No-code bridges the business-tech divide
No-code can be a game-changer in building a more efficient relationship between business outcomes and the development process. The no-code approach provides an intuitive visual development environment that empowers business teams to directly participate in the application building process.
What does a no-code solution like Unqork’s mean, practically, for application development?
- Instead of coding a software solution line-by-line, a layer of abstraction and simplification sits between the development team and the codebase.
- Using a drag-and-drop interface, development teams can achieve in days what might require months of conventional coding and bug testing.
No-code platforms aren’t new. What-you-see-is-what-you-get (WYSIWYG) web builders from the 90s and 00s helped consumers build highly functional websites with limited or no understanding of writing HTML. Unqork, however, is the first no-code application platform to bring that same concept to enterprise-grade application development.
Enterprise no-code application platforms such as Unqork help bridge the technology-business divide in a number of key ways.
1. Rapid prototypes
A 2019 Gartner panel exploring critical factors in digital transformation found that: “Two critical aspects of … design thinking are to fail early and learn from the failure. If you don’t … you’re not being aggressive enough, you’re playing it too safe.”
Prototypes play a crucial role in quickly establishing a shared understanding of what works, and what doesn’t. Developed early enough, a high-fidelity prototype gives your team valuable intelligence on how to position your product competitively, and with minimal wasted resources.
The problem with conventional software development is that it usually just isn’t feasible to build a prototype. Instead, development teams will typically rely on a “wireframe”—a basic mockup image of a software interface accompanied by a series of flowcharts offering an overview of its logic. While this is better than nothing, as a tool for testing and building on an idea, a wireframe is cumbersome and imprecise. With nothing but words and diagrams, it’s difficult to explain how software works—particularly to predominantly business-oriented counterparts. The conventional approach rarely leads smoothly to consensus and fails to adequately bridge the business-tech divide.
Using no-code, development teams can abandon this early step, shifting instead to rapidly building the real thing. In a fraction of the time—and without writing a single line of code—organizations can develop sophisticated, scalable prototypes. In fact, using Unqork, a proficient tech user can often build a fully functioning prototype in the time it’d take to build a wireframe.
This sets a development team up for:
- Earlier consensus: Using functional high-fidelity prototypes, business and technology teams gain a shared visual language for collaborative development. It’s a process both far more intuitive and significantly less prone to communication breakdown.
- More efficient use of time and resources: With layers of wireframing abstraction removed, business users are better positioned to confirm that the planned software successfully aligns with a company’s business goals. This equips tech teams to sidestep dead-ends, and to avoid squandering time and resources.
- Deeper insights into the end-user’s experience: A high-fidelity prototype gets a development team closer to pragmatically understanding the user experience. Tech teams can accurately identify potential pain points and avoid them.
“What you get with no-code—and specifically with Unqork—is an opportunity to let operations teams and business teams innovate without relying entirely on overworked and under-capacity technology teams.”
—Chris DeBrusk, Partner, Oliver Wyman
2. Empowered business users
From early ideation right through to testing and launch, business users hold critical information to the success of a piece of software. It’s predominantly the business users—not the programmers—who bring an intimate understanding of the corporate ecosystem, of what your customers want, and where your company as a whole is going. The business users on a development team know (in fact, often set) corporate objectives. They know what drives their customers and have granular data and intimate insights in regards to the customer experience. And all that information is vitally important.
The result? A conventional enterprise software development process separates coders from business users with a near-impenetrable wall of jargon and mismatched expertise. The task of making software is hampered by both teams “throwing over the wall” with each new iteration of development. Ideas get lost. Opportunities are squandered.
With a visual programming platform such as that offered by Unqork, business users no longer throw their requirements over the wall and hope for the best. Instead of being relegated to a distant, advisory role, non-programmers can be using Unqork, often in as little as three weeks. A tech user, of course, will still be able to pick it up faster and it will help them do more. But a non-technical person should at least be able to pick up the basics and handle smaller, more routine tasks. No-code empowers business users to:
Get closely involved in designing the user experience
By removing an impeding barrier to collaboration, the no-code development process allows business users to become much more closely involved in critical development decisions. Even a business user with little-to-no coding experience can actively participate in the development process.
The Unqork no-code platform allows teams to consider user experience, design, back-end development, and marketing goals in one unified and intuitive environment.
Instead of being consigned merely to a broad conceptualization of the application, your business team gets to see how all these elements interact early in the process. They can be directly involved in pivotal decisions about how the software should look and feel to the end-user.
Lift your gaze beyond the busy work
Finally, a managed no-code platform like Unqork does much of the “heavy-lifting” in terms of security compliance, legal requirements, and component upgrades.
For example, Unqork emphasizes efficiency, giving users many opportunities to reuse components they’ve already developed. Let’s say a tech user designs a customer portal for one segment of a software package. Using a no-code approach, it’d be a relatively trivial task for a business user to take that design and repurpose it for a similar task elsewhere. This reusability gives business users far more leverage for active involvement in the software development process. This recently became even easier with Unqork Marketplace, where users can choose from a library of reusable application components.
No-code allows developers to shift focus away from the minutiae, from the myriad technical challenges they need to overcome to make software minimally viable.
Instead, business and technology teams can shift their gaze to how the software can best meet their company’s strategic business objectives.