Improving Business Processes and Empowering Decisions with No-Code Software

If your business isn’t using no-code solutions to improve its business processes, you’re likely spending too much on development, placing an undue burden on your IT staff, and limiting your users’ capabilities.

Improving Business Processes and Empowering Decisions with No-Code Software
Improving Business Processes and Empowering Decisions with No-Code Software

If you are using a low-code platform, you’re likely facing similar barriers and challenges with your staff and your efficiencies.

In this article we will:

  • Explain the differences between low- and no-code
  • Explain how to make your business processes more efficient using a no-code software platform
  • Debunk the most common myths about no-code software

Table of contents

Introduction
How Is No-Code Software Different Than Low-Code Software?
Solving the Problem of Imperfect Business Software
Common Myths About No-Code Software
Advantages of Using No-Code Software
No Business Process Is Too Complex
Understanding the Application’s Function for End Users
Implementing No-Code Development for Your Business

Introduction

In the ongoing quest to build more powerful business solutions both quickly and easily, you’ve likely run into the phrase “no-code” before. It may sound too good to be true, given the complexity of developing business solutions with standard coding practices. But the reality is that no-code solutions are quickly becoming a mainstream development solution for businesses across every industry.

Gartner now estimates that by 2024, low-code development will account for more than 65% of all application development. These aren’t cheap business tools that offer rigid functionality in exchange for speed and cost-effective development. Today’s no-code platforms are capable of managing complex business processes that can accommodate any number of business rules. This allows companies to quickly create valuable solutions that serve their specific needs. Solutions can also be customized on the go to accommodate evolving business challenges.

If your business isn’t using no-code solutions to improve its business processes, it is likely spending too much on software development and placing an undue burden on its IT staff—and limiting your software users’ performance in the process.

In this article, we’ll explain how no-code software can transform your business processes to help you achieve new efficiencies and capabilities across your organization.

How Is No-Code Software Different Than Low-Code Software?

If businesses decide to build their own software, it’s usually because they want that software to be perfect and customized to their specific needs. Additionally, those businesses want to develop software with the fewest barriers possible.

Eliminating these barriers is easier said than done. Low-code was developed to streamline development and facilitate collaboration between programmers and business people, but those barriers can never be entirely eliminated from the low-code development process. Why? Because no matter how little coding your business solutions require, the existence of any coding demands throws up a roadblock for business professionals trying to participate in the design and development process.

At the same time, low-code also creates significant limitations for programmers. Although it offers some drag-and-drop development functionality, it still forces developers to write code to make these pieces fit. Even then, developers are constrained with what they can accomplish through coding. In some cases, developers even have to learn proprietary tools or scripting languages to use low-code—which cancels out some of the benefits of streamlining the development process.

At the same time, low-code also creates significant limitations for programmers. Although it offers some drag-and-drop development functionality, it still forces developers to write code to make these pieces fit. Even then, developers are constrained with what they can accomplish through coding. In some cases, developers even have to learn proprietary tools or scripting languages to use low-code—which cancels out some of the benefits of streamlining the development process.

No-code offers a solution to each of these problems. Because it eliminates the need for a scripting language entirely, no-code can be developed with the full participation of the business professionals who will be using this technology. An understanding of basic development steps is required to properly use no-code development platforms, but entire business solutions can be created without any coding expertise among the involved parties.

The result is faster business solutions that can be seamlessly developed to serve specific needs. Additionally, no-code solutions offer far more flexibility than their low-code counterparts, which tend to be brittle and difficult to change after their initial development. The time to market for a new solution is expedited, and the lifespan of these solutions is extended thanks to easy updating through the no-code platform.

Solving the Problem of Imperfect Business Software

Business leaders can probably think of numerous solutions that address most of their company’s needs—with some glaring gaps. Financial consolidation software, for example, might do an excellent job of consolidating statements—only to lack the customization and integration capabilities needed to support better tax planning.

