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Zero-Code Platforms Ease the Pain of Mobile App Development

Vinod Saratchandran
Vinod Saratchandran

Zero-code development is here, slashing the time and cost in creating a mobile app.

App development has historically been a painstaking and time-consuming process for most enterprises. To compound matters, many enterprises find themselves plagued with issues like apps not performing as expected, apps scoring low on user experience and more. The major reasons for such a state of affairs are:

  • The unprecedented rise in demand for enterprise apps, owing to the recent wave of mobile phone adoption. Enterprises are forced to offer more and more processes, both internal processes and customer-facing, through smartphone apps.
  • Development skills being hard to come by, with skilled developers in short supply.
  • Investments in agile and DevOps, which would have given a fillip to enterprise app development, not reaching the expected levels. While 60 percent of enterprises invested in agile tools and services in 2017, the average agile maturity score was a lackluster 2.6 out of 5.

Zero-code development, where the code work is hidden behind user-friendly, point-and-click interfaces and simple dropdown menus, eases the pain points and stumbling blocks associated with mobile app development in a big way. The approach, hitherto almost exclusively used by innovators and early adopters, is used by about 34 percent of enterprises.

Reduced app development backlog

With the demand for mobile apps at an all-time high, enterprises are hard-pressed to increase the speed of app development. Moreover, with increasing competition, all enterprises seek to improve the efficiency, speed and quality of software delivery on a continuous basis.

About 42 percent of IT professionals plan to deliver 10 or more apps, 21 percent of enterprises plan to deliver 25 or more apps, and 10 percent of enterprises seek to deliver 100+ apps in 2018. However, enterprises struggle to keep up with such demand, and about 65 percent of IT professionals experience app dev backlog. About 47 percent of app developers take five months or more to develop and deliver an app, and about 28 percent of enterprises are unhappy with such pace.

Zero-code development facilitates rapid app development, enabling enterprises to match high demand. By automating the time-consuming coding process, the approach eliminates much of the hard manual work associated with app development. Zero code also significantly eases testing and troubleshooting. The net result is the app development timeframe converting to days from months.

Increasing responsiveness to business needs

About 55 percent of enterprises adopt zero-code development since they feel the approach is more responsive to business needs.

Hitherto most business executives were forced to one-size-fits-all applications brought or developed by the IT team, for want of a better option. Often, these apps served their requirements only in a limited way, and many executives had to alter their work processes and even business to suit the demands of the software on hand.

Zero-code application platforms enable executives and other non-technical users with no programming skills to design, build and deploy apps which actually work the way they want it to work, and to match the exact needs of the enterprise. A major pain point of the app-development process is expectation mismatch, or the developer coding the app in a way different to what the app owner intended or wanted.  Zero-code solutions eliminate the "middleman" developer and eliminate the expectation mismatch in the process.

Using zero-code solutions, businesses and business users may visually model and create back-end services for REST and SOAP. Top zero-code solutions come with out-of-the-box integrations for popular external systems like SAP and Salesforce, making integration easy and seamless as well.

Accelerating digital innovation and transformation

Digital transformation is mired in uncertainty. The fast-changing customer preferences and a highly fluid business environment means enterprises may have to adopt trial-and-error methods, or change tactics quickly when trying to sustain a viable business model and deliver value to customers. More than half of all enterprises now invest in customer-centric innovation methods, such as design thinking, customer journey, mapping, and lean UX. For such enterprises experimentation is indispensable.

About 69 percent of enterprises find zero-code development helping them in their digital transformation initiatives and accelerating the pace of digital innovation. Zero-code solutions not only make the app development fast, easy, and low-cost but also give developers the confidence of pivoting without having to throw away weeks of development effort.

Freedom from developers

About 38 percent of enterprises use zero-code solutions primarily for reducing their dependency on technical developers. Skilled developers are in short supply, and come with a hefty price tag. About 80 percent of enterprises feel it is hard to hire skilled developers, with the recruitment process taking a long time and posing a significant dent in their coffers. While outsourcing is a solution, it comes with its own challenges and costs as well.

Zero-code solutions, designed keeping the non-technical users in mind, allow business executives to build custom web apps on their own, using clicks and dropdown functions. Any employee with even rudimentary technical skills can build high-quality and highly functional mobile apps, and customize it on the fly as things change, all without touching a single line of code.

Moreover, zero-code solutions are in the cloud, with the pay-as-you-use pricing approach built in. The freedom from huge license fees, the need to maintain and update the code regularly and the reduced risk of lost data are spin-off benefits.

WordPress, the popular blogging platform where developers can set up blogs on the fly without any knowledge of HTML, and Zapier, which allows connecting SaaS applications without API code, are two zero-code platforms that have already entered the mainstream. With the benefits of zero-code being obvious to more and more businesses, more platforms are on its way to becoming mainstream.

Image Credit: oatawa/Shutterstock
Vinod Saratchandran
Vinod Saratchandran Member
Vinod has conceptualized and delivered niche mobility products that cater to various domains including logistics, media & non-profits. He leads, mentors & coaches a team of Project Coordinators & Analysts at Fingent.