What is No-code? | How No-code is Changing Business?

TimeTonic Team
November 17, 2021
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Let us assume your organisation gave you the responsibility to manage the installation and maintenance of equipment (office equipment, industrial machines or devices in a hospital for example).

You have to create a schedule of installation interventions, check the availability of the teams and even their vacations, create a list of all the equipment, note their make, model, serial number, bar code, their characteristics, and attach the documentation.

You will then have to plan the dates of preventive maintenance, follow the allocations/withdrawals, note the interventions carried out, manage the incidents (corrective and curative maintenance), probably including taking photos, entering information in a form, creating an intervention report, requests, you may have to generate notifications.

To manage everything seamlessly, you need to switch from one application to another.

What if you can create a customised application in no time for data sorting, task management, data analysis, automating replies, and other related tasks. You might be thinking that building a multitasking app might take you ages and knowledge of coding languages.

We have a better suggestion- Explore and experiment with no-code technology-based platforms.

What is No-code Technology?

No-code is a new approach to creating professional digital tools, websites, mobile applications, workflow automation, and more, without writing a single line of computer code (hence the term "no-code").

No-code platforms offer a visual development interface, pre-built editable templates, multiple themes, and customisable features to build applications that cater to all your business requirements. Many platform providers assure you that you won’t face any problems while building your application by offering customer support at every stage of development.

Screenshot from software

This latest technology, which was previously considered a fad, is now democratizing the market for professional and consumer application development.

No-code is for everyone, from entrepreneurs to engineers to large industries.

Learn how Engie adopted TimeTonic's no-code technology to automate its workflows for smart building operations: https://youtu.be/cpp3SMgVqpo

Top Benefits of No-code Platforms and Development Tools

By 2024, 75% of large enterprises will use at least four low-code or no-code development tools for IT application development and citizen development initiatives according to Gartner.

No-code platforms empower entrepreneurs, small and medium businesses, and professionals who require customised software on an urgent basis without waiting for years to complete the development process.

Let us explore a few significant benefits of no-code: 

  • Accessibility: no-code app builders make everyone a part of the software development process irrespective of their technical knowledge. 
  • Flexibility: Schema-free databases and no-code platforms give flexibility to developers in building and updating applications as and when required.
  • Cost reduction: the cost of hiring specialized engineers and software maintenance decreases when you use no-code platforms like TimeTonic, which allow you to create custom applications without coding, 10, 100, even 1000 times faster.
  • Time-efficient: customised templates and drag-n-drop visual editor of no-code platforms save time and help developers build products that match required needs.
  • Collaborative: No-code lets marketing teams, sales, support teams, and developer teams work on the same page and assures active involvement in bringing life to products.
  • Quality: to perfectly meet the needs of the company, you can customize the software and add the required functionalities using code-free platforms rather than using complex tools.  Avoiding software development reduces the risk of bugs. By having the right digital tool perfectly adapted to your needs rather than a bad tool available on the shelf but poorly adapted to your own needs, you increase the adhesion of your teams and therefore reduce the risks of errors, the time spent in email exchanges, in lost information, in multiple re-entries.
  • Security data: with no-code, you need not worry about underlying security protocols like encryption and patching software as platforms offer secured building blocks.
  • Motivation: via the so-called #citizen-developers approach, i.e. by allowing business teams to directly create their own tools, we make it easy for experts to create the digital tools that are essential to their success without having to wait months or years for IT teams to find or develop the tools they need, which significantly increases the pride, efficiency, productivity and motivation of its teams.
  • Minimise human errors: one can easily integrate applications, automate workflows with no-code tools, and reduce communication errors, redundant entries, etc.
  • Innovation and time-to-market: by enabling the creation of new solutions more quickly, we considerably increase the capacity for innovation. We avoid having to rely solely on experts, who are often far removed from the reality of the field, in order to take advantage of all the available profiles. And we considerably increase the capacity to launch new products on the market more quickly, which can give a decisive competitive advantage.

How is No-code Changing Business?

In terms of revenue, Forrester says the low-code market will top $21 billion in spending by 2022. That's a huge number--and opportunity.

Let us have a glimpse of various sectors where no-code is revolutionising the number of processes:

1. Real Estate / Construction Sector

Real Estate includes housing, retail, hospitality, and commercial sectors that need tailor-made software to collaborate with different stakeholders, track the progress at construction sites, keep records of maintenance services, and much more.

Code-free development platforms allow people associated with the real estate industry to centralize data and manage their activities with a few clicks. It is possible to easily manage one's projects, tenants, properties, building maintenance and upkeep (CMMS), etc., collaborate and communicate with potential clients, and optimize all of one's business processes without difficulty thanks to custom solutions built on codeless development platforms. The platforms offer tools to create custom dashboards for managing different data, built-in chat options, custom document templates, and more to build code-free solutions.

