How to Avoid Low-Code and No-Code Chaos?

We use all sorts of software applications to manage information. While some organizations rely on rigid and inflexible systems that require assistance from suppliers to make changes, others may use spreadsheet applications beyond their intended purpose. However, a middle ground exists between software applications developed using low-code and no-code platforms.

These low-code and no-code platforms enable non-technical business users to become ‘citizen developers‘ by providing a user-friendly interface to pre-made templates and building blocks. This graphical interface eliminates the need for coding skills and allows business users to create fully functional applications from scratch.

The Rise of the Citizen Developer

Low-code and no-code platforms have become increasingly popular due to a growing demand for more flexible tooling. That demand stems from the need for tools to adapt to non-standardized working methods, changing collaborations that require integrations with different applications, and software that can be easily adapted to respond to continuous improvements.

Low-code and no-code applications are created by non-technical users known as ‘citizen developers,’ who have the ability to customize the application to their own preferences. Citizen developers can choose the names of information building blocks, define their relationships, and determine how end-users interact with them. Essentially, citizen developers have control over how the tools are designed, significantly impacting how you perform your work.

Citizens Creating Chaos

As citizen developers customize applications according to their own preferences, it becomes harder to standardize working methods, manage changes and scale the utilization of tools. Because every citizen developer creates their own tool, the subsequent lack of uniformity and standardization leads to problems such as inefficiency arising from different working methods and configurations, high IT management costs due to the diversity in interfaces between applications, and dependency on individual citizen developers for continuity.

How to Avoid Choas

Companies can implement frameworks to counter the chaos caused by citizen developers in managing low-code and no-code platforms. These frameworks provide guidelines for citizen developers on designing information building blocks and creating scalable interfaces between different tools.

However, many companies lack such standards, and vendors of no-code and low-code applications exacerbate the problem by marketing their products as ”anyone can use” without considering the consequences for the business.

The Semmtech Framework is a standard framework for managing applications based on no-code and low-code platforms by offering citizen developers methods and techniques for setting up and managing applications and interfaces in a standardized way. It can help companies achieve the following benefits:

  • Lower IT development and management costs through standardization,
  • Less dependence on internal functional managers and information architects,
  • Less dependence on external software suppliers (flexible in choices).

Use Case: Systems Engineering

The rise of no-code and low-code platforms in Systems Engineering (SE) can be attributed to the complexity and rigidity of traditional SE applications. These applications are inadequate for settings where organizations work in temporary and changing compositions and where engineering methods are rapidly evolving. As is the case in sectors like infrastructure, energy and water. 

The Semmtech Framework is used to make agreements for citizen development in Systems Engineering (SE). This results in a standardized primary (common) language for SE and an application blueprint within your company.

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