring its test coverage is adequate
- Providing customer support by investigating issues
- Managing security and privacy concerns
- Ensuring compliance with things like GDPR
Someone who isn’t a software developer can learn some of these things over time — what some would call a citizen developer. While there isn’t anything inherently wrong with that, citizen developers can’t replace professional software developers when contributing to enterprise-wide or mission critical systems — in fact, your low-code consultant most likely has a computer science degree.