Connecting state and local government leaders
As states struggle to find qualified developers, a report says using these quick turnaround applications saves time, money and personnel, but there are some challenges.
Low-code and no-code software development became a vital tool for state chief information officers amid the pandemic because they provide a quick turnaround unlike traditional programming, according to a report by the National Association of State Chief Information Officers.
The LC/NC software allows for a reduction in time from concept to implementation, which has saved state CIOs a lot of time. LC/NC also addresses workforce challenges.
LC/NC platforms are designed to make it easier to design, build and launch applications quickly without having to worry about the nuances of underlying operating systems or scalability requirements.
As states struggle to find qualified developers, either because of the lack of available skilled workers or inability to compete with private sector salaries, using LC/NC application development means they do not need as many employees, the report says.
However, there are some downfalls to implementing the LC/NC software, one being cost. According to the report, licensing every employee to use the application would be extremely cost prohibitive.
The report also states that a specific skill set is needed to work with the software: “Even though it’s easier than building apps from scratch, it’s not a job for just anyone.”
Another issue the report mentions is that the licensing can be complicated. According to NASCIO, you need to thoroughly understand the application upfront, what you are building and how you will use it so you do not over or under license.
Strategies For Success
Here are five strategies for success from the report based off conversations NASCIO had with its corporate members and state IT leaders:
- Remember governance. Creating a strong governance around LC/NC, and owning the process, ensures that you deal with less shadow IT and have zero problems figuring out how to debug applications. (Shadow IT is the use of IT-related hardware or software by a department or individual without the knowledge of the IT department or a security group.)
- Protect intellectual property and data. Before signing a contract, ensure that you can get back your intellectual property if you switch to a different vendor. Alternatively, you can save the data in another location as a backup.
- Understand licensing. Know what you need before you sign a contract because finding the best fit solution, despite the upfront costs, can save a lot of money and time over time.
- Avoid application changes. Remain standard when it comes to coding. If you program on top of the application, then it is no longer considered low code. This is also a vital tool while training users.
- Have staff with the appropriate skill set. This will help make operations run smoother.
For more information from the NASCIO report click here.
Andre Claudio is an assistant editor at Route Fifty.