2. Field team and mobile interventions

Managing multiple sites from one location can be a difficult task. Companies that provide field services need a comprehensive application to manage customer contact information and technician database, design mobile forms, generate activity reports, issue invoices, etc.

No-code allows field service providers to deliver their services to multiple locations from their offices without any hassle. Some leading no-code development platforms, like TimeTonic, allow developers to create compatible and easily accessible applications for the field service industry. These apps can maintain technician deadlines, track work from start to finish in real time, install barcodes and QR codes for various mobile applications, and even offer some features with offline capabilities.

3. Finance Sector

The finance sector, including banking, insurance, investment companies, etc., finds difficulty maintaining network security, administering heavy databases, and assuring data privacy of confidential information. Organisations in the finance sector face various challenges in offering a smooth and seamless experience to customers. Some giants can hire professional developers and maintain their brand identity, while others fail in their initial years.

No-code platforms let small to big-scale industries create customized solutions in no time to resolve multiple challenges. They make sure that the security and privacy of confidential information remain intact. No code platforms follow a centralized software management approach and comply with regulatory standards to assure the network's security. Additionally, they offer secured cloud storage space for storing heavy databases and updating them in real-time. 

4. Online E-commerce Websites

Showcase websites or e-commerce encounter a few problems while developing their solutions, such as difficulty in payment gateway integration, developing compatible and scalable apps, designing user-friendly interfaces, following security protocols, etc.

Solutions such as Shopify or Webflow allow you to create e-commerce sites or modern websites in a very short time, totally customized to your needs.

No code development lets developers create, integrate, and automate different workflows in no time. One can easily integrate multiple software, be it for payment or maintaining excel sheets, and automate workflows with no-code platforms. Developers can make flexible and customizable cross-platform apps compatible with various operating systems with the help of pre-built templates and drag and drop visual editor offered by no-code platforms.

5. Start Ups/ SMEs/ Entrepreneurs

Startups with limited budgets find it challenging to hire professional developers, bear the time required to develop solutions for marketing purposes, and cope with complications faced in testing MVPs and launching final versions in the market.

No Code platforms dedicated to startups, like Bubble for example, allow entrepreneurs to create and design software and other solutions without even writing a single line of code. They offer customer support at each stage of development to develop software within a limited time frame. Startups can make scalable, flexible, and easily accessible fully editable solutions as per their goals and target audience. As and when requirements change, they can update their software in real-time without following any complicated procedure.

6. Customer Relationship Management

The customer is the king. Maintaining customer relationships starting from lead generation to conversion to retention requires the collaboration and coordination of multiple teams. Managing email campaigns, scheduling appointments, assigning tasks to different team members, tracking online marketing activities, making reports and metrics, and many other tasks must be done to deliver a smooth customer experience.

Companies move from one software package to another to maintain and administer performance at every stage. However, code-free customer relationship management (CRM) solutions are a step forward in taking customer relationships to the next level. Organizing customer files, viewing activity history, tracking agile approach in team activities, automating social media activity reports and creating real-time dashboards can be easily achieved with a single no-code platform.

Some are simpler than others, like Folk or Attio, and others are more open, like TimeTonic by allowing not only its commercial customer pipe but also all its interactions and email exchanges, projects or mobile interventions for example.
Solutions like TimeTonic also have templates adapted for specific professions, such as insurance brokerage, by also managing contracts, collections and claims or connections with insurance companies.

7. Project Management

Effective project and process management, from the micro to the macro level, is necessary for any organization. Project management involves various tasks such as updating new data in multiple dashboards, organizing appointments, deadlines, reminders, etc., changing the status of tasks, accessing project information at a glance, and much more.

No-code platforms allow companies to manage each project efficiently. Some leading platforms, such as TimeTonic or Monday.com, offer out-of-the-box project templates to maintain new data about customers, teams, methods, logistics, etc. and get started in seconds. They provide different board views like Timeline, Gantt, Kanban, Calendar, etc., to monitor different parameters of ongoing and completed projects. In addition, they allow companies to organize documents through an electronic document management system.

8. Industry 4.0

For industrial SMEs, many applications exist that allow them to be more productive very quickly, thanks in particular to native mobile applications (ideally that work in offline mode) that allow them to access their data, to take photos, to read barcodes, to inform of anomalies, to plan the work of their teams and their machines, to count the time (time sheet), to improve logistics, measure quality, create its own maintenance solutions (CMMS), dematerialize its paper forms, automate its processes, automatically generate reports, create dashboards of its activity, centralize its data, meet its obligations Health, Safety and Environment (HSE), monitor the accreditation and training of staff, and of course reduce all its administrative procedures. The best-known and most efficient platforms in this field are TimeTonic and Flexio.

