Modern technology has managed to do something quite radical to the way we think about innovation. Today’s average person believes that technology, above all else, is responsible for digital transformation. It’s a far cry from people like Thomas Edison and Bill Gates, who were praised for the human power and strategies behind their success. But modern development faces these same hurdles. Still, more and more companies end up overly relying on technology to carry them forward.
No-code platforms help bridge that gap between your business users and the technology around them. By removing coding from the application development process, each and every person can contribute innovations without technology blocking their path. Even then, no-code is about far more than what comes in the box. Remember that technology can only ever be as powerful as its user. So, without first setting yourself up for success with a clear strategy across your entire business, you’ll struggle to get any project off the ground.
How would a no-code strategy look for your business? We’ve got a couple of tips for the ideal start:
Pour concrete foundations first
Even the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest skyscraper, started at the foundations. Without first laying a solid base for this massive masterpiece, no amount of steel could stop it from collapsing.
Likewise, before putting no-code into the hands of your developers (more on that later), your organization should have an action plan laid out. Whether the result you’re after is to reduce time-to-market or optimizing internal processes, there are different approaches to every problem. Think about what skills are available in all your departments, who understands your processes best, and what challenges you’ll encounter along the way to develop a transparent game-plan.
Resistance to change, concerns over infrastructure, security, and scalability are common throughout early implementation steps. Having something real to show your teams while addressing concerns directly through research is much more powerful than trying to crowbar something new into people’s daily processes.
Don’t just drop new software and run
In a perfect world, a shiny new no-code platform slides into place, your legacy systems disappear, and your processes become automated overnight. Reality tells a somewhat different story. Nearly 70% of new business tools fail within just months due to insufficient problem and business analysis. Combined with a lack of proper training, confusion, and poor planning leaves you with the perfect storm for disaster.
People would rather understand ‘why’ new software is being implemented than be told: “just trust me and use it”. Educating people to the advantages, new processes, and way of working is critical to successful adoption.
So how do you make sure everyone is on the same page? Ideally, the process starts alongside your own discovery, research, and testing. Get key employees involved by showing them what no-code platforms are capable of (and what they could be building).
Make sure that you’ve got the right training and support systems in place before attempting a new project. In the case of Betty Blocks, we offer comprehensive training from experienced no-code developers for those looking for a head-start. Nothing drops engagement (and happiness) like a frustrating grind to learn a whole new process while under time pressure.
Where do you involve your business users?
Taking full advantage of no-code means working in accordance with the strengths of the platform. After all, you wouldn’t try using a sledgehammer to knock in a nail, would you? One of those core advantages is the ability for anyone in your business (yes, you too) to develop applications. Leveraging the knowledge of people from all corners of your business can add totally fresh approaches to problem-solving into the development process.
Part of the ‘strategy’ for successful business innovation comes from choosing the right combination of people to lead projects. There are 4 schools of thought when it comes to deciding what’s best for your company:
- Citizen Development: You fully embrace Citizen Development and turn business users into the main driving force for creating new software solutions. Thanks to the low barrier for entry, anyone with a great idea for an application can address a need without it falling into IT’s backlog. Where does your IT department fit into this? Ideally, Citizen Developers would collaborate with them throughout the process to ensure overall quality and meet with your organization’s security standards.
- Professional no-coders: IT shifts to using no-code as their primary application development platform. With their experience in traditional coding methods, they’re able to create secure, enterprise-grade applications much faster than with hand-coding. No-code essentially skips the most time-consuming elements that these teams would normally be faced with. Here, your business users become a resource for providing feedback regarding the specific needs of the application’s end users.
- Assisted development: Both Citizen Developers and IT professionals bring valuable skills to any development project. Assisted development uses no-code to take advantage of the greatest strengths of each. Here, Citizen Developers lay the foundation for an application, making a sort of ‘skeleton’ for all the key functionalities needed in a solution. Once they’ve got that ready, IT takes over to add custom elements and security features before a final product is delivered.
- Implementation Partners: What about no-code application development (and deployment) as a service? We’re proud to be partnered with some of the greatest minds in innovation, process optimization, and bespoke application development. Companies like Ilionx, EsparantoXL, HolyGrow, DailyOps (to name a few) use their expertise to give software the best possible start within your company. Depending on your needs, this service could be training for your own teams or A-Z creation and deployment. Get in touch with any of our partners here: https://www.bettyblocks.com/partners.
It’s no secret that experienced full-stack developers are hard to come by (and expensive) these days. No-code development teams can help reduce your time-to-market without relying completely on professional programmers.
At the end of the day, you know who your strongest innovators are, so trust your instincts and put them in the lead (without removing the others entirely). Check out our whitepaper: “The Rise of the Citizen Developer” where we cover governance strategies and the transformation potential of business users in your organization.
Fail fast (and reap the rewards)
Why on earth would anyone want to ‘fail fast’? Something quite fantastic happens the moment people hit failure. Suddenly we have a massive amount of data on ‘why’ the latest solution didn’t work. Using the speed and flexibility of a no-code platform, you’re capable of developing prototypes up to 20x faster. Suddenly there’s a demonstrable product which end-users can poke, prod, and dissect for missing features or issues.
Next up in the ‘fail fast’ process? Take all that feedback you’ve just gotten and make adjustments to the application in real-time. Without the barrier of complex coding languages in the way, you can collaborate face-to-face.
So there you have it. Always keep in mind that the success of your software is intrinsically linked to how you manage the people that use it. With the right people, the right platform, and the right strategy in place, you can empower your workers to drive the innovation of your company to unprecedented heights. Within Betty Blocks, all that can be achieved without a single line of code while still having the option of creating custom (coded) features for the more experienced developers to let loose.