Similarly, an insurance company might use a standardized claims management software platform that works great for most typical claims, but lacks the customizations needed to handle unusual or highly complex cases. These software limitations are a headache for your business, resulting in work slowdowns that create bottlenecks and cause a ripple effect of inefficiency throughout your organization.

These are exactly the kinds of software challenges that no-code development is meant to address. If you’re mostly happy with your existing software and don’t want to transition your workers to an entirely new interface, no-code allows you to fill existing gaps in that software, providing effective end-to-end solutions for any business process you might face—no matter how complex.

Thanks to a massive library of steps offered through a no-code platform, employees can build new business solutions on the fly without any custom coding. Users can also leverage the drag-and-drop nature of this development when building workflows and forms, establishing business rules, and managing software integrations, among other capabilities.

If a new business challenge arises, such as the need for custom functionality to address an emerging customer need, you can quickly build and deploy a solution to mitigate any slowdowns in performance.

No-code’s easy integration capabilities allow new solutions to join existing software and systems without code-intensive customization or integration. This allows your workers to get back to business faster and lean on technology to raise the bar for productivity.

Common Myths About No-Code Software

Because they are relatively new to the software development space, it makes sense that no-code solutions have been burdened by certain myths resulting from a general lack of understanding about their capabilities.

Here’s a look at the most common myths shared about no-code software—and the truth behind each one:

It can’t scale. Detractors argue that drag-and-drop development makes no-code impractical for large use cases. In reality, this development solution can accommodate extremely complex business scenarios, managing thousands of business rules and organizing complex workflows for enterprise-scale organizations.

No-code is slow. In reality, no-code enables software deployments that are 6-10 times faster than conventional development—at a minimum.

No-code still requires some coding. This myth might be the result of confusion between low-code and no-code. Make no mistake: No-code development is true “no-code.” Users can build business solutions from scratch with no script. Certain tools do offer software development kits (SDKs) that let you extend your development capabilities with custom code, but this is entirely optional.

The software offers limited customization options and is only suitable for simple business software. The design of no-code software may be simple, but this simplicity is the result of an extensive library of widgets and pre-designed elements. Additionally, the software’s ability to incorporate complex business logic makes it applicable across any business department.

No-code increases the workload placed on IT departments. The truth is actually the opposite: Businesses can manage and customize no-code without affecting any underlying IT solutions, which alleviates pressures placed on IT. Unlike low-code, which forces IT into a complicated and sometimes tedious relationship with business personnel, no-code simplifies day-to-day operations for IT. Plus, no-code solutions can be managed and modified by end users, which means fewer IT support tickets and a better internal use of IT personnel.

Advantages of Using No-Code Software

With a true no-code development solution, your business can start realizing the benefits of this faster, more efficient approach to app development almost immediately.

Some of the top benefits of no-code development include the following:

Minimal training or onboarding required: Users don’t have to learn code or sit through extensive tutorials to start using no-code software. They just need a basic understanding of the platform to start developing new solutions.

Faster time-to-deploy: Solutions developed through no-code deploy 6-10 times faster than other development methods, and sometimes even faster. Widgets and other prescripted elements allow for an accelerated application development process, which cuts out time-consuming coding for platform users.

Open participation: Non-IT professionals can adjust workflows and forms, change business rules, and complete other management tasks, so you can build solutions and new versions the right way and on your first try.

Flexibility to change: With drag-and-drop functionality, it is easy to edit and further customize no-code solutions as needs evolve over time. Built-in testing and debugging makes it easy to immediately see how changes affect the solution and the end-user experience, as well as any existing software integrations.

Continuous integration/continuous delivery: Easy editing and customization supports continuous integration and delivery of new features, eliminating the tedious process of deploying new versions of software after long, arduous development cycles.

Validated security: Any software comes with the risk of vulnerability. But the more it’s tested, the less easily someone can introduce a vulnerability. Decisions have already vetted its software through independent audits from security-conscious clients. New clients get all of the benefit of that vetting, which minimizes your risk of a vulnerability. In addition, the construction of your business application won’t be visible to the end-user, which offers greater protection from would-be hackers trying to find a way into your corporate infrastructure.

