One technological advancement that is taking companies by storm is something that most businesses or organizations likely did not see coming, nor did many consider the positive implications of: The rise of low code and no code interfaces.
Low code and no code application development refers to the use of visual tools to create software applications without the need for traditional programming languages to write code long-hand. In some cases, users of low code/no code applications only need to write base-level code to get a piece of software or website to operate, with the rest being predominantly visual design.
In the past, the only way for businesses to obtain new applications was to hire professional coders internally or externally. As time moved on, another option surfaced with regard to Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) in that those in need of an application could purchase it or pay a subscription to essentially lease it as an already fully developed software.
There are two downsides to both of these options. Hiring a software developer internally can be quite expensive, and likewise outside developers do not understand the vision of what you are trying to accomplish with your application.
Instead, the low code and no code interfaces allow your business to implement internal resources and employees who share your vision, understand the goals of the software, and traditionally do not need as extensive training in these development processes to create an application that transforms your industry!
Coding. Low code. No code. For some business leaders, all of these sound like they could be close enough to one another to be interchangeable. They might even assume that if it is quick to train an employee on low code and no code applications, teaching them to code should be just as simple.
However, while very similar, coding, low code, and no code applications are not interchangeable in the way one may assume. Coding long-hand is quite literally like learning a foreign language. The developers I have spoken to throughout my career explain that writing code is only half the battle: You must know how to read it, which is not like reading a novel!
For someone who does not code, reading, editing, and troubleshooting issues with a custom-coded application would be like reading, editing, or proofreading a book written in a language you are not fluent in whatsoever. Essentially, it is next to impossible. This means that trying to enlist someone internally to simply “learn how to code” will be just as costly as hiring a software developer, especially for smaller organizations that do not have the budget.
Now, on to low code/no code applications. Yes, both of these use graphical tools in a drag-and-drop-type user interface to allow easier application development for non-professional coders, but low code requires an elementary understanding of coding and a small amount of coding experience.
No code does not require a single line of code. This means that much of the creation in a no code interface involves what is referred to as a WYSIWYG (pronounced “wizzy-wig” — an acronym for “What You See Is What You Get”), graphic design-based experience. For both low code and no code, some training is required, but a much smaller amount by far.
Deciding between these two depends on the needs and complexities of the application’s goal and the business’s ability to train someone using low code versus no code tools.
So your business or organization has a website or application that needs to be built, you have decided to go the route of low code/no code development, you have a blueprint for what it needs to do, and perhaps you have even allocated some funds to train the proper employee on how to use the selected interface.
Now you are left with the why of the equation. Why are low code and no code interfaces and the speed at which you can develop an internal application so important for a business or organization?
The benefits of low code and no code application development are Anticipatory in nature, all of which position you to take advantage of future certainties in your industry in much more expedited fashion! Here are some Anticipatory principles that low code and no code interfaces provide:
Leverage Hard Trends – Hard Trend future certainties are prevalent in all industries, and as digital transformation and connectivity accelerates, the Hard Trend in all worlds is that customer needs will transform and accelerate as well. For example, will consumers continue to progress with high-touch applications or will they go back to the days prior to smartphones? I am certain you all know the answer.
Even if your business or organization is not one that works outwardly in the digital world, it is imperative you realize the Hard Trend future certainty of digital disruption affecting us all! As an Anticipatory Leader, look to the world around you. Are there any parts of your industry that could be streamlined in the form of a high-function website or an application? If so, the ease of low code and no code interfaces makes it possible for you to leverage that disruption and set the standard!
Skip It Principle – Low code and no code means you and your organization no longer have to worry about outsourcing for a pretty penny. Being Anticipatory means to leverage future certainties effectively, and if doing so requires a specific application that would ordinarily cost a fortune you have not budgeted for, simply skip the problem by using low code and no code options!
Problem skipping allows you to realign your focus on problem solving instead. Now you and your team can move your focus from app or website development cost that inhibits you from properly leveraging a Hard Trend future certainty and instead, focus on getting the job done for your valued customers. As a result, you either maintain or achieve a competitive advantage in the industry.
Think Exponentially – Now, pull it all together! Knowing what problems your customers face after skipping over your own, how can you solve them? Perhaps if you have never considered a digital application, now is the time thanks to the cost-effective low code and no code development options. We all know what applications and websites have done, but what can they do to help your customers going forward?
Thinking exponentially about websites, customer-facing applications, and how they apply to your organization unlocks nonlinear, exponential growth. For instance, websites have often been static, as coding and the cost involved meant that once it was built, it needed to be left alone. Now with the rise of low code and no code, websites can help increase sales by focusing more on the content rather than the function.
As you can see, there are boundless opportunities for all businesses and organizations thanks to the rise in low code and no code application development! With its versatility and ease of use, I implore you to designate an hour for your staff to brainstorm how a new website or application could help grow a new customer base and develop your current one.
Do not waste these opportunities by letting tunnel vision take hold! Instead, think of all the possibilities leveraging this technological breakthrough and the many others to come can provide to you. With the ability for low code and no code interfaces to help many become an entry-level web developer, if you can dream it, you can most definitely do it!
Daniel Burrus is considered one of the world’s leading futurists on global trends and innovation. The New York Times has referred to him as one of the top three business gurus in the highest demand as a speaker. He is a strategic advisor to executives from Fortune 500 companies, helping them to accelerate innovation and results by develop game-changing strategies based on his proven methodologies for capitalizing on technology innovations and their future impact. His client list includes companies such as Microsoft, GE, American Express, Google, Deloitte, Procter & Gamble, Honda, and IBM. He is the author of seven books, including The New York Times and Wall Street Journal best-seller Flash Foresight, and his latest book The Anticipatory Organization. He is a featured writer with millions of monthly readers on the topics of innovation, change and the future and has appeared in Harvard Business Review, Wired, CNBC, and Huffington Post to name a few. He has been the featured subject of several PBS television specials and has appeared on programs such as CNN, Fox Business, and Bloomberg, and is quoted in a variety of publications, including The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, Fortune, and Forbes. He has founded six businesses, four of which were national leaders in the United States in the first year. He is the CEO of Burrus Research, a research and consulting firm that monitors global advancements in technology driven trends to help clients profit from technological, social and business forces that are converging to create enormous, untapped opportunities. In 1983 he became the first and only futurist to accurately identify the twenty technologies that would become the driving force of business and economic change for decades to come. He also linked exponential computing advances to economic value creation. His specialties are technology-driven trends, strategic innovation, strategic advising and planning, business keynote presentations.