No Code/Low Code – Is it a Migration Solution?

In the wake of COVID-19, many companies are planning cloud migrations to mitigate the effects of future disasters. However, cloud migrations require a lot of time and money, leaving many IT managers to look towards no-code and low-code solutions to lower these requirements. While these platforms can make migrations easier in some cases, they can’t answer all of your migration issues. To make it easier to decide when to use no-code and low-code tools, let’s look at some of the advantages and disadvantages of these solutions.

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How easy to use are low-code and no-code tools?

While it might seem like low code and no code tools should be simple to use, you still need to have technical knowledge in order to develop apps with them. It’s worth noting that “no code” is also something of a misnomer. While the amount of necessary coding is minimal, there is still some coding needed. However, these platforms are certainly easier than traditional software development methods because they remove most of the nuances regarding operating systems or coding languages. Take advantage of free trials whenever possible to ensure your developers can use the low code and no code tools you’re considering.

Also read: Top Low Code Platforms

Advantages of low-code and no-code platforms

Low code and no-code platforms offer many advantages for companies looking to migrate their applications to the cloud.

Reduce the need for experienced developers

With regular development tools, you need highly-skilled application developers to refactor your software and ensure it will work properly in a cloud environment. Unfortunately, experienced developers are in short supply, and wait times for development projects can be long. With no-code and low-code platforms, however, you can take advantage of citizen developers who aren’t as experienced or specialized. Most of these tools offer a drag-and-drop editor that makes it relatively easy to get the functionality you want from your apps without needing to custom-code them.

These platforms can help you update the UI for your applications, but you also may be able to completely replicate the application in a way that’s cloud-friendly, rather than migrating the original. It really depends on how complex the application is and what the no-code and low-code programs support.

Speed up development of simple applications

With standard coding methods, even simple applications can take a long time to develop. By offering pre-built snippets of code that provide different functions, low-code and no-code tools can significantly speed up the timeline for simple application development. These tools have the potential to improve both time to value and ROI because you can start using the applications sooner.

Add options for workflow automation

Many no-code and low-code platforms include options for basic artificial intelligence (AI) features that allow you to automate certain tasks and workflows. However, you might need a developer on hand to code parts of the automation sequence. With all the manpower required for cloud migrations, adding automation when possible can make a huge difference. 

Disadvantages of low-code and no-code solutions

While no-code and low-code tools have a lot to offer, their disadvantages mean they won’t work for every organization.

Also read: Low Code: CIOs Talk Challenges and Potential

Less flexibility and portability

Few no-code and low-code tools are technology agnostic, especially when it comes to creating cloud-native apps. Many cloud providers offer some form of low-code or no-code platform, but if you ever switch cloud environments, you won’t be able to take the applications you’ve built with you. Additionally, when building applications, you’re limited to the pre-built code blocks that already exist unless you have an experienced developer on hand and the platform allows custom-coding.

Less security control

Because you’re not coding the application yourself, no-code and low-code tools limit the control you have over the security of your application. While many vendors take security very seriously, their levels of security may not match the requirements of your company, especially if you’re in a highly-regulated industry.

Less in-app efficiency

Custom-coded applications are generally programmed to be as efficient as possible, but that’s not always the case with apps built using low-code or no-code environments. With low-code and no-code tools, you’re stacking blocks of code to get the functionality you want, which may leave you with more lines of code than you would’ve needed if you had hand-coded the application. Extra code means it’s harder for the hardware to read, so the program runs slower.

Deciding when to use low-code and no-code tools for your cloud migration

If you don’t have many experienced developers on your staff, low-code and no-code tools may be able to improve the functionality of your applications after cloud migration. You can use these tools to refactor the UI or possibly even recreate apps in your new cloud environment. However, if you do have experienced developers on hand, you may decide to use them to code some of your more complex applications or those that require greater security or flexibility. If you do decide to use low-code or no-code tools, make sure you test them out before committing to make sure your citizen developers can use them.