Low-code/no-code platforms are gaining popularity, and no wonder – they offer a way to build applications faster and in a more cost-effective way. On top of that, they help manage technical debt and make maintaining applications much less of a headache. However, these platforms will not make professional developers obsolete in spite of their ease-of-use – not yet at least.

Developing completely tailored applications is slow and costly, as many companies who have bought business applications knows. The benefits of low-code/no-code -platforms stem from them offering certain basic elements ready-to-use. Thanks to this, the developer can focus on workflows and features that require tailoring and hand-made code from the get-go and does not need to spend time on programming the basics first.

Centralise your business applications on a single platform and get more out of your data

Often companies have several applications for different uses, which leads to siloed workflows and data. At worst, this leads to needless work as employees need to switch between applications and often copy-paste information from one app to another, to say nothing about the development, maintenance and licensing costs of multiple applications.

At their best, platforms like ServiceNow offer a possibility to centralize a company’s most important data and applications on one platform. This makes it possible to create efficient workflows that span the whole organisation and monitor them through reporting. The result?  Your company will save precious time and money, your employees can work more efficiently, and management has more accurate reports to base their decisions on.

Low-code/no-node platforms develop and broaden their capabilities continuously. This means that they can be applied to an increasing number of areas in your organisation. ServiceNow itself started out as an ITSM platform, but is now also widely used in customer service, human resources, project management and much more. Put simply: the more you commit to a platform like ServiceNow, the more you will get out of it.

Who can maintain your application in the future?

Completely tailor-made applications can often only be maintained by the person, team or company who built them. For companies, this is a risk. What happens if the company who custom-built your business-critical application goes bankrupt or key experts switch jobs?

Application administration becomes easier thanks to low-code/no-code platforms, too. A developer working for multiple different customers can expect to find the same basic platform features across all the different customer environments, even if each has also been customized for the specific needs of the customer organisation. The same goes for system administrators maintaining the application.

Whistleblowing application made possible thanks to ServiceNow

In 2021 EU passed a law, which requires companies offer their employees an anonymous platform to blow the whistle on ethically suspicious activities, for example. Hence, the nickname “whistleblower law”. Using the ServiceNow low-code/no-code platform we developed an application built precisely for this purpose.

The application contains tailor-made code and features, which were created for this particular organisation and adjusted to their specific needs. Despite of this, development was noticeably faster than if we would have started from scratch without the low-code/no-code platform.

Will low-code/no-code platforms make developers obsolete?

History knows many attempts of making software developers obsolete. The latest trend is artificial intelligence, which in the future may indeed succeed where other such attempts have failed. This is not likely to happen anytime soon, however.

Low-code/no-code platforms will often not completely eliminate the need to write code by hand either. Creating highly customized workflows or complex user interfaces still requires a skilled developer. A low-code / no-code platform simply offers the advantage of not having to build everything from ground-up and with less custom code than would otherwise be necessary.

It’s true that as time goes by, the companies behind these low-code/no-code platforms will continue to push the boundaries of what can be done without writing any code. There’s more to developing sophisticated applications than just coding, however. Specialized knowledge is still needed to make the most out of these platforms.

 

The author Miika Kallasoja is a ServiceNow developer and system administrator at Sofigate Solutions Center

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