No-code platforms have exploded in popularity in the last few years, with even big-name players like Microsoft and Walmart getting in on the pie. According to Gartner, no-code is expected to account for more than 65% of application development by 2024.
But for all its popularity, what issues do no-code platforms solve that other forms of software don’t?
The answer comes down to two primary things: speed and centrality.
No-code platforms occupy a unique space in custom software development. Prior to no-code platforms, only two real types of software solutions existed for businesses: custom software and out-of-the-box software.
Traditionally, custom software is costly to make (estimates range anywhere between $5,000 - $1,000,000 depending on where you look) and slow to launch, with the average development stage ranging from four to twelve months. Even worse, according to one study, 85% of these custom software development projects go over schedule.
“Custom software is costly to make (estimates range from $5,000 - $1,000,000) and slow to launch, with the average development stage ranging from four to twelve months."
Out-of-the-box (OOTB) software, while often much more affordable and quick to launch, suffers from a lack of customization that can get in the way of effective work. If the software requires seven steps when your process really only needs three—well, prepare to have your team waste a lot of time figuring out workarounds, wasting time, or turning to Shadow IT for help.
So where does no-code software come into this? It takes the customization of traditional software and marries it with the speed and price of OOTB solutions. And then adds a few more things to really spice up the deal.
Customization as fast as you want it
No-code software ditches the need for software developers by making software development a simple matter of “drag-and-drop.”
Drag-and-drop technology is everywhere: when you drag a file into a new folder, when you rearrange your browser tabs, or even just moving application icons around your desktop. While it was originally limited to operating software, drag-and-drop has become an active tool for businesses who need custom…well, custom anything. Business employees now use drag-and-drop for everything from creating custom websites to editing videos to, yep, building business software.
And using it is FAST. Building software with drag-and-drop technology can take anywhere from a few minutes to a few days depending on how complex it needs to be (and how well you’ve laid out your requirements in advance). But here’s what makes it kicker—anyone can do it, meaning suddenly software development isn’t limited to a few key players (read: software engineers) in your business.
This speed and accessibility makes no-code platforms not just widely accessible (and easy to teach) but it makes it incredibly agile. So you can create what you want and then modify it as your needs change without going through other players or third parties.
Drag-and-drop makes software so fast most businesses can launch their new system in a matter of weeks.
“Drag-and-drop makes software so fast most businesses can launch their new system in a matter of weeks."
Business is constantly changing, and if the last two years have shown us anything, change isn’t always predictable. From supply chain interruptions to the Great Resignation, teams and customers are in a constant state of flux.
But in spite of these changes, customer expectations remain high.
No-code tools let you build a custom solution to support the way you need to work. They also help you tackle the unexpected as fast as it comes at you, like one manufacturing company that added new steps to their shipping process in 30 minutes to handle COVID-related uncertainties.
Whether you want to add a new step in your process or a new data field to your CRM, no-code gives you the freedom to build what you want.
Which brings us to our second point: centrality.
Consolidating your business into (mostly) one place*
There’s a lot of business software out there, and a lot of it excels at doing one or two tasks really well. But problems occur when you need the bigger picture of your business. You’ve got your prospect and customer data in one solution, your customer support tickets in another, and your invoices in two or three more spaces. No one has the big picture, least of all you. Meaning when processes start to break or tasks get forgotten until it’s too late, it’s not easy to see why things are going wrong or how to fix it.
Not all no-code tools are made equal, but there’s one commonality among them: the notion of centrality. Rather than relying on half a dozen apps (real figures put that number between 73 and 129 depending on company size), you work from one solution. One solution that can be customized to handle all those specialized tasks you needed the one-trick pony solutions for.
“The number of software apps deployed by large firms across all industries world-wide has increased 68% over the past four years, reaching an average of 129 apps per company..." - Okta, Inc.
Not only does centralization save money (it saved this accounting firm $84,000 a year), it also
lets you see how all your business puzzle pieces fit together, so you can make decisions with all the appropriate knowledge on hand.
*We all know that some of us have software tools we absolutely love and would never give up. Fortunately many no-code platforms (including Kintone) offer a variety of integrations to help you keep the tools you love while doing more with them.
No-code platforms are looking to give businesses a way out of the either/or problem traditional software tools created. Now you don’t have to sacrifice customization for cost, or speed for flexibility.
If you’d like to see a no-code platform in action, check out our free trial. Kintone’s free trial lets you try out our drag-and-drop interface and build the databases and workflows you need for work.
About the Author
Michelle is the Content Marketing Specialist at Kintone. She is a content marketing expert with several years in content marketing. She moved to San Francisco in 2015 and has experience working in small businesses, non-profits, and video production firms. She graduated in 2012 with a dual degree in Film and English.