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Low-code and no-code tools: 4 considerations for CIOs

As CIOs look for ways to help their teams maximize software delivery efforts, low-code/no-code tools offer a compelling solution for some organizations. In addition to empowering “citizen developers” with few or even no development skills, low-code/no-code tools can help experienced developers maximize outputs and scale.

For the CIO, the decision to adopt low-code/no-code depends on organizational challenges, risk management, and needs among DevOps teams. To get some high-level insights, I asked several DevOps Institute Ambassadors for some factors CIOs should consider when it comes to low-code/no-code adoption. Here’s what they had to say:

1. “Low-code or no-code implementation should be based on risk management activities around the enterprise. I would think it would not be the CIO who prefers this adoption but the other business aspects who seek more understanding of some challenging philosophies and skillsets. No-code is not no code, it merely fades the code into the background where it is not the primary element for consideration. Just like using a file manager rather than a command-line interface, no-code makes it possible to do activities differently but ultimately the code still runs the operations.”

“Moving to no-code depends on one’s business value relationship with development. If the business centers around custom-fit applications with fast releases and cutting-edge technology, no-code is probably not the right idea. No-code moves developers, and operators, further away from the technology creating value for those organizations.”

“If the system is security-based, or testing-based, or even compliance-based, having the ability to create change with visual representation may be extremely valuable. One might also see no-code implementations in service desk-type situations where dashboards and reports can be individually customized by selecting replies without having to delve into the SQL language or options your no-code alternative simply creates.” – Mark Peters, technical lead, Novetta

2. “Avoid duplication of efforts with an IT sponsor. If the business has urgent non-mission-critical needs and development resources are thin on the ground, consider adopting low-code/no-code. If business needs are simple and can exist in an isolated fashion from core systems, low-code/no-code is also viable.”

“It’s recommended that someone from IT be a sponsor for low-code/no-code work to ensure that business units are not duplicating one another and to exploit existing centralized assets such as Single Sign-on (SSO).” – Brendan O’Reilly, DevOps specialist, Daysha DevOps

3. “CIOs should focus on improving the overall developer experience. By moving manual, repeatable, tedious, and other non-mission critical activities to a low-code/no-code platform, it can free up engineering teams to focus on more value-add coding activities and build products based on their company needs.”

“That said, low-code/no-code platforms may help companies respond better to product needs, but different criteria should be considered with these app platforms first to address the best levels of governance, oversight for different kinds of apps, data access, app performance, security policies, and integration dependencies.”

“If a CIO can have confidence that the DevOps platform they have chosen is going to take care of the security and quality, it’s going to help them to deliver the software faster, improve the developer experience, and go to market faster.” – Vishnu Vasudevan, head of product engineering and development, Opsera

4. “CIOs need to decide whether their organization has reached the tipping point when it comes to IT backlog and inefficiencies throughout the systems. Low-code/no-code tools have the ability to greatly accelerate your development timelines and reduce your costs during this process. However, if this process is suddenly undertaken on a whim, it can lead to confusion and disorder.”

“The CIO also needs to consider the size of the organization. If you’re part of a large organization, enterprise-wide low-code/no-code tools need to be chosen so that they can be successfully deployed across multiple departments.”

“The CIO also needs to take into account the security features in the low-code/no-code tool to ensure that sensitive data can remain safe and shadow IT can be curbed.” – Shriniwas Sathe, DevOps chief architect and CoE leader at Capgemini

What do you think?

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