How to bring no-code into your workplace: Easing IT concerns

IT departments look at no-code with some trepidation. Here are the answers to their concerns.

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The term ‘no-code’ is not normally the favourite thing an IT department likes to hear whispered into their ears. They’ll have some concerns – it’s your job to mitigate them and answer their questions. That’s where this guide comes in. 

Picture the scene. You’re a humble employee in a business or organisation, and you’re ready to bring about a little digital transformation. But you can’t simply storm into your boss’ office, demand a no-code platform and get moving. There’s an IT department to contend with. That means probably one or two layers of oversight and possibly an IT architect who ultimately decides which platforms or tools to bring into the business. 

IT pushback

No-code or low-code fundamentally changes the dominant model of how an IT team delivers software within an organisation. That dominant model goes a little like this: the business says it needs a software solution, and the IT team either buys software, uses a development agency to build it for them, or builds it themselves in-house. 

No-code upsets that because: 

  1. It empowers the business, meaning less reliance on the IT department. That can be a pretty daunting prospect (see: Turkeys voting for Christmas). 
  1. It creates a whole new class of people within the organisation who can deliver software. That brings with it a lot of concerns and worries.


The upshot is that when you meet with an IT team, you’ll be sensing more fear, anxiety and concern than joy, enthusiasm and praise. But they’re the people who need to be convinced – and you want to work with them in partnership rather than being in opposition.

So here goes, a rundown of the questions you’re likely to encounter – with the answers we think you should be delivering.

Top tip: Proceed with all of these answers with: ‘Great question’. 

Q1: Why should we use this? 

‘Don’t you remember when I made the case? Ultimately, if no-code is delivered properly, then more people can deliver solutions for the organisation. That gives us a competitive advantage; it also reduces the amount of unnecessary communication and time that has to happen. Anything we can do to improve output has to be beneficial to everyone, especially in our sector. We’ll be cutting development costs and timelines, bringing more innovation into the business and giving subject matter specialists a means of expressing their ideas. And, perhaps most importantly, we’ll be saving time and cash by becoming far more efficient through automation.’

Top tip: It’s easier to sell no-code on its automations and efficiencies rather than on the innovation angle. 

Q2: Who’s this actually for?

‘In short, there are plenty of departments. The really exciting thing is that it enables people across the business to build software: wherever there’s a subject matter expert, that’s someone who can now deliver software directly with no-code. Customer service employees who know the customers best can actually build their ideas. Operations employees who are driving you up the wall with all their shadow IT can now build robust solutions. Designers and product managers who want to prototype things. Marketing and salespeople who want to automate tasks. IT workers who have the sense to build apps but lack the hard coding skills.’ 

Top tip: That last point about IT workers is probably the one that’ll truly resonate. 

See more right here 

Q3: How do we know we’ll be able to use it?

There are two reasons:

  • ‘The first is that we’ll only look for people that are naturally inclined to use it, and there are specific personas that fit the bill. People who code in their own time, have a design background or are naturally great at things like Excel are the type of people who will be making use of this. 
  • The second is that we’ll build a centre of excellence and a comprehensive training programme in tandem with the IT department. That’ll cover not only how to build with these tools, but how to deploy them safely within our organisation – including a certification.’  

Q4: How do we know people will build good software apps? 

 ‘We’ll train and certify employees to make sure. That means before any software is built in this organisation, we have a certification that IT approves of. We’ll introduce strong governance processes to ensure the software is built properly, maintained, and there are several layers of oversight into anything deployed – which will closely mirror how IT currently deploys software. And the CoE will have the appropriate expertise within it.’  

Q5: How do we know these platforms are safe to connect to our infrastructure?

  1. ‘No-code platforms come with the usual enterprise features, like configurable access controls, SSO and audit logs. So in the same way that IT secures every other bit of software, no-code platforms can do that too. 
  2. The governance process will catch any and all problems, and make sure anything not up to standard is caught and validated before it’s deployed and any problems arise.’

Q6: How can we trust non-technical people to connect to our infrastructure?

‘Because there will be rigorous oversight (through the CoE) and education provided, including on the fundamentals like databases and APIs. There'll also be safeguards in place to add that extra layer of protection – such as building connectors to the database so that people can’t access databases directly.’

Q7: Why would the business do this when IT can just do it for them?

