No-code platforms allow business users who already know the detailed workflows of daily operations to lead the application development process.
All journeys eventually come to an end. For the past decade or so, businesses of all shapes and sizes have been leisurely trotting along their digital transformation journey, almost as if they were taking the scenic route. Let’s admit, it hasn’t gone very fast. The pandemic changed that.
Overnight, the global pandemic of 2020 turned digital transformation journeys into panic-driven scrambles. It said: “Your time is up; there’s no more runway.” Many businesses crashed the landing — and some crashed hard.
The pandemic exposed critical vulnerabilities
Office employees instantly became remote workers. Companies from all industries and geographies rushed to solve for business continuity in a 100% virtualized environment. For most, this was not the business continuity plan they had prepared for.
On-premises systems suddenly became physically inaccessible. Manual office-based workflows vanished and remote workers struggled to virtualize their job functions.
The sudden transition to remote or hybrid work caused a rush for companies to elevate many systems and workflows into the cloud. Zoom sessions jumped 30-fold in the first month of the lockdown and at its peak more than 300 million daily users participated in virtual meetings.
The cloud became our lifeline.
However, companies struggled to keep up with the accelerated pace of change. All the unique and proprietary processes — the ‘secret sauce’ that differentiates a business from its competitors — proved challenging to bring into the cloud. COVID-19 showed businesses what was broken all along: the non-digitized processes that enterprises rely on each day. Dependence on paper, spreadsheets and legacy software was a fatal flaw in most companies’ digital strategies.
Businesses with manual or semi-digital workflows struggled to adapt to a virtualized environment, whereas companies with robust digital infrastructure thrived.
The new mandate: Digitize everything
Digital transformation requires a holistic approach – core and edge. Companies cannot truly digitally transform unless they digitize offline workflows and legacy departmental applications. Thus, the choices were to ignore them, substitute another tool to support them, or build custom software.
Ignore them and face the consequences of lost productivity and market opportunities. Substitute Excel, email or something else that is not ideally suited for the specific task and risk exposing data or working with old and inaccurate information. You’re opening Pandora’s Box either way.
Purchasing off-the-shelf software to digitize parts of the business will not always fit the bill and could end up being more costly and time-consuming to customize in the long run. On the other hand, using traditional development methods to build cloud apps requires considerable time and investment.
Building custom software is the logical choice.
However, the pandemic made it clear that IT teams could not keep pace with the speed of serving the multitude of stakeholders with all the custom applications needed. The fact is, business demand for custom applications is growing five times faster than IT can deliver — it’s no longer an IT-scalable endeavor.
The solution is to empower more people to participate in the effort to digitize business operations. In short, democratize application development in the same way that PowerPoint democratized the creation of business presentations.
No-code platforms are the silver lining
The pandemic exposed critical business vulnerabilities virtually overnight. Now, the inherent speed and agility of no-code platforms is helping to close the IT delivery gap and provide businesses with the competitive edge needed in a post-pandemic world.
No-code platforms are user-friendly. They utilize visual point-and-click and drag-and-drop tools that eliminate the need to write code. They allow businesses to simplify processes, bridge departmental siloes and improve collaboration while remaining within the guardrails of IT.
No-code platforms make application development accessible to all, irrespective of coding ability. They empower tech-savvy business users to self-build custom apps without burdening the IT team or hiring application developers. Providing a no-code development platform with scalable cloud infrastructure delivers game-changing speed to market for custom business applications.
From digitalization to business transformation
Forward-thinking leaders are closing the IT delivery gap by fostering digital maturity across the organization through no-code technology. No code allows business users who already know the detailed workflows of daily operations to lead the application development process. It empowers more people to self-manage their application and automation needs by providing a highly secure platform with lots of guardrails and room for creativity and experimentation, all while ensuring the safety of organizational data.
If you empower everyone to build business apps with no code, upskill them with training and enhance their digital literacy, then the results will come. After all, profound change only comes from enrolling more people into the digital transformation process.
Companies that want to survive challenging times must not expect the tools and the mindsets of the past to suddenly give them different results. They should provide modern tools and let people experiment and learn, because a learning company is an innovative company, pandemic or not.