Earlier this month our COO and co-Founder Cecilia Flores joined Google Cloud’s VP and Head of Platform Amit Zavery and Protocol moderators Tom Krazit and Joe Williams in a conversation about the transformative nature of no-code and low-code developer tools. The panel, titled “Today’s Transformation, Tomorrow’s Developers: What Enterprises Can Do to Encourage Innovation,” explored the current landscape of low-code and no-code technology, including how the technology is defined, its evolution and the cultural challenges it sometimes confronts and its future.
Webee is clearly no stranger to the no-code approach. Every day our no-code end-to-end IoT toolset increases the visibility, sustainability and efficiency of industrial and agriculture operations. The success and customer satisfaction we’ve achieved is in no small part due to the accessible nature of our no-code toolset, which obviates the need for highly skilled engineers to assemble and interpret IoT installations. This saves time, money and headaches over securing highly technical talent to get IoT projects from POC to production successfully. Given our experience, Cecilia was keen to share her perspective.
They ‘Why’ Behind No-Code and Low-Code
The Protocol panel kicked off with a discussion about the present use of low-code and no-code. Amit noted that many low-code tools, which started with ideas about pre-defined ways to build applications, have become much more powerful and have removed the need for organizations to understand software engineering and data models in order to build powerful applications. Cecilia shared Webee’s motivation for delivering a fully no-code product to a field as highly complex as the IoT that struggles to find ways to move POC to production with ease, so that projects that typically took months now potentially only take days to deploy and show value.
When Change Brings Cultural Challenges
The Protocol team pointed out that developers are not always used to ceding IT control and can be skeptical of the idea that ‘non-technical’ employees can operate low-code tools. Amit suggested that organizations address this by developing a governance plan and offering training. Cecilia concurred and underscored the importance of having internal buy-in from developers and other teams within the organization and how no-code tools can help free up time for more complex projects within the organization. She also noted how no-code tools can help free up time for more complex projects within the organization.
Common No-Code and Low-Code Use Cases
The Protocol team asked for real-world examples of what organizations are building with low/no-code tools and why the tools allow them to do it faster. Cecilia addressed the proliferation of no-code technology in the manufacturing world. While most manufacturing organizations have systems already in place to collect data, aggregating the data, making sense of it and contextualizing it is an immensely complex task that can take months. Webee’s no-code toolset, for example, makes this possible with a drag-and-drop visual UI environment. Amit noted that Google has seen a huge amount of use cases over the last 12 months, with telemedicine increasingly at the forefront in a year marked by a pandemic. Other examples included mortgage lenders who want to digitize the process of mortgage applications and an organization building tools to better automate factory plant inspection. In many cases, the resulting low-code-driven application connects to other databases, such as Salesforce.
The Democratization of Technology
The Protocol team also explored how organizations could best encourage non-developer employees to own their workflows and prioritize resources. Cecilia pointed out that Webee’s customers don’t often approach Webee with a focus on technology; rather, they come to Webee with a specific problem in mind. They need a method for working more quickly and efficiently - and aren’t in need of a comprehensive technological overhaul. Because of that, Webee’s no-code technology gets much quicker buy-in from key stakeholders.
Amit said his experience has shown the movement towards low-code and no-code tends to be more bottom-up or departmental because IT doesn’t always have time to spend investigating these tools. While they may not be developers, employees advocating for low-code and no-code tend to be technically savvy or at the least, more interested in technology than the average person. They have an idea about what they want to build and what it should look like.
The Future of No-Code and Low-Code
The Protocol team then asked what people can expect from these tools in the future. Would the tools themselves become more capable in that they could develop more sophisticated applications? Or would they become easier to use? Would one element take priority over the other?
In Webee’s case, they go hand-in-hand, according to Cecilia. No-code is powerful because it enables users to access the information they need in the moment. She then discussed a use case involving mortality issues with swine production. The customer seeking to remedy this issue found Webee’s application intuitive and easy-to-use, and the application was also well-received by non-technical employees.
Career Prospects for No-Code/Low-Code
In wrapping up the conversation, the panelists focused on career opportunities for those interested in low-code and no-code. Is there a fast track for someone wanting to break into the field? Or more broadly, what educational path could interested parties pursue?
Technologically-inclined individuals should focus on what most fascinates them from a big picture standpoint versus trying to specialize in low-code/no-code, particularly as the technology becomes more advanced, Cecilia pointed out. Amit said the combination of low-code and a firm grasp of the business use case was where most of the value lies. Understanding the details and nuances behind business operations and then using low-code and no-code tools where they might fit in was the best course of action, versus trying to apply one particular tool to all use cases.
Are you currently using low-code or no-code technologies? We’d love to hear from you and we’re interested in your take on the panel discussion! Tweet us @WebeeLife or visit us on LinkedIn.