How to bring no-code into your workplace: Making the case

If you want to bring no-code into the workplace, you need to start with a compelling argument.

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First up in our series on bringing no-code into your workplace, we make the case. A succinct summary of the improvements that no-code tools can make in the context of an organisation or enterprise. Prepare to be persuaded.  

For those working within larger organisations and enterprises, delving into the world of no-code can be a challenging prospect. Innovating when you’re working at that scale is tough – and you can definitely expect to find some heavy resistance from the decision-makers. That’s understandable. For those new to the space, there are all kinds of unknowns and uncertainties. That’s where we come in with that critical first step: laying out the four key ways that no-code can benefit your workplace. 

Reason 1: You can move a lot faster 

The business context: 

Broadly speaking you can break the people who work in most organisations into three groups: 

  1. The people who deliver products or services for the customers (eg, those who work on the product team or marketing) 
  2. The people who are serving existing customers (customer support)
  3. The people who are ensuring the business itself actually operates properly (finance, accounting, HR etc) 

All three groups will be putting in requests to the IT department (whether that’s internal or external); hoping and praying that their project makes its way up the priority list and actually gets done. After all, everyone wants their problems solved. The issue is that the majority of investment and IT time goes to that first group: the ones who are actively delivering products for the customer. Everyone else gets less attention, with projects either moving slowly or sometimes not happening at all.

Where no-code tools come in: 

  • They allow more people within the organisation to do more. Employees adept at using no-code tools can self-serve themselves, and build the exact solutions that fix their problems quickly. That’ll save the business money and increase your revenue. Let’s say, for example, that a customer operations team sees the need for a place to track communication with the business’ customers in one place and starts building out their own CRMs. 
  • It helps non-developers in the IT team too. IT teams can generally be broken down into those who are digitally productive (eg, developers who know how to code), and those who don’t code but do know their way around computers. This second group can use no-code tools extremely well. In fact, they’re probably the best segment for using them. Suddenly, they’re able to fix way more problems. 
  • It also helps developers and engineers. No-code tools also help those digitally productive developers and engineers because they take lots of common functionalities and turn them into commodities. For example, every developer in every business will have built something like a login screen or an address validation tool numerous times. No-code lets them build stuff like that, which isn't really worth their time or effort, much faster. They get to focus on the high-value work that really makes a difference. 
Coding? No need

Reason 2: No more Shadow IT

The business context: 

You might not be aware of the term, but Shadow IT is a big problem, prevalent in pretty much every organisation or enterprise. It’s a rather murky and mysterious name for all the dodgy, messy and unsecure tech solutions that employees use that the IT department either doesn’t know about or can’t control.

It might be through free software. Slack, for example, is often used as a free tool by employees in a company for a year or so before the IT department decides it’s probably worth buying and managing properly. More likely, it could be that a business is running off a gigantic, convoluted Excel spreadsheet, often designed by one employee who started by whipping up a spreadsheet which then evolved to have all kinds of functionality. Only they know how it works, and it’s impossible to really control. Either way, it’s super problematic – leading to a loss of data, money and reputation. A quick search of Shadow IT disasters will send shivers down your spine

Where no-code tools come in: 

  • They’re usable by more people. Because no-code tools are standardised in their form and function, and relatively straightforward to learn and handle, numerous people across your business will be able to use the tool in question. That means no more “key-man dependencies” or draconian spreadsheets that only the recently-retired Bob could maintain. And if you need help in using it or something goes wrong, it’s also much easier to find someone adept at using no-code tools to help. 
  • They allow for a much more controlled, top-down approach. Your IT team will be able to put a lot more controls in place; for example, you could have a central register of all the variables that need regular updating (like interest rates or currency information) and a database of what to update. That gives your IT security team a lot more control – and helps avert any disasters. 
  • There’s less to mess with. Shadow IT is, by its very nature, unsupervised. That means a well-meaning colleague can easily break systems or lose customer data in the wild. No-code solutions are a bit like sandpits with guide rails. Where that’s not enough, the IT department can dictate what data users can and can’t mess with. It’s the same freedom to create on-the-ground solutions, without the risk.

Reason 3: You can save money

The business context: 

When you consider those 3 core groups as outlined above, the projects for those groups that are serving customers or handling business operations are generally aimed at making things more efficient. Trying to do more with fewer people, and trying to cut costs by making certain processes cheaper. 

But at a certain size and scale, for most businesses, it’s very hard to make any significant changes in IT without spending a lot of cash. The cost of implementing means that often anything that would save the business, say, less than £100k is not really worth doing. But the number of process improvements you could make that would save the business a £20k here, or £30k there are numerous. 

Where no-code tools come in: 

  • Cost-cutting solutions can be implemented quickly. If knowledgeable people across your teams can actually fix problems and create solutions for themselves, you can actually make some of those changes that save you cash. From customer support teams who speak directly to your customers, to your finance department trying to streamline their processes. 
  • They free up people’s time. Let’s say your team manager can now build a new tool for her team that saves one minute per employee per hour. It might not seem like a lot. But that’s 1000 employee minutes saved per hour – or almost 17 hours of productivity. 
  • It’s a self-perpetuating benefit. As employees become more digitally savvy, they better understand the systems they work with, how to make the most of no-code tools and become more efficient in using them. It becomes like a flywheel that creates better and better software applications – and more digitally-savvy employees.  
An example of the joy no-code can spark

Reason 4: It can elevate your product or service

The business context: 

For large-scale companies, the truth is that the no-code ecosystem isn’t quite at the point where it makes sense to build apps that are live with customers (aka, production apps). Whilst with smaller businesses it’s possible, no-code tools aren’t quite robust enough to truly trust with customers at that scale (yet!). However, that’s not to say that no-code tools can’t be extremely useful on the product side of the business when it comes to experimenting – and improving your product or service.  

Where no-code tools come in: 

  • They’re great for prototyping ideas. If you want to test out a rudimentary version of whatever you’re trying to build (aka, a minimum viable product) no-code tools are great. You can build a mockup of the app you’re hoping to build, put it in front of a small tester audience and see how it performs. You can then iron out the bugs before your IT team begins building the real thing. 
  • And innovation in general. No-code tools let you truly embrace the idea of innovation, without having to put loads of resources behind it. It’s all about fast, rapid experimentation.
  • It puts the power in the hands of those speaking to customers. It’s obvious that those actually speaking to customers and hearing their problems and issues all day will be the ones who best understand their perspective. They also tend to understand the inner workings of the business itself as they’re forced to navigate it every day to fix problems. But strangely enough, customer support teams are actually least likely to interact with the product-building team or build solutions for customers themselves. No-code tools give those people the power to actually build software and solve problems. They can prove hypotheses work and show their ideas in the flesh – building solutions, rather than just talking about them. 

Print this out and put it in front of whoever needs to see it.



About the Author
Duncan Griffiths Nakanishi

Duncan is lead editor at NoCode.Tech. He's a writer and editor with 8 years experience working in the media across business, culture, lifestyle and tech.


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