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What Technology Leaders Need To Know About Low-Code Development Platforms

Tech Leader

Democratized development. Rapid application delivery. Enhanced Collaboration. These are just some of the ways that low-code is levelling the software development playing field. With low-code platforms having become more sophisticated in recent years, many Chief Intelligence Officers (CIOs) are now considering how to merge them into their digital strategies. With inflationary pressures, skill shortages, and the constant need for innovation, low-code may be the edge CIOs need.

Low-Code means high adoption

Talent retention is one of the most persistent challenges that CIOs currently face. With professional developers being in such scarcity, it can seem a nigh-impossible task to keep pace with the digital requirements organizations need to stay ahead of the curve. 

Rather than being restricted by how many developers they can hire or contract, competitive CIOs should consider an alternative method: adopting sophisticated systems that can augment their existing talent. This has two important benefits: upfront hiring costs can be countered, while lengthy onboarding and upskilling processes can be avoided.

A low-code development platform empowers employees from across the board to become involved in the development process, and even create solutions themselves using automated tools. Business users and citizen developers can drastically take the pressure off IT and development teams, who can then focus on more high value tasks. 

However, low-code is not just for business users. Certain platforms – such as Plant an App  – allow existing developers to plug in their own code and scale low-code built solutions, making them suitable for enterprise-wide use. Furthermore, developers can benefit greatly from productivity-boosting tools, such as modular code segments or API-builders.

Staying Secure

With the increased speed and autonomy that low-code provides, some CIOs may be concerned about a potential sprawl of applications that can outpace governance standards and lead to breaches in security. There is also a worry among some that certain systems will be deployed outside of the IT department’s knowledge – namely, Shadow IT.

However, CIOs can still take advantage of the innovation and productivity that low-code brings; it just may mean making some tweaks to the operational blueprint. 

Adopting enterprise-wide compliance standards – supported by regular communication and education – can help minimize Shadow IT, as well as other security concerns. Furthermore,  a low-code platform can help unite siloed business and IT teams, providing a single interface for improved management and transparency.

Some CIOs may even wish to create a Centre of Excellence (CoE), where chosen leaders can educate and provide feedback to low-code users or citizen developers. However, the benefits of a CoE may go beyond security. Deloitte states that “A low-code CoE drives agility, scalability, maintainability and quality to allow you to stay ahead of the digital game.”

Finding a balance

When using  a low-code platform, CIOs will need to find balance between standardisation and innovation. While the former can be crucial for reasons linked to security and governance, it should not dampen the efficiency and progress that low-code automation allows. CIOs may therefore be required to update their operating models to fully leverage a low-code platform, balancing the use of software experts with citizen developers. 

In some instances, this may mean letting go of some control. As opposed to acting as a gatekeeper to technology, CIOs may wish to see themselves as facilitators; the guides that can usher organizations towards innovation and digital transformation. A low-code development platform can become a central part of this philosophy.

Forging a new path with vendors

In the same way that communication is important between different teams, CIOs should work closely alongside their low-code providers to grow their organization's digital maturity. Understanding the scope of a vendor’s platforms (such as its API capabilities, data framework, and cloud-usage) will be important when planning low-code strategies for the future.

With this in mind, it is worth partnering with low-code vendors that are dedicated to their clients. Speaking to a product expert who knows the platform inside-out can save CIOs time and get to the bottom of a solution.


CIOs have always held an important position within an organization, yet technology’s rapidly growing influence – and the deficit in IT talent – has only heightened the pressures that they face.

While not the only solution, investing in a low-code platform may be one of the most immediately impactful and cost-effective. Low-code can make the best use of an organization’s existing resources and talent, centralising applications and data, while also granting individuals more autonomy and creative power. 

Plant an App is here to support CIOs and organisations on their digital journey, providing a sophisticated development platform that is ready for the future.

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