The demand for low-code development is rapidly increasing. However, low-code is not a silver bullet and it can be challenging to implement it correctly. In this blog post, Sahr Saffa addresses three challenges that organizations must overcome when implementing low-code development.
Frequent software delivery drives innovation. According to the State of DevOps Report, high-performing organizations deploy 200x more frequently and have 3x lower change failure rates than lower-performing organizations.This type of velocity and scale is only possible for a highly capable engineering team with an advanced DevOps infrastructure. However, legacy and startup organizations may have a harder time accomplishing this. For enterprises that are struggling to win the talent war and are unable to meet the complex demands of rapid application development (RAD), what alternatives are out there? Could low-code development be the answer?
According to a Research and Markets Report, the demand for low-code development is rapidly increasing and is posed to help enterprises overcome this challenge. However, low-code is not a silver bullet and it can be a detriment to organizational effectiveness if it is not implemented correctly. In this blog post, we’ll address three challenges to overcome when implementing low-code development:
Lack of oversight creates shadow IT
Audits of vendors look different solution to solution
Training employees to adopt low-code tools may not be welcome
One big concern with low-code application development is that almost anyone in the organization can spin up a new environment to start building. This is referred to as shadow IT: low-code application platforms make it easier for employees to go around IT governance and operate without the knowledge of management. According to research produced by McAfee, in the era of modern SaaS tools, the average company uses 1083 applications, but the IT department knows only about 108 of them. With governance visibility of less than 10%, this creates new attack vectors for hackers to explore potential data leaks and security gaps that need to be addressed by the organization, especially around critical business processes like lead to cash, revenue to report, and issues to resolution. Gartner has estimated that one-third of successful attacks experienced by enterprises will be on data located in shadow IT resources.
Some low-code application platforms (LCAP) pose a higher risk to the organization than others, and managers need to gain complete visibility into all of the cloud tools adopted, understand the risk assessment, and deploy the right test automation frameworks to ensure critical business processes are not being compromised.
Would a company audit the security protocols of Salesforce Marketing Cloud the same way they audit Microsoft Teams or Discord? Better yet, would they audit vendor tools the same they audit their custom code? The answer is likely no. To find out how secure various vendors are, companies rely on compliance certifications, third-party security audits, and cybersecurity insurance. However, this is not enough when customer data and privacy is on the line, and auditing the influx of low-code tools can become a full-time job. A data breach due to a poor audit can lead to technical staff with added work as they try to find resolutions, loss of productivity and deferred resources, and the adverse impact on a publicly-traded company’s share price.
Low-code platforms promise increased efficiency and agility in the business, but this is often riddled with excessive training requirements and a new user interface that has to be adopted. Sometimes the learning curve of a new LCAP may outweigh the benefits of adding it to the tool stack and not all employees may not be on board with this. Organizations looking to embrace low-code application development must decipher between the value prospective LCAPs can bring versus the full cost of adoption: training, opportunity costs, maintenance, slow or no adoption, etc.).
So what’s the answer? A low-code test automation tool is a solution that, when matched with low-code development, can help mitigate risk with shadow IT, help ensure the security compliance of various vendors, and empower team members with no technical experience to contribute to the upkeep of your low-code tech stack with very little training. This has the potential to accelerate innovation, and increase efficiency across the entire software development life cycle.
Embracing the cloud and encouraging collaboration amongst cross-functional groups will help organizations re-imagine how information, technology and people can improve organizational performance. Rather than shut down the low-code apps in the enterprise, IT executives can embrace the value these tools provide while ensuring there is a process in place to test and maintain these adopted tools. Low-code test automation helps as the glue to band this together since end-to-end regression test suites can be created across all of the critical tools adopted in the company, and non-technical employees are not hampered by the lack of technical knowledge. This empowers more team members to be upfront with the low-code development tools they are adopting knowing they have the reassurance of an automated process that watches for any vulnerabilities that may compromise the overall system.
Low-code is not futuristic wishful thinking. Solutions such as AutonomIQ from Sauce Labs helps deliver this winning formula to cross-functional teams in order to remove bottlenecks to innovation and delivery and encourage simplicity in an environment riddled with siloed activity and overwhelming complexity.
For more on the topic of low-code testing, check out our white paper: Leveraging Citizen Code Breakthroughs