Increased digitalization and AI-enabled tools enable businesses to modernize and optimize their operations. No-code has emerged in recent years to enable rapid app development and business transformation.
More companies are now discovering the value of no-code software solutions as the number of citizen developers in their workforce increases. Businesses are investing time and resources into the growing market to improve their digital ecosystems (Figure 1). However, like with any emerging technology, many are concerned about the implications of no-code platforms.
This article addresses some concerns business leaders have surrounding no-code solutions to remove barriers towards flexibility and resilience.
Figure 1. Global no-code market growth projections by Industry.
What is No-Code?
No-code refers to a set of tools, platforms, and development approaches that enable users to create custom software applications and digital solutions without the need to write code. Businesses can quickly and easily build, test, and deploy custom applications, without coding knowledge, to improve their workflows and operations by using pre-built components and a visual interface.
UCBOS offers a no-code supply platform customizable for any business function, including supply chain, logistics, finance, procurement, etc. The system equips business leaders with dynamic business data models to develop an interoperable and composable digital ecosystem.
Read how UCBOS helped a leading manufacturer and distributor of consumer products improve supply chain visibility through its composable platform.
No-Code vs. Low-Code: Understanding the differences
- Function: While no-code solutions allow for complete application development without writing any code, low-code platforms serve as a middle ground.
- Technical expertise: Low-code solutions provide a mix of pre-built components and the ability to write custom code, granting more flexibility and control for experienced developers. No-code is ideal for businesses with limited or no coding expertise, while low-code is better suited for those with in-house development teams looking to streamline their development process.
Typical concerns regarding no-code technology
This section addresses the top 7 concerns or questions that business leaders have regarding leveraging no-code technology in their value chain.
1. To deploy complex, multi-department software, why shouldn’t businesses start with established solutions like SAP or Oracle?
While implementing an established solution like SAP or Oracle, businesses often have to adapt their processes to fit a predefined model. This can prove challenging, as no organization is simple enough to seamlessly fit into a one-size-fits-all template. Although these established solutions offer customization options, aligning them with the unique needs of a business can be a time-consuming process.
Implementing solutions like SAP or Oracle typically requires extensive customization, which is why it takes 6 to 12 months (or even longer for more complex businesses) for organizations to fully deploy systems such as SAP. And during this customization process, you even sometimes need to re-adjust your business processes.
In contrast, no-code platforms offer a more versatile and efficient alternative to create software. These platforms provide a higher degree of customization, empowering teams to develop a digital ecosystem tailored to their specific business model. As a result, businesses can experience faster implementation times and better adaptability to their unique requirements.
For instance, achieving competitive advantage through supply chain operations requires innovative thinking and unique approaches. Relying on a system like SAP, which can be purchased by any business, may not offer the necessary differentiation.
In contrast, a no-code platform enables rapid customizations specifically tailored to your business model, ensuring that your solutions remain distinct from those employed by competitors.
By adopting no-code technology, organizations can foster innovation and maintain a strategic edge in the marketplace.
2. Why do most businesses opt for established configuration-based solutions if no code has such advantages?
No-code platforms are less tested in complex applications, while configuration-based solutions like SAP and Oracle ERP systems have been deployed for tens of years. As a result, they have a reputation for resilience and reliability. Businesses need to follow software development best practices and adopt iterative approaches in leveraging no-code technologies.
Complex, multi-departmental solutions like ERP software are sold over multi-year contracts, so it takes time for enterprises to switch vendors.
3. Are no-code platforms more prone to security risks compared to traditional coding methods?
No-code platforms prioritize security just like any other software development methodology. In fact, no-code platforms often have built-in security features that help prevent common vulnerabilities. These platforms undergo rigorous testing and are continually updated to meet industry standards.
Therefore, it is important to consider which security features the no-code provider offers. Some popular data privacy and protection standards include GDPR, HIPAA, ISO 27001 certification, etc.
4. Can a no-code platform cater to businesses’ unique needs and scale effectively as the business grows?
No-code software offers a high degree of customization and scalability. Contrary to the misconception, these platforms provide various templates, modules, and integrations that allow businesses to tailor solutions to their specific requirements. As the business grows, no-code platforms can be easily scaled to accommodate increasing user loads, data storage, and complex workflows without the need for significant infrastructure investments.
For instance, in logistics operations, a no-code platform can be used to build a custom tracking system that monitors and optimizes the supply chain in real-time, allowing for increased efficiency and resilience. Through no-code, the logistics team can prototype, test, and iterate the solution as factors change without relying on the IT team.
5. Will businesses become overly dependent on no-code platform providers, leading to a lack of control?
Leveraging no-code platforms doesn’t mean businesses lose control over their applications. While the platform provider manages the infrastructure and underlying technology, businesses retain control over their data, customization, and application workflows. Moreover, no-code platforms often provide APIs and integration options, allowing businesses to easily connect with existing systems and maintain a seamless technology ecosystem.
In the procurement domain, no-code platforms can integrate with existing ERP systems, enabling businesses to streamline their vendor selection, contract management, and invoice processing without disrupting their current IT setup.
However, to avoid shadow IT, across the supply chain, it is important to implement effective software visibility practices.
In domains other than no code (e.g. traditional ERP systems), vendor reliance is also increasing with the shift to the cloud.
6. Will the absence of coding skills among employees hinder long-term growth in businesses adopting no-code?
Gartner predicts that in the future, citizen developers will outnumber professional developers. However, business leaders need to understand that the goal of no-code development is to complement, not replace, traditional development methods. By allowing non-technical users to develop business applications, no-code platforms can accelerate innovation, improve efficiency, and reduce the burden on IT teams.
Furthermore, these platforms can be used to upskill non-technical employees, ultimately fostering a more agile and collaborative workforce. Research shows that no-code helps both technical and non-technical teams in various processes (Figure 2).
In the sales and marketing area, for instance, a no-code platform can be used to build custom CRM systems or campaign management tools, enabling teams to quickly adapt to changing customer demands and stay ahead of the competition. However, the teams should follow a collaborative approach with the IT team.
Figure 2. Problems solved by no-code for both technical and non-technical teams in different business processes
7. Do no-code platforms suffer from performance and reliability issues, causing downtime and inefficiency?
A no-code platform is designed to deliver high-performance and reliable custom business apps and software. By using pre-built modules and components, these platforms optimize application performance and reduce the likelihood of errors.
Additionally, no-code solution providers offer comprehensive support and maintenance services to ensure optimal performance and address any potential issues early on.
The no-code market is transforming the way businesses develop and deploy digital solutions. By addressing common concerns and understanding the numerous benefits, it’s clear that no-code platforms can revolutionize operations across various functions, such as supply chain, procurement, sales, and logistics.
As the no-code movement continues to gain traction, businesses that leverage these tools will be better equipped to thrive in the ever-evolving digital landscape.
If you are convinced about no-code and wish to leverage it in your supply chain, check out our data-driven list to find the right fit for your business.
- No Code Supply Chain: Benefits & Vendor Benchmark
- Top 16 Practical Benefits of No Code App Development
If you need help finding a vendor or have any questions, feel free to contact us
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