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Software Development Life Cycle (‘SDLC’) has long been the staple approach for building and maintaining enterprise software. This long and arduous process requires significant time to be spent on business requirement gathering, functional and technical architecting, and choice of technology. Only then can the development process commence. Traditional wisdom has taught us that not planning or architecting correctly can significantly increase development costs and can lead to entire re-work. It also advocated patience for the end software product to be revealed in all its glory. Every new change was then required to be queued up again and follow the same arduous process. In today’s fast-paced environment, the patience advocated in support of SDLC can mean that the application is redundant and dead on arrival in spite of the rigor of planning and the thought that went into creating a superior product. SDLC and its incremental variants like Agile simply do not keep up to pace with the demands of today’s business.
The quest of Continuous Integration and Continuous Development (CI/CD) as an improvement over Agile has been limited to code deployment and has made little improvement in the planning and architecting of software. No-code completely changes the software development, maintenance, and deployment lifecycle and allows for a true CI/ CD approach across the software development life-cycle.
Rigorous planning loses relevance because mistakes are no longer costly
No-code platforms allow for changes to be made on the fly and without having to re-write or re-test code. Each mistake in planning and conceptualizing a workflow or functionality can be identified visually as the software is taking shape and can be corrected through a few re-arrangements in the visual interface. The cost of mistakes is down to minutes compared to days in the traditional SDLC process.
Architecting is not required because no-code is pre-architected
The role of solution architects who would bring together libraries, technologies, and frameworks to envision an end system is virtually eliminated. No-code platforms allow the resident developer or end-user to decide which component to use depending on the use case. Each component is pre-architected and pre-integrated with other components thereby eliminating the ideation and coding process for bringing components and technologies together.
Changes can be made and incorporated at any time within hours
Change management and associated costs have traditionally been prohibitive. Software release cycles except for critical defects tended to be quarterly or half-yearly. In a true no-code world, changes can take place in hours without having to worry about the implications of one change across other pieces of code or integration points. Testing is now focused on functionality and not the integrity of the code.
Deployment to production environments is a one-click process
Deployments to production were seen as a serious and sometimes nerve-racking process requiring black-out periods, system downtime, system restore procedures, and rollback fail-safes. All in all, the costly redundancies created were seen as essential in case of deployment failure. No-code platforms allow for one-click deployment of packages, front-end database switching, and the ability to move to production and retain back-ups and copies without jumping through multiple deployment hoops.
Business requirement gathering and software configuration are not sequential processes
Business requirement gathering and enabling users to make up their minds was difficult. This is because users believe that any future change will take a long-time to come and hence perfection was more important than speed. With no-code platforms, software configuration takes place almost in parallel to business requirement gathering. This enables incremental improvements to take place and reduces slowdowns in the quest for perfection.
No-code platforms are changing the way software is developed and deployed. There is a need for a change in the mindset by which SDLC processes are run. Organizations can save a significant portion of their IT budgets by disbanding existing SDLC processes and moving to a no-code-centric CI/CD process.
This article is authored by Muzammil Patel, Global Head Strategy and Corporate Finance at Acies
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