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Can Low-Code Really Solve the Problem of Technical Debt

technical debt

What is technical debt, and how can low-code solutions ease the problem? Read on to learn more.

Ever since applications were introduced to the world in the 1990s, the app market has constantly been evolving. With the advent of Android and iOS platforms in 2008, the rate of evolution increased even more. The technology in the top 5 years back might be struggling to sustain itself in the market today. Hence, companies have to switch to new technology to stay relevant quickly. This creates a gap between a company’s IT capacity to reduce the time required to develop software, optimize processes, take shortcuts, and reduce operational costs. 

The growing gap between IT capacity and business needs, coupled with the shortcuts taken during this time, causes a lot of mess in terms of poor code that must be cleaned up sooner or later, resulting in technical debt.

So, What is Technical Debt?

Ward Cunningham, one of the founders of Agile programming, first introduced the concept of Technical Debt in the early 1990s. Technical debt conceptualizes the tradeoff between the short-term benefit of rapid delivery and long-term value. The term refers to accumulating mediocre code and design decisions over time. 

When building a new application, every development team can choose between creating it from scratch or using existing tools to make it. This decision is often influenced by the level of technical debt the organization is willing to take on, which, like the monetary debt, only increases with time.

Let’s say you would like to create new software. There are two ways you can do it:

  • A simpler, messier, yet fast method.
  • A harder path involving cleaner code and design.

Every action has a cost. Consequently, no matter what option you choose, you will have to pay for it. If you choose a more challenging route, your project might get delayed, whereas if you choose an easier path, your development time might speed up, but you’ll incur technical debt. Technical debts, if not addressed, can have a devastating effect on an organization.

Technical debt impedes innovation and growth as it keeps the developers engaged in the existing tasks. According to Stripe, developers spend 33% of their time eliminating technical debt, so they must focus on something other than innovating new things. 

Not only this, but technical debt also creates scalability problems for the developers. As you know, applications and systems must work together to be effective. However, for speedy development, IT teams grappling with technical debt may need more time to check new applications for backward compatibility. This, in turn, impedes integration and limits scalability.

The best way to deal with this is to adopt an agile operating environment that can help them respond quickly and effectively to dynamic business requirements, thus eliminating technical debt to avoid stumbling blocks and enable smooth operations. 

The low-code development platform is here to help you streamline your software development process while avoiding technical debt. By getting the best of both worlds, you can deliver great software projects with little to no debt. 

What is a Low Code Development Platform?

Low-code development platforms are software development platforms that apply a graphical user interface to the development of application software instead of traditional hand-coding. By reducing the amount of traditional coding, low-code platforms enable the accelerated development of business applications, thereby saving time and cost.

Low-code platforms enable users to develop business applications with little or no programming knowledge. With the platform, users can create end-to-end applications using a modeling-driven environment with a point-and-click configuration. In addition to reducing dependence on IT, the graphical application development tool also ensures compliance with regulatory requirements by enabling skilled developers and citizen developers to build industry-specific applications rapidly. 

Having explained what low code development means, let’s quickly introduce you to its role in relieving you of technical debt.

How Low Code Platform Solves the Technical Debt Problem?

Platforms with low code eliminate tech debt by allowing you to focus on what really matters: creating great experiences for your customers. Businesses can eliminate manual coding, accelerate deployments, and reduce development cycles by implementing low-code development. Check out how it can reduce your technical debt:

  • Upgrades Legacy Systems

Though legacy systems can facilitate smooth business operations, they are often insufficient to keep up with the pace of change. Low-code platforms can rescue you here. Low-code platforms enable organizations to enhance the functionality of existing legacy systems, such as ERP, CRM, core banking, and HRM, thereby reducing their transactional workload significantly.

  • Facilitates Rapid Prototyping

One of the best things about Low code app development is that it enables developers to prototype solutions quickly. You can also test, evaluate and refine these solutions on the spot without needing to involve a formal software development team. This tends to reduce a lot of workloads as well as save enormous time for the development team.

  • Ensures Seamless Integration of Cloud and On-Premise Applications

As more and more organizations migrate to the cloud, integration of legacy systems with cloud-based applications becomes essential. By migrating or integrating to the cloud, businesses can become more agile, improve inefficiencies, and provide a better customer experience. Low-code platforms facilitate this integration. Using low-code platforms, enterprises can easily integrate legacy systems with cloud-based applications. 

  • Democratization Of Software Development

With low code frameworks, anyone and everyone- which is leading to the democratization of software development. By empowering developers of all skill sets with a visual and collaborative approach, low-code bridges the gap between what businesses need and what IT can deliver. 

Introducing citizen developers to business users allows IT staff to devote their time to more value-added work. Implementing low-code solutions, which enable business users to build industry-specific applications quickly, can help companies accelerate their business application development processes. 

  • Help you Create an Omnichannel Ecosystem. 

It is crucial that users have a tangible way to give feedback on prototypes and in-progress builds in order for development teams to have an accurate picture of what is actually needed. And the Low Code platform gives you that facility. 

With Low code, business users can express themselves clearly and frequently. As the application takes shape before their eyes, end users can make their voices heard, unlike in the case of feature development occurring in a vacuum.

  • Low-code Applications are Easier to Maintain 

Low-code applications improve the maintainability of the application. Removing the tedious plumbing tasks from day-to-day development, it relieves software maintenance of a great deal of burden. 

The low code platform uses standardized, pretested, ready-made components, so there is a greater probability of bugs and integration issues than in the past, so developing applications for various operating systems and environments is eliminated. Maintaining applications more effectively will lead to more innovative work that drives business value. 

  • Increase Team Productivity

A low-code development process increases team productivity. With the IT and business teams working together, you are able to solve real problems that are impacting the company. By removing complex code, more team members are able to contribute regardless of their skill level, which ultimately improves productivity. 

Is Low-Code the Solution to Technical Debt?

Not necessarily. While low code can make some processes and systems more efficient and user-friendly, it is not a silver bullet to solve the problem of technical debt. In order to maintain the highest levels of quality and performance, you still need to get an expert involved in it.

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