The Secret to Workplace Productivity: No-Code Technology

The Secret to Workplace Productivity: No-Code Technology

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Hbr 1 The Secret to Workplace Productivity: No-Code Technology

By Chris Byers

The past 18 months have caused a historic shift in the way we work, from which tools we use to how we learn. A change in the technology landscape is providing massive opportunities, and the evolution of no-code software is bringing us into the next big tech revolution.

Hailed for their simplicity and versatility, no-code tools allow anyone to develop digital applications and automate workflows without any need to write code—or even understand it. No-code software is as unlimited as the user’s imagination.

Approximately 20% of workers have adopted no-code tools, 66% within the past year and 41% in the past six months, according to the recent report from Formstack, “The Rise of the No-Code Economy.” Seven out of 10 no-code users said they adopted it because of its speed and the ease it provides in developing and maintaining applications, compared with traditional software development. No-code tools also give them more control over their projects, they said, and make building applications and automating workflows more cost-efficient.

Global disruptions like the pandemic, a growing developer shortage, and the rise of the Gen Z workforce have proved that the potential for no-code is nearly limitless. While the survey results show an impressive rate of adoption—and the market shows that no-code (and low-code) solutions are here to stay—they also indicate that no-code has plenty of room to grow.

No-Code Rising Above the Horizon

As companies have rushed to roll out new digital programs to cope with the pandemic, they have had to take on extreme digital transformation projects on accelerated timelines to stay in business. One of the only ways to keep up with this pace has been through rapid development, often made possible by no-code tools and methodology.

Work-from-home policies also likely increased the adoption of no-code. With employees working remotely and more autonomously, some have used no-code to take on the role of “citizen developers.” These employees are eager to push forward with projects to streamline their own workflows, and they don’t like waiting for help from internal developers or IT support staff to get these projects going. A lack of technical resources delays nearly 60% of projects, according to our market survey. IT teams are grateful for the relief—employees taking charge of their own development means IT can focus on bigger, more technical challenges. By managing less day-to-day troubleshooting, they’re able to spend their time on projects that are more innovative and strategic.

The inbound Gen Z workforce is also reshaping the way employees and businesses approach technology. The first generation born in a fully developed digital world tends not to have patience for outdated technology and methodologies that seem draconian in comparison to the tools they used throughout childhood and school. No-code tools allow digital natives and older employees alike to develop and maintain digital tools, no matter their skill level.

Hbr 2 E1632932817904The Landscape of the No-Code Economy

As no-code becomes increasingly prevalent, it will reshape the economy around business and software development and push organizations forward in workplace productivity.

The rise of the no-code economy has already started with early adopters who have a passion for analyzing and solving problems. Among these early adopters are startups, such as and Qoins, which were built using no-code tools from companies like Airtable and Zapier. It used to be that entrepreneurs with a great idea would have to amass considerable technical resources to turn that idea into a minimally viable product. With the advent of no-code, these startup founders can squeeze much more value out of their technical funding and talent early on, making it easier to get off the ground and grow into successful companies.

Developers and IT professionals are also feeling the impact of no-code adoption among nontechnical employees. While many of the no-coders today are driving the adoption of these tools, IT teams are grateful for the time they get back when their colleagues start using them. When employees take a hands-on approach to developing and maintaining their own solutions, IT support staff can check those items off their list and focus on more complex tasks.

How to Know Which Tool Is Right for You

No-code is transforming IT and business operations at a critical time. With a growing developer shortage and increased reliance on IT teams for business success, it is empowering businesses and entrepreneurs to handle advanced IT processes all on their own without the need for sophisticated, costly, and sometimes proprietary code. It is also freeing up developers’ time to focus on higher-level tasks while enabling less technically skilled workers to take care of tasks including form creation and website and app development.

With an array of no-code tools on the market and rapid growth in the space, your organization has limitless possibilities to use these tools to transform your business, whether for web or app design, survey creation, workflow automation, or any other purpose.

It’s time for your organization to take advantage of the many benefits no-code tools can offer. Your team—from IT leaders to HR, marketing, and everyone in between—is sure to see an impact.

To learn how no-code can transform your world of work, check out “The Rise of the No-Code Economy” report.

Chris Byers is the CEO of Formstack, a workplace productivity platform helping companies digitize what matters, automate workflows, and fix processes—all without code.

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