Easy permissioning/control access: No-code security solutions make it easy to manage user permissions related to software access, visibility, and the authority to execute tasks and actions within the solution.

Integration and API creation: No-code development platforms like Decisions offer integration studios that support smooth integration with other software through integration wizards, API creation, and support for SDKs.

No Business Process Is Too Complex

Complex business processes don’t require complex software. Although no-code solutions are easy for anyone to build, they can be used to enforce complex sets of business rules to govern and automate any business process—no matter how sophisticated. With the ability to manage thousands of different business rules at once, no business process is too intricate for no-code to handle.

With Decisions, both the workflows and rules engines used in business process management are graphically represented in a single platform. This helps users understand the function of these systems in supporting business processes and managing complexity.

Understanding the Application’s Function for End Users

Not every piece of no-code software is designed to feature its own end-user interface. In many cases, businesses don’t want a new standalone software solution to add to their existing set of business applications. They’re happy with the UI of their current software; they’re simply looking at no-code as a way to bridge gaps on the build side of the solution.

Interactions between end-users and software solutions are valued at a premium in 2020. Even though no-code development offers clear benefits in building new business solutions, businesses and employees don’t want to be forced to commit to new interfaces when they’re happy with the ones they’ve already got. Instead of forcing the adoption of new solutions—and a new end-user experience that may or may not is perceived as an upgrade—Decisions gives businesses the ability to choose whether they want a new end-user UI or simply want to improve the one they’ve already got.

Decisions allow the end-user UI to be completely optional. If you don’t need a standalone application, you can build complementary applications that come alongside other solutions and provide missing pieces of functionality. The platform offers tools to build a robust end-user interface, but you can still get the whole benefit of the no-code paradigm while sticking with the UI that your current end users are already familiar and comfortable with.

At the same time, the UI is both easy and intuitive for end-users, which makes for an easy transition if switching over to this interface. One of the benefits of the Decisions platform specifically is that it exposes features like business rules to the end-users who understand the business best. This gives them the control to make necessary changes that improve application functionality without impacting the underlying system.

With most low-code development platforms, the UI is the centrepiece of your application development efforts. Too often, though, the application functions as a sports car with a lawnmower engine. Decisions prioritize what’s under the hood and lets you decide how you want that business application to look and feel for end users.

Implementing No-Code Development for Your Business

Business leaders interested in guiding their company’s transition to no-code development can use the following framework to help introduce this development tool while building support from stakeholders and demonstrating success.

Start small with a use case. Demonstrate the capabilities of no-code through an internal use case. Use the results of this initial development project to refine your no-code development skills and demonstrate the value of no-code solutions to your company.

Highlight an internal success story. Once you’ve achieved a new capability through a no-code solution, use an internal champion to show off this success in addressing a business problem.

When showcasing the success of a pilot no-code project, be sure to answer a few key questions that will demonstrate the value of no-code as a broader development solution:

  1. How long does it take for a business professional with a reasonable level of expertise to build a complete business solution?
  2. What was the barrier of understanding to take the lead on this type of project?
  3. How quickly can adaptations and enhancements be built into this baseline business solution?

Identify use cases throughout your organization. At the strategic level, it may be helpful to establish a pecking order for these projects, prioritizing no-code development in areas in which it will make the strongest and/or most immediate business impact.

Expand application of no-code software into other development projects. Business leaders can collaborate with technologists to build solutions that provide new functionality for companies, accommodate new complexity, and/or support more efficient operations through increased automation.

Source: Decisions.com

Published by Lisa Turnbull

, always been a Windows lover since her childhood days. I have always been enthusiastic about emerging technologies, especially Artificial Intelligence (AI), Data Science and Machine Learning. I am working as a freelancer on numerous technical projects.