The risks of low-code and no-code development in cloud architecture

Low-code and no-code development platforms have gained significant traction recently, and more so with the rise of artificial intelligence in 2023. This technology promises to democratize application development and empower “citizen developers.” 

If it sounds familiar, we tried this back in the ‘70s with Cobol and many times after that. Executives won’t write code no matter how easy it is.

Low-code and no-code platforms provide visual interfaces and prebuilt components to simplify the coding process so people with minimal coding experience can create applications quickly. Although these platforms offer advantages, they also introduce trade-offs that must be carefully considered within an exemplary cloud computing architecture, including design, development, and deployment.

Let’s go over these drawbacks and what will likely evolve during the next few years.

Flexibility versus customization

Low-code and no-code platforms excel at streamlining the development process by offering prepackaged components and templates. This is the same concept as using a template in your word processor, such as a generic thank-you note or resume. Today, we use our favorite generative AI platform to write them for us.

These platforms may have limitations when it comes to customization. As application complexity grows, developers may need help to achieve the customization and fine-grained control they desire. This can be a barrier for organizations with unique or highly specialized requirements. This is the same issue we had with enterprise resource planning (ERP) platforms in the ‘90s. We had to rewrite them using whatever customization tech the ERP provider offered to make them usable. Many companies found they could have just written the application themselves and saved 90% of the money.

Copyright © 2023 IDG Communications, Inc.

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