The idea that even a non-technical person can create an app without coding is extremely appealing. CIOs have been working with No Code app development for a few years now, and while there has been some success, there are several failures as well.
One of the big problems with letting citizen developers take over application creation is the lack of governance. In this article, we will talk about the importance of No Code governance, building a governance structure, and some of its governing principles.
What Is No-Code Governance?
The purpose of No Code governance is to ensure you securely maximize your No Code platform’s value throughout the entire software development life cycle. It is a set of rules to ensure that citizen developers do not create a shadow IT system that hurts your organization’s interests.
Governance, when aligned with your business objectives, makes sure that your No Code platform delivers the RoI that you need from it. It allows you to scale your operations while mitigating risk comfortably and, at the same, accelerates the development processes.
What Are the Problems With Lack of No Code Governance?
In principle, No Code software seems like the perfect solution to the problems of agility, customizability, and lack of trained resources when talking about digital transformation.
However, in practice, handing over a No Code app development to non-technical, untrained staff can quickly become a mess. It can churn out unwieldy, unsafe, and disconnected apps that can put your entire company at risk.
In fact, this very reason has led to many CIOs shunning No Code platforms. After all, a customer-facing app that hasn’t gone through the security protocols of the company is extremely risky. Just because no code platforms provide rapid prototyping and agile development, it does not mean that code reviews or testing are optional.
Here are some more risks that a lack of governance can cause:
- There is no one accountable for app failures since there is no central overseeing team
- Citizen developers can end up producing pockets of unmonitored data-sharing and reporting within the organization. This can put the company’s data assets at risk.
- The apps created may not be interoperable, making scalability impossible.
- Non-technical staff might think that training is not required for creating apps. Even with no code, it is important to ensure training on security and data integrity principles before deploying apps.
Creating a No Code Governance Structure
A No Code governance structure can decide roles and responsibilities and choose which permissions are to be provided to whom. To do this, it is important to develop a team that scopes out all of these things at multiple levels.
For example, you can create a central IT governance framework for No Code under the IT function and headed by the CIO/CTO. This governance team can do the following:
- Establish and ensure that both technical and non-technical teams follow best practices for no-code development
- Decide which No Code platform will serve the company needs the best
- Create policies and rules for citizen developers
- Put together a central repository of resources
- Organize meets, workshops, and training for citizen developers.
- Prioritize the No Code projects that are the big ticket items.
- Report on the status of No Code projects in the company.
Under this central team, tactical teams can be built to manage the day-to-day work of No Code operations. This could include managing roles and permissions and ensuring adherence to data security protocols.
While the roles remain the same, there can be three different ways to build a team like this:
A single center of excellence team manages all roles and responsibilities of No Code development in the firm. This model is excellent for easy scalability. However, it runs the risk that the core team may not have the capabilities to run certain tasks. With a centralized model, you have to be very careful with the team being chosen. Otherwise, the entire operation can face huge bottlenecks
Each business unit in the organization can have its own center of excellence. Each team can decide on its own set of processes, structures, and policies that suit the function. This model is excellent for organizations that have largely disassociated functions.
However, interoperability between applications of different functions and data sharing can become nearly impossible with this method. Moreover, each business unit will have its own expectation of quality and deliverables. For a customer-facing setup, this could be disastrous.
A Mix of Both
Both the previous models have their flaws; therefore, a hybrid approach is often the best. A core team that decides broad policies and supports delivery and operations can be set up. At the same time, each function can create its own governance body that can help drive application development faster.
Key Principles of Governance That Stakeholders Need To Understand
The biggest problem with No Code is that it often creates a rift between IT and No Code developers. Hence, the following principles of No Code governance are necessary to be understood and propagated to all in the organization:
- Security, especially that of information, system integrity, permissions and access, and data all reside with IT. No Code developers need to get IT to approve these.
- The IT function has to provide a sandboxed space for No Code developers to generate their apps.
- Rules for creating applications have to be jointly decided between IT and Citizen developers.
- The central No Code governance body is the primary custodian of No Code projects, not the IT team.
- A coordination team of IT and Citizen developers must be set up to ensure a smooth and continuous exchange of information and updates.
No Code application development can work wonders for your organization’s RoI. All it needs is a little bit of controls and governance. A well defined No Code governance policy and team can create the structures that are needed to unleash the power of No Code platforms.