No-code tools have nothing but benefits. But if these platforms were only the mask of a form of enslavement of your company which could be fatal to it? According to research firm Forrester, No Code platforms can build apps up to 10 times faster than traditional methods. Faster to develop, less expensive, ignoring the shortage of developers, according to Gartner, No code should supplant traditional programming within most organizations by 2024.
Thus, according to estimates from the research firm, in 2025, 70% of applications developed by companies will be based on low or no-code technologies According to the research firm, more than half of companies will have created their website, their data management system, their CRM, their applications for their customers, and their entire digital footprint via No-Code tools.
The latter is praised for all the advantages they present, and there are many of them. An opportunity, a godsend even if we believe all his apostles who sing of his benefits and be the first. The No-Code software publishers, of which I am a part, invite all entrepreneurs aboard this magnificent transatlantic that is No Code so that their ideas and ambitions take off in 7th heaven.
As a No Code editor, I should be happy about that. I should also praise its principles and virtues rather than pronouncing the anathema. Still, here, I must admit that most No Code tools have a problem, that nobody talks about it, and that companies in full who have bet everything on this technology could experience a more than painful landing if all their structures are based on proprietary software.
No Code, A Revolution… Or Enslavement?
Having a website, a web application, or even a personalized CRM are the three pillars of the innovative company as we conceive it today. A standard base that was not accessible to everyone a few years ago. Developers capable of building this foundation, without which we cannot conceive of the success of a professional organization, are increasingly rare and increasingly expensive.
But since then, a small revolution pointed the tip of its nose and allowed all corporations, businesses, and SMEs to create any digital product at a lower cost, faster, and in a more fun way than the traditional code allows. A magic trick? A revolution? No, the No Code.
The No Code, The Promise Of Entrepreneurship To All
No Code as we know it today is the culmination of an old dream of developers, full of good intentions, of the 80s who wanted to democratize the creation of digital tools, even for those who did not know not to code. Because remember that more than 99% of the world’s population does not know any computer language.
Illiteracy was comparable to the Middle Ages, where only an enlightened elite had learned to read and write. HyperCard, launched in 1987 by Apple, is considered one of the first No Code tools. As with LEGOs, the user assembles piles of functions (Image, sound, drawing idea, telephone number) to create a small application, his masterpiece. But nothing that competes with the work of a developer.
Since then, two significant revolutions have changed the game; the arrival of the Cloud allows backup and access to data anywhere in the world, synchronized and in real-time. And the APIs, a digital electrical outlet, allow applications and functionalities to be linked between all recent software.
Since then, Webflow has swept through businesses around the world with more than 3.5 million registered users this year, Bubble to win the day with more than $100 million in fundraising in 2022, and Airtable would be used by more than 300,000. Organizations with 735 million fundraisings carried out at the beginning of the year. Are these No Code tools the lifesaving song responding to the shortage of developers, or the siren song that could well sink you, crew and ship included?
The Two Problems Of Proprietary No Code: Are Vendor Lock-In And Data Protection
Except that along the way, the crew explains that the ticket price has changed, that from now on, the trip will be 25% more expensive, and, icing on the cake, the plane will only be able to keep three of your four pieces of luggage. If you refuse to pay, you are dumped with your belongings on the high seas. This is called vendor lock-in.
Most traditional No Code publishers know that the time and resources you’ve invested in their platforms to build your digital products, websites, or apps are too valuable to let go with the slightest change in pricing. Worse still, by entrusting the hosting of your data and that of the users of the apps you have created via these No Code tools to these publishers, you are not protected from a change of hosting which could prove fatal to your business.
Some companies must host their data in certain countries, as provided by the European GDPR or the American Patriot Act. Otherwise, the activity of the organization must be interrupted. And what about security issues? You become dependent on their security standards by building your digital infrastructure, website, web app, mobile applications, etc., on a proprietary software suite.
Over time, your product’s cybersecurity and data protection standards may change. You may be worried if you haven’t chosen an Open-Source Nocode editor. No Code is THE solution for your business to reach new heights, but be careful not to burn your wings with proprietary software. As the name suggests, you are only the tenant of its solutions, eviction can await you at any time, and the accommodation can quickly become unsanitary.
Should we deprive ourselves of No Code tools? Not. They have become essential and allow us to meet technological and logistical challenges at a lower cost. No Code enables everyone to create a digital product without any interference or help from developers, which are too expensive for most VSEs and SMEs on the path to digitalization. On the other hand, should we trust Nocode editors that are not Open-Source?
The Solution: No Code And Open-Source
Vendor-lock-in and data protection, here are the risks of No Code tool vendor lock-in, and here’s how to properly mitigate them. You may have understood: all you have to do is use No Open-Source code platforms. For each No Code tool leader, its non-proprietary No Code counterpart corrects its faults. Being Open-Source, No Code platforms allow companies to continue with or without the publisher’s help.
Does the latter offer a new update that does not meet your GDPR expectations? No worries, you can dissociate yourself from the publisher and continue to use its platform by hosting the solution as you see fit. Does the new pricing of the latter suit you? No problem; by hosting your solution On-Premise, your product will no longer receive updates from the publisher, and you will no longer have to pay a monthly fee.
Your teams want to create a product in No Code, but you need more than the security and data protection standards that the publisher offers. Very good; since the solution is Open-Source, your company can modify the tool’s code at its convenience and use it to create products that meet your cybersecurity specifications. Without forgetting a possible takeover of the publisher No Code by an unscrupulous GAFAM, which could decide to multiply ten the pricing grid.
Additionally, Nocode Open-Source platforms generally position themselves as outsiders to their more well-known rivals and, in most cases, offer much cheaper subscriptions and pricing for nearly identical services and tools. Some even allow their devices to be used offline. Choosing a No Code Open-Source tool means making a sensible choice that will never put the future of your business at risk.
Choosing the right No Code technology is a significant challenge that contractors should not take lightly, so understanding the risks of No Code vendor lockout and properly mitigating them is vital. The Nocode is an open door to all entrepreneurs and all companies to innovate and create in the digital world, provided that the latter is Open…Source, in which case it risks closing more abruptly than expected.
Read Also: No Code / Low Code: What Is It? Definition, Free Tools