What is Low-Code Governance & Why is it Necessary?

Success with a low-code platform—or any technology, really—can live and die with governance.

But governance doesn’t have to be the necessary evil we all think it is. In fact, a clear, concise, business-value-aligned governance framework can ensure that the low-code development platform you adopt generates a heavenly amount of ROI and keeps your company happy.

How you govern your low-code platform across your organization affects your ability to scale, manage and mitigate risk, and helps accelerate the creation of business value-producing applications.

When deciding which low-code platform to choose, you need to consider the platform’s tooling capabilities surrounding governance as well as testing, deploying, and managing applications. Delivery and deployment tooling and governance capabilities are so vital to your success with a low-code development platform, that Forrester included the categories in the Forrester Wave: Low-Code Development Platforms for Professional Developers, Q2, 2021.

What is low-code governance?

Low-code governance is a set of guardrails that ensure you are maximizing the value of the platform, and doing so securely, throughout the entire software development cycle. Put another way, it’s the rules your organization has in place that allow citizen developers from across the organization to create apps that can contribute to your bottom line.

The need for good governance

The nature of work is evolving. Citing their 2020 Digital Friction Survey, Gartner states that 49% of employees in organizations consider themselves technology end-users. But what about the employees that produce that technology?

  • 5% reside in central IT departments
  • 5% sit in business unit IT and data and analytics departments
  • A whopping 41% of “employees who customize or build data technology solutions” can be found in business units and corporate functions.

Depending on the industry, the number of non-IT tech producers can range from 26%-54%. That’s a lot of shadow IT, and with productivity-accelerating tools like low-code development platforms being adopted at market-breaking levels (Forrester predicts that 75% of application development will use low-code platforms by the end of 2021), that number is more likely to go up. Without the proper tools to govern its usage, you’re looking at a Wild West of noncompliance and disconnected data.

However, the answer to this inevitability isn’t a governance framework with stricter policies, standards, and security procedures. That would only serve risk mitigation. There’s a reason why 41% of technology producers are out of IT: Those closest to the business know how they can create business value. Thus, governance needs to also be about ensuring that productivity and business value are fostered, not hampered.

The right low-code platform offers tools to make building applications effortless for everyone in your org and implementing your low-code governance initiative a painless process for you.

We know low-code governance

This bears repeating: the right low-code platform lets everyone in your organization build business-strategy-aligned applications. The right low-code platform will have tooling for app testing, deployment, and management, as well as application and platform governance. This ensures that there are standard processes behind app development and deployment, regardless of whether that build is happening in IT, or from the outside.

Tooling for testing, deployment, and management

Among the 14 vendors assessed in the 2021 Forrester Wave: Low-Code Development Platforms for Professional Developers, Mendix ranks second-highest for app testing, deployment, and management tooling and capabilities, with a 4.50 out of 5.

Mendix offers a comprehensive suite of tools that give you the ability to perform testing across the entire software development lifecycle. The Application Test Suite (ATS) provides functional test automation. ATS also has a data-driven approach that enables non-functional tests like integration, process design, performance, and security testing.

On top of testing, Mendix also offers an application quality monitoring tool that checks apps’ quality against the ISO 25010 standard and provides a simple score to measure each app.  This is a critical capability for portfolio management and rationalization.

According to Forrester, Mendix’s “cloud-native credentials are also a standout with superior deployment options.” Where you deploy an application built in Mendix is really up to you. Mendix solutions are cloud-native, so you can deploy to the Mendix Cloud (public), Mendix Cloud Dedicated, Private, some hybrid thereof, or on-premises. The only hard part is figuring out which cloud you want because deployment is easy. With Mendix, you get a consistent and fully automated CI/CD pipeline with one-click deployment.

Mendix’s cloud-native credentials are also a standout with superior deployment options.

Key to ensuring you are deploying the right applications, Mendix has the Mendix Team Server that offers version management and control with automatic visual merging and conflict resolution. This is helpful, especially when users can provide feedback in live applications and that feedback can be processed into a new user story in the project.

Application and platform governance

When it comes to low-code platform governance, Mendix scored a 4 out of 5, placing second among all assessed vendors. The governance tooling you’ll find out-of-the-box with Mendix all support what we believe to be some of the major goals of good governance frameworks: fostering business value creation and mitigating risk.

Create with guardrails, not roadblocks: Mendix provides governance across the entire software development lifecycle. With the developer portal, users can collaborate from the project level to a very fine-grained, modeling level.

Control Center offers visibility into your application landscape so you can easily secure and manage. It gives you an overview of your application landscape, telling you which are active/inactive and who in your company is associated with that app. You can easily see and manage members and assign their roles and access credentials. You also get an overview of your cloud environment and its resource pack, failback options, and the appropriate technical contact.

Core to managing your brand, you can use Mendix’s out-of-the-box, customizable application templates, as well as utilize the Atlas UI framework that gives you a default design language that you can replace.

Manage and mitigate risk: Mendix supports identity and access management, two-factor authentication (2FA), and integrates with third-party identity management solutions, with support for AD, LDAP, OAuth, and SAML.

Developers can visually configure developer access control with 2FA and DTAP progressions, and any changes to security settings are traceable and managed.

Leaders of the pack

A lot of factors need to be considered when picking the right low-code platform, but when so much success lies in how it’s governed, it’s important to pick one that offers top-notch governance tooling as well as deployment, testing, and management capabilities.

Not only does Mendix score highly in these categories, Mendix ranks among the Leaders in low-code. In fact, Mendix received the highest score of all evaluated platforms in the ‘Current Offering’ category. One reference customer went as far as to say that “few aspects can be improved upon” in the Mendix Platform. Most importantly, it’s a platform designed to support your business strategies, help you improve productivity, and build more business value in a meaningfully governed way.

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