Whether you’re a startup, a midsize company, or a global behemoth, profitably growing your business is all about outcompeting your rivals. If you can act faster, work more efficiently, and deliver better customer experiences, you can gain a competitive advantage and capture market share.
Across industries, organizations depend on information technology to pursue those goals. Innovative digital solutions enable them to reduce operating expenses, become more productive, and implement new capabilities.
But what happens when every competitor is using essentially the same productivity suites, similar collaboration tools, and comparable financial and HR systems? How do you leverage technology to stand out in the marketplace or get a competitive leg up?
A no-code application development platform can help. An effective no-code tool can enable employees across your lines of business (LoBs) to quickly and affordably design, create, and deploy new capabilities. Your employees will perform more quickly, your business will operate more cost-effectively, and you’ll grab the competitive lead.
Designing New Software with Citizen Developers
In the past, companies achieved competitive differentiation through traditional application development. By fielding professional development teams, they could create unique digital capabilities that set them apart from less tech-savvy enterprises.
But traditional development is slow and expensive, with LoBs waiting months for IT to deliver the capabilities they need. Plus, expert developers are challenging and costly to attract and retain. That problem is only getting worse, as there will be a 15% shortfall in available developers by 2025, according to IDC.
A no-code app builder offers an attractive solution because it equips non-technical team members to become “citizen developers” who can create their own software. In fact, uptake of citizen development platforms will grow at a compound rate of 30% in 2023 and 2024, Gartner predicts.
With a no-code app builder, non-technical team members can design, produce, and deploy their own webforms, applications, and workflows – all without writing a single line of code. Users just drag and drop software components and workflow steps from a prebuilt library. They assemble those features in a graphical environment to create interfaces, data inputs, and outputs – even entire processes.
The templates are pretested for strong cybersecurity and compliance. And API integrations smoothly connect your custom apps with the most popular IT platforms – including Microsoft 365, Google Workspace, Slack, Salesforce, ServiceNow, DocuSign, and more.
No-code Competitive Differentiators
There are numerous ways a no-code app builder can power your organization to compete and win. These five advantages stand out:
1. Benefit from employee knowledge.
Better than anyone else, your LoB team members understand the tasks they need to complete each day to get the job done. No-code enables your business to benefit from their knowledge and expertise. Subject-matter experts in finance, HR, product development, sales, marketing, customer service, facilities management, and other functions can use no-code to make your business faster and more effective.
2. Customize existing process steps.
Many companies rely on legacy systems. The cost of new solutions and the difficulty of integration can make upgrades and new digitization challenging. But that can hold your business back. For example, workers spend an average of 10 hours per week on mundane tasks that could be automated, according to CIO Insights.
No-code lets you implement functionality your legacy software can’t deliver. What’s more, even up-to-date systems can benefit from customized process steps and company-specific workflows that integrate smoothly with commercial solutions. Healthcare system Ogden Clinic, for example, used no-code to automate more than 30 internal processes – and integrate them with core databases and functions.
3. Build efficient new workflows.
No-code doesn’t just enable your people to craft new applications. It also allows them to create end-to-end workflows. They can quickly and easily automate repetitive processes to avoid manual errors, accelerate operations, and gain time to focus on strategic efforts.
No-code workflows include data capture, alerts, escalations, and reporting. Information is routed predictably from data entry to review and approval. You can even track workflow performance to be sure you’re achieving targeted goals.
Utility metering provider Trilliant used no-code as a workflow-mapping tool. LoB owners documented process steps, identified interaction points, and removed bottlenecks. Digitized processes now enable employees to respond faster to customer needs.
4. Create innovative new capabilities.
No-code can also improve customer-facing processes. No-code apps can empower customers with self-service portals and forms, arm frontline workers to serve customers responsively, and make interacting with your brand more satisfying.
For instance, retailers and service providers need to integrate processes from back office to storefront. Medical practices now serve patients through telehealth. Government agencies must deliver citizen services online. Schools and universities are extending programs off-campus. All these customer experiences are ideal for digitization with no-code.
Madison National Life used no-code to digitize the approval process for new insurance policies. A smart form auto-fills key data. An offline feature lets agents complete forms in the field. A routing process automatically enters data into the company’s core systems. Instead of wading through manual steps, agents can focus on delivering excellent service.
5. Continually improve to stay ahead.
Traditional development doesn’t keep pace with business changes. But no-code empowers your citizen developers to propel you ahead of the competition. Team members can fine-tune applications and workflows as needed to achieve ongoing improvements.
Not only that, but you can even foster a culture of innovation. Your business can benefit from the creativity embedded throughout your enterprise as team members continually enhance capabilities and processes. Empowered with a no-code platform, employees can become more innovative – and share their innovative spirit with peers.
Competitors will keep upping the ante. The marketplace will keep changing unexpectedly. But with a no-code application builder, you’re better positioned to stay a step or two ahead. And that can make all the difference in the success of your business.