The Real Cost of Low-Code Development
Understanding the risks with low-code solutions for enterprise businesses
Low-code development is one of the top IT trends in the world, many platforms make it easy for anyone with little-to-no experience write and deploy software quickly. While simplifying the process of programming without dedicated expert developers, low-code solutions may seem to help businesses to easily create the software tools they need, but there are a series of issues that are inherent with any low-code platform. Although they promise upfront positive results like execution speed, flexibility and cost savings, the risks associated with low-code solutions may not be the best fit for enterprise application development.
Risks and Issues with Low-Code Development
Business Logic and Data Exposure
Typically, low-code solutions are for employees with little application development experience. This lack of training causes their main focus to be to finish the application as fast as they can and do not take any consideration for data exposure, role-based access control and sensitive data governance.
Limited Pre-built Functionality
Low-code solutions promise to allow businesses to build any app with a simple amount of steps and little amount of effort. This promise is only true when users utilize the out-of-the box pre-built functionality. Due to the complex application needs of any enterprise business, if special requirements aren’t currently available, within the low-code solution, the entire framework needs to be changed to work with custom code in order to support advance functionality, defeating the purpose of using a low-code solution.
Limited Integration with Businesses Systems & Processes
It’s almost certain that there will be integration issues when using a low-code solution. As a user works with the application there will be speed and functionality issues that over time delay integral processes. This causes an enterprise business to have to change their business processes to adapt to the limited functionality provided by the low-code application framework.
Application Life-Cycle Support & Maintenance Costs
Unlike software as a service (SaaS), which allows businesses to always have the latest updated software in exchange of a subscription fee, low-code development can have a series of hidden costs. One of the most overlooked aspects of enterprise application development are the cost of supporting and maintaining throughout its life-cycle. This is usually not part of the original project budget and it can be extremely expensive over time.
Lack of Security Oversight
The security of sensitive data is the most important concern for an enterprise business. Using a low-code solution businesses rely on a framework that promises to be secure, but has no real way to prohibit the end user to expose sensitive customer data, as they usually have to make decisions about application configurations and permissions. Additionally, without knowing how secure a custom low-code framework is, companies will have to rely on fully trusting a vendor without being able to perform any kind of security and compliance audits.
Alternatively, in software as a service product-based solution, engineers building enterprise mobile applications enforce processes and techniques to ensure high security standards are followed. User experience designers ensure that all of the application is easy-to-use and user friendly prior to writing a single line of code. Developers write the code based on the mobile application and integration requirements. Finally, a quality assurance team is needed to test all the application’s functionality and ensure all integration layers work properly. In other words, a large team of experienced professionals work together with a lot of complicated moving pieces, orchestrated by a proficient engineering team, ensuring the mobile application works properly, it’s user friendly, integrates with business’s needs, and all sensitive business data is secured.