As no-code platforms rapidly grow in the world of application development, there are some basic questions that most CIOs have regarding the effectiveness of these platforms.
Two important issues that many of them raise are regarding the scalability and security aspects of no-code. After all, can an application that does not involve any coding be trusted for an organization-wide deployment?
Will it be secure enough, and can it take on enough data/user/information loads in real-time? Here are a few things to look out for when choosing a no-code vendor to ensure that their platform is safe and scalable.
How to Judge the Scalability of a No-Code Platform?
Here are a few things that CIOs should look at before implementing a no-code platform if they are planning to scale it up in the future.
One of the main ways in which no-code platforms ensure scalability is through microservices. These let you break down your programs by the tasks that they are supposed to perform, giving you micro-modules that can be plugged into any application that you wish to build.
Developers can use this to easily develop multiple applications in less time because it significantly reduces the effort needed to write, test, and deploy code.
Vendor Terms and Conditions
Much of how scalable your no-code platform is going to be is decided as soon as you sign your vendor agreement. Things like data capacity, how many users the platform can help, and how much control you get over workflows, information, documentation, and support are agreed upon in the contract.
It is important to go through the agreement with a fine-tooth comb before making any commitment. You can take help from IT consultants to finalize the right vendor that provides maximum scalability to your organization while not fleecing you for money.
Strength of its API Library
APIs are interface programs that connect two platforms with each other. For your no-code platform to be scalable, it is important to have a robust library of APIs.
APIs help connect your core application with important infrastructure such as location and payment services, which makes them indispensable in today’s setup. They also help connect apps within the company itself, extract data, and interface with legacy applications.
Without a strong library of APIs, a no-code platform can not be scalable enough to run organization-wide processes.
The data architecture is a critical piece of your platform. Scalability often depends on how well this piece is managed. This is especially true when developers are working on making multiple applications that talk to each other simultaneously.
Most no-code platforms offer cloud-based data management, which is both centralized, safe and easy to manage. However, pricing often escalates quickly as your data requirements grow, so it is important to check with your vendor about this part before signing any agreement.
One crucial aspect of a scalable system is easily adding, deleting, and modifying new users as they join the platform. While most no-code systems will have a simple module for this by default, it needs to be flexible enough to incorporate the unique hierarchical nature of your organization.
Another best practice that the system needs to follow is to have proper documentation of all aspects of the platform so that developers can easily understand any workflow or module without needing to reach out to the vendor.
Lastly, check if the vendor has a large and thriving developer community that can support your IT team in their efforts. Often, a lot of the work being done is simply reinventing the wheel of something that has already been implemented in some other context, so having a developer community helps to quickly resolve issues and make the application more scalable.
How to Make Sure Your No-Code Platform is Secure
Here are three things to look out for when choosing a no-code vendor that will ensure your organization’s security.
APIs and Third Party Integrations
The vendor should publish a list of authorized third-party APIs and integrations that can work with the platform. Better yet, it is good if the vendor has their own API marketplace where your software team can choose the right APIs.
Arbitrary usage of third-party integrations is one of the main ways through which vulnerabilities enter your system. These integrations could be with anything – from databases to applications and even cloud services.
By ensuring a standard API interface for all third-party integrations, a no-code platform guarantees that all external connections are secure.
All no-code platforms may not be subscription based. In fact, many of them use open-source platforms that are dependent on unvetted third-party integrations. As explained in the previous section, this can lead to vulnerabilities and gaps in the security system.
Moreover, some no-code platforms allow developers to select which cloud service they want to use, and public clouds can be a source of attacks on your system. In such cases, it is important to ensure that you have monitoring tools in place to keep a close check on attacks. Check if your no-code vendor offers these tools to you.
Fear of the Unknown
While some security concerns are very real, others are based on the perception of threat. This is because no-code is constructed as a black box.
For example, many backend activities in a no-code platform, such as API generation and data management, are hidden from the user. This creates a certain mistrust in the tool’s ability to protect critical information and systems.
To solve this problem, organizations can use many methods to check a platform’s security capabilities. For example, third-party security audits can be helpful when comparing multiple options.
Apart from that, security and compliance-related clauses in the contract, such as regular certifications, guaranteed SLAs, and insurance against cyber attacks, are other ways to ensure that your systems remain safe and secure.
No-code applications are here to stay. While concerns of stability and security were real issues in the past, today, there are a lot of safeguards and measures in place to mitigate these problems. By going through the list of checks and balances above, you can ensure that your no-code apps are both scalable and safe.