No-Code refers to a software development approach where the programmers don’t require coding to execute a set of commands to build a said application. They allow the separation of syntax from logic and instead take a visual approach with in-built drag-and-drop features to create a relaxed and easy software development environment. This promotes the idea of even the non-programmer employees being citizen developers, who have the necessary knowledge & business acumen required for the application but lack the necessary programming knowledge to build one or make changes to its functionality.
On the other hand, Technical Debt in the field of software development refers to some of the coding parts that a developer puts off for later or uses sub-optimal coding to speed up the delivery and meet a deadline during the development of software project. The team then has to return to this project at some point to revise the code or add more functionality. It’s the coding that he/she must do tomorrow as a result of opting for a shortcut to get the project delivered today. This debt then must be paid back by the developer with future reworks. It is inevitable to a certain extent. However, too much technical debt can create a problem as it might overwhelm the developers, drain the organization’s resources and even infringe IT’s ability to solve business problems and innovate.
But how do the two connect? Can the use of no-code platforms help business firms in reducing their technical debt? If so, then how?
In my opinion, yes, the no-code platforms can surely help business organizations in reducing or perhaps, even eliminating their technical debt. This is because using a no-code platform empowers organizations to build powerful applications quickly without actually using multiple lines of code, which in turn lowers the burden of ongoing maintenance for the IT teams, and allows them to redirect essential resources towards the innovation that drives a business forward. It manages technical debt at every step of the process: designing, development, integration, maintenance, and even beyond. This can be observed in the following ways:
When business users and developers collaborate to design applications together, it eases out & clears both of their doubts and differences in the best way possible. No-code platforms enable this collaboration & encourage clear and free inputs from business users. Hence, the business users can influence the development of the said application as it is developed before their own eyes. The feedback that they share also provides the development team with a clear picture of what is needed.
No-code application development is 10-12 times faster as compared to traditional application development approaches. This happens because, with a No-code platform, the development team just focuses on executing their vision while the coding part is left for the platform. The right No-code platform provides both speed and customized development avenues according to the needs of the developer.
The no-code automation platforms combine all the aspects of a workplace to create a single workflow- Human workers, AI (Artificial Intelligence), RPA (Robotic Process Automation), plus legacy systems, external tools and data while keeping data in place. This helps firms to automate processes and integrate applications- even the complex ones- with relative speed and ease.
No-code applications are launched with the latest UI and security standards and on the latest devices and cloud platforms, which eliminates the need to modify them according to various operating systems and separate environments. New applications do not add to the technical debt list and the IT teams don’t need to worry about working overtime, as security certifications, performance considerations, regulatory checks, and upgrades are all handled by the platform automatically.
All of these advantages provided by No-code platforms allow an organization to reduce its technical debt significantly, if not eliminate it. A No-code platform also automates the updates and maintenance requirements that are usually handled by the IT department. This reduces the overhead costs of running an application significantly. It also reduces the pressure and burden of maintaining the applications for the super-busy IT staff, and in turn, helps them to get back on innovative development techniques and ideas that made them fall in love with IT in the first place.