9. Process automation

Nothing is more useful than process automation tools to simplify your work, reduce the time spent on administrative tasks or double (or triple!) data entry, avoid errors, generate Word, Excel or PDF documents (reports, invoices, estimates, work or travel certificates, etc.), send an email, create an external form, have a contract signed, than automation tools.
Ideally integrated with collaborative relational database solutions such as TimeTonic or Airtable, which allow you to synchronize data from all your tools and orchestrate all your applications in a single point, there are now many process automation solutions known as no-code, i.e., totally customizable without programming and easily interfaced with thousands of applications.
Examples include Zapier, Make, Bryter and Geer.

10. Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)

New platforms offer a complete administrative management solution with very flexible approaches, either dedicated to financial needs, such as Pigment, or more general but longer to learn (such as UERP), or more complete and professional while remaining very easy to learn (such as TimeTonic) but not integrating accounting management.

Bottom-up vs. top-down, no-code vs. low-code

Two main low-code / no-code approaches exist on the market:

The so-called low-code or top-down approaches

Low-code platforms are mainly aimed at developers. They are more difficult to learn and require prior knowledge and training in computer development. They allow for faster development (up to 3 times faster) while generating fewer bugs because they are based on components that have already been tested. Examples include platforms such as Out-systems, Mendix, Appian or Power Apps

No-code or bottom-up approaches or #citizen-developers

No-code platforms are aimed at both developers and non-developers. Much simpler to use, but with an operational capacity close to low-code, no-code platforms are divided into two main groups according to their approach.

UX/UI-first approaches

That is to say, based on a user interface design in the form of functional blocks, inspired by web tools like Wix or Webflow. The advantage of these platforms is to have a quality rendering, but in general limited calculation and automation functions, and a very limited or even non-existent database, relying on external data.   This type of solution, finally very close to a lego game, requires several days of learning for a simple internet showcase, but several months of learning for a professional management application with a nice result. This type of approach is more appropriate for single-use solutions for the general public, i.e. not intended to be interfaced with many tools or to be used by several different businesses.The best known here is undoubtedly Bubble and in France, WeWeb.

Data-first approaches

That is, focusing on data.  Based on the constant fact that the main need of companies is to manage, process, analyze and communicate information, these collaborative and visual database platforms, as flexible as a spreadsheet, can be used to manage almost all the needs of a company in the office (CRM, project management, human resources, document management, email management) but also in the field (site management, intervention management, property maintenance, stock management, industry 4. 0), especially if they have a native mobile application running without connection (offline mode) and synchronized in structure and content with the main platform.
An important advantage of this approach is that no external database is required, unlike no-code approaches based on ux and unlike low-code approaches requiring all external databases to be created, managed, maintained and secured.
It also allows to centralize information in one place, offering a single source of truth to avoid double entries, update and transfer errors.

Often translated by the moto #dataIsTheApplication, this approach is much more adapted for internal management needs. The leaders in this approach are the American company Airtable and the French company TimeTonic.

Among TimeTonic's advantages are the fact that it is hosted in France, that it encrypts its files, that it has a real-time messaging system, that its mobile application has an offline mode, which is essential for the needs of field teams, that it can natively manage emails - ideal for customer relations and support - and that it can natively generate Word, excel and PDF documents (invoices, quotes, reports, certificates), much richer forms offering a 360° view of its data, a richer calculation and process capacity thanks to its Excel automation, and also to allow the creation of extranet for its customers, suppliers and partners via the "guest" mode.

Among the great advantages of these platforms, we find the availability of a large number of ready-to-use models, a database that can synchronize with all legacy systems such as rigid ERPs and archaic tools that are still found in many companies, numerous views adapted to all needs (table, kanban, timeline, calendar, Gantt, cartographic), internal and external forms for the management and sharing of information, and internal or external automation engines (Zapier, Integromat, etc).

Summing Up

As per Globe Newswire, the $187 billion low-code development platform market is to develop by 2030. No code and low code technology are here to stay and reinvent the definition of software development. From real estate to entertainment, it has the potential to contribute to each industry.

As per the CEO of GitHub, Chris Wanstrath, “the future of coding is no code at all.”

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u2-c0NlskhA

If you want to create your own business applications without code, we recommend you start a free trial with TimeTonic.

We offer pre-built business solutions to manage a variety of processes including customer relations, human resources, multi-tiered projects, document privacy, and more.
TimeTonic allows you to build your own cloud and mobile tools for several industries such as brokerage, field service, construction, industry 4.0, and more.

We offer various tools, smart visual databases, shared workspaces, and more to accelerate your digital transformation journey.

Discover the power of no-code and start experimenting now with Timetonic.
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