In the past year, several companies have been experiencing digital transformation across all their departments. This transformation has led to an unprecedented amount of digital initiatives. To accelerate growth, businesses are now switching to low-code platforms to power their development. It hardly comes as a shock considering the worldwide low-code development adoption is projected to reach $13.8 billion in 2021, which is a 22.6% increase from 2020.
As organizations cater to the demands of mobile, virtual, and distributed experiences, businesses need to employ an easy-to-use and scalable tech stack to address this need. Organizations embracing DevOps should look beyond developers-only platforms and take advantage of low-code platforms to enhance development speed, digital experience, reusability, and content development.
With the increasing use of low-code platforms and multi-cloud deployments, it’s imperative to align and extend the strengths of low-code platforms with the underlying principle of DevOps. By bringing these parts together, organizations can break down silos & improve the overall experience for customers, developers, operations, and content authors.
In this article, you'll discover how low-code and no-code technologies can complement the DevOps approach for businesses.
What Is Low-code
Gone are the days when developers have to hard-code every single syntax, component, function, and application. Nowadays, there’s a proliferation of tools available to help you auto-generate or rapidly build parts —or the whole— of your application through a graphical user interface, templates, or drag-and-drop function without having to write the code yourself.
Applications like this are referred to as low-code tools and they have several benefits. Low code eliminates the traditional approach of writing the entire application code line-by-line, ensuring development and delivery are faster than ever. It allows citizen developers and non-technical users to develop applications and processes without requiring extensive coding skills.
Low-code platforms have become more popular in the wake of digital transformation. The speed of developing applications is its major appeal. According to the Forrester Total Economic Impact (TEI) study, low-code platforms develop applications 17 times faster, with a 50% reduction in application development costs.
Differences Between Low-code and No-code Platforms
Low-code and no-code may belong to the same rapid app development family, but their primary difference is the audience they serve and the output they provide.
Using a low-code platform, developers can construct front-end prototypes in a matter of hours and days. The platform handles the coding logic, so developers can focus on their applications' interfaces and features.
Small businesses are the target market for no-code. It is generally not feasible for them to outsource development. Because of this, no-code is an easy way to develop entire applications without writing any code. There is, however, a limitation to no-code development, which is that it can only work with basic applications.
Low-code and All Its Benefits
A custom software development project may be costly based on its scope. For many businesses, customization is crucial to staying competitive. In the end, this is the most important reason for embracing low-code development. The following are some notable advantages of low-code development:
You could get a high Return on Investment (ROIs) when you develop your next application if you turn to low-code development. With Low-code, you can integrate data, track app security, and support cross-platform applications. Low-code makes app deployment simpler as it allows deployment with a single click. By using these features, you can concentrate exclusively on development.
Shorter Development Time
A low-code development methodology is relatively quick in comparison with other agile methods. For its development process, it makes use of model-driven logic. In this way, software development time will become significantly shorter. With low-code, it takes a few days to deploy applications that would have taken months.
Easy to Explore
When you leverage low-code development, you are significantly reducing the cost of development. By not limiting developers to only the latest technologies, they can explore more possibilities. With these development platforms, we can experiment with artificial intelligence and machine learning.
Streamlined Development Process
A key feature of low-code development is the drag-and-drop functionalities necessary to quickly prototype.
Rather than writing code in multiple languages, it automatically translates drag-and-drop components into code. Additionally, low-code platforms don't require constant updating with OS upgrades. They take care of this for you.
You probably don't realize how often software companies pivot. It can be difficult and time-consuming to adjust to fierce competition, slow reactions, or perception changes.
Low-code development, however, does not have to be as complex as this. Low-code development can help organizations rapidly adapt to changes because it eliminates complexity. You can transform your app, pivot, or adapt to a new market trend with the help of low-code development.
The Low-code and Development-only Impasse
Events of the past year have changed the public perception of low-code and no-code tools. Business and IT have to meet the ever-increasing demands for new features and applications. That makes continuous delivery and rapid application development an essential practice for any organization.
For companies using the DevOps approach to application development, this implies a need to automate wherever possible, securely and efficiently. It strives to facilitate rapid application development and reduce manual labor as much as possible. Because of this, there is an increasing need for automated development platforms.
For some people in development teams, writing entire code line-by-line may not be appealing. In this case, what's the best way to proceed? Low-code or no-code development is the answer. With low-code platforms, citizen developers on your team can still contribute significantly to the development process.
Despite the advantages of low-code development, businesses have always been wary of its vulnerabilities issues and compliance risks. It becomes even more pressing when you consider that non-developers and citizen developers may be less concerned about uptime, data security, and data governance. Using a secure and compliant platform can help mitigate these issues.
Intersecting Low-code and DevOps
By acknowledging that DevOps and low-code have the same motive, let's explore how you can merge low-code app platforms with DevOps to deliver the most effective results.
Faster Application Development
At the heart of every DevOps approach is a champion for automation at every level of development. This is true except during the coding process. Developers still have to manually write out each line of code before deploying and initiating the automated systems.
By integrating low-code platforms into DevOps, businesses can increase the efficiency and delivery of applications. Now developers can use available templates and functionality to make development faster and simpler, rather than writing out every line of code. With this, the development process can be streamlined in days rather than weeks or months.
Greater Consistency and Reusability
By integrating low-code platforms into your applications, you can test and deploy your applications with other technologies and tools. As a result, you will be able to use some of the vital components of DevOps such as QA, version control, and build validation.
Several companies, including Microsoft, are now integrating low-code frameworks and DevOps with a focus on building testing, and monitoring tools for low-code applications. This should hardly come as a surprise, do you know why? Gartner forecasts that 75% of large organizations will adopt at least four low-code development tools by 2024 either for application development or citizen development initiatives.
Consequently, organizations can easily integrate low-code tools into their DevOps workflow without worrying about deployment or compatibility issues since deployment still follows the same process of building, testing, and monitoring.
Bridging The Gap Between Development and Content Authors
A Gartner report predicts that half of all low-code platform users will come from business buyers outside of IT by 2025. When integrated into the DevOps process, The low-code approach makes it possible for aspiring developers or non-technical people to easily build and modify applications without having to write the lines of code.
Furthermore, it allows you to focus your highly skilled developers and content creators on core projects. Developers and content authors can focus on creating engaging digital experiences with minimal overhead in time and cost.
Composable Digital Experience
As businesses strive to deliver disruptive innovations, composability offers exceptional advantages in resilience and agility. In a 2021 Gartner Board of Directors survey, 69% of corporate directors seek to accelerate enterprise digital strategy and implementation to address disruption in the business environment.
This model is perfect for low-code applications. Non-technical people do not have to wait for IT support or platform upgrades. They can easily plug into individual components and functionalities to deliver flexible and powerful digital experiences.
A Faster, Simpler Approach To Quality Development
As DevOps aims to reduce risks, some might argue that low-code is a contradiction to this. Generally, it is not unusual for low-code vendors to promote governance and compliance features in their platforms. Nevertheless, establishing governance requires a great deal of effort, especially to set up tracking and alerting mechanisms and compliance measures.
Despite these concerns, low-code offers abstraction, automation, and flexibility for a larger group of developers-citizen developers- to quickly develop applications. It combines a powerful, streamlined operational toolkit with the most efficient, agile, and flexible development platform on the market, providing comprehensive operational visibility and control. With platforms evolving and maturing, it will become easier for DevOps teams to mitigate some of these concerns, making low-code an ever-present in development and operations.