‘The truth is that IT just doesn’t have the capacity to bring some of these solutions into the business quickly enough, or to the degree that the business needs them. If shadow IT is a problem here (and we’d wager it almost certainly is), that’s proof of that fact. Ultimately many organisations have plenty of smart people, subject matter specialists with innovative ideas that never get to see the light of day because IT doesn't have the resources.’ 

Top tip: here’s the time to bring up shadow IT if it’s rampant at your organisation.

Q8: Don’t we need people with programming knowledge to use these tools? 

‘In a word, no. If we want to bring in a genuine no-code tool like Betty Blocks, it’s not necessary to have programming know-how. Of course, if we go for more of a low-code tool, like Retool, and just want to speed technical people up, that’s different.’  

Q9: Why don’t we just use an existing tool within the organisation?

‘It depends on whether the existing tool is actually no-code, and whether people in the team are actually able to use it to the degree that we need. It’s pretty unlikely that existing tools will be able to do the exact task to the same degree – but that’s something we could put to the test by trying to train employees on it and seeing which has the best output. It’s our view that no-code is a methodology and a way of working that’ll benefit the entire organisation.’ 

Q10: How will we govern these tools?

‘We’ll build a governance process in tandem with a CoE – in full collaboration and partnership with the IT department, including oversight and sign-off if that’s what you need.’  

Q11: Where is the data stored? 

‘This will depend on the platform in question, but if it fits our organisation, we can pick a tool that’s entirely self-hosted and is easy to self-host (such as Retool). If we want more flexibility, then we can consider a tool which can be hosted on our enterprise’s own private cloud solution (such as Betty Blocks).’

Q12: How will we ensure our organisation’s data security?

‘Firstly, only people who have been trained and certified will be allowed to use the no-code tool. We’ll also have a thorough governance process where no-code experts will run through every single part of the app and make sure users understand how to use them safely. The governance process will also ensure that, whenever a new app is ready to be published live, any individual will be subject to an oversight process and any changes they make will be recorded. We can also use whatever the current IT process is too.’

Q13: How does the maintenance work?

‘We’ll provide support for this in our CoE so that if any individual were to suddenly disappear, we’ll have a clear and established set of instructions for how the software works and how to maintain it. Our training programme will ensure there are more and more no-code developers who we can always bring on to solve problems. And, finally, we can hire external no-code expertise for the platform in question quite easily.’

Q14: Low-code tools are more flexible. Why not just go with them? 

‘There’s a pretty big difference between no-code and low-code tools. The key thing to note is that no-code tools have vastly different learning curves – the more difficult the tool, the more time it’ll take to train and the more governance and resources it’ll demand. Multiply that across our organisation and it suddenly becomes a very different beast. 

How easy a tool is to use (aka, user interfaces) is not a nice to have; it’s actually the primary deciding factor in how useful no-code will be to our organisation and how safely productive people will be. That means we have to lead with the easiest to use interface (whether it’s beautiful or not). Whichever tool is easiest to use by the largest number of people is the one to pick.’

Q15: Won’t no-code just lead to even more shadow IT? 

‘No, no-code implemented properly should be the antidote to shadow IT. After all, shadow IT happens because people throw together solutions that IT can’t make for them. No-code is built off a centralised platform with a CoE, meaning that only trained and certified people will even be allowed to use them. The governance process also enables us to easily spot problems and plan for integrations in the future. 

By standardising it onto no-code, we’re suddenly using one solution that the right people are able to learn and use. If we can move 300 shadow IT apps into no-code, you suddenly have a workforce of people who know how to use them and they’re controlled and regulated. No-code takes all that mess and turns it into one coherent and robust system, with the whole company behind it.’

Q16: Okay, we’re sold. But answer us one last question: Where did you learn all this?

‘The imperious Nocode.Tech website.’ 

The takeaway

That covers the bulk of the concerns you’ll face from an IT department. But there are three important things to keep in mind throughout your discussion. The first is that you should always lean on the cost-saving argument rather than anything philosophical: that no-code improves business efficiencies through automations. The second is that if shadow IT is a problem already in the organisation (and it probably is), no-code is simply the best way to beat it. And lastly, that no-code and low-code are two separate capabilities that empower two different user groups.



About the Author
Duncan Griffiths Nakanishi

Duncan is lead editor at NoCode.Tech. He's a writer and editor with 8 years experience working in the media across business, culture, lifestyle and tech.


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