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Apps are essential to companies, from supporting the organization and productivity of internal teams to helping customers find and purchase products.
Traditionally, custom applications were only available to those who could afford to hire professional software developers. Today, low code/no code technology has given people with little to no coding knowledge the ability to create, test and implement custom applications to solve specific problems in their organizations and accelerate digital transformation.
Low code/no code technology has helped businesses adapt to a post-pandemic business environment and remain competitive.
Many companies that resisted digitalization are now turning to low code/no code apps to solve business needs, thanks to those programs’ accessibility and cost-saving nature.
COVID-19 caused a global shift in how businesses operate. With more companies moving towards a digital environment, custom applications that address business problems are in high demand. For instance, businesses are seeing an increased need to automate workflows, improve access to analytics and support remote employees with coworking applications.
These applications have broad uses. For example, one company might create a focused app that locates parking spots for large fleet distribution centers, while another company may need an HR app that automates time-off requests. Businesses are increasingly reliant on applications to streamline IT operations, data analysis, expense management and order-to-cash processes.
“There really aren’t any limitations. The spectrum of ideas is so huge.” – Robert Shurtleff, Enavate Global Microsoft Technology Evangelist
Until recently, app creation required skilled developers to write line after line of code. Even innovative solutions like rapid app development (RAD) programs require users to have a relatively in-depth understanding of coding. Businesses without software developers on staff could not make custom applications to support their team or customers.
Seeing a need, software companies like Microsoft developed low code/no code platforms with user-friendly graphical interfaces and drag-and-drop tools to simplify and streamline development.
Low code platforms are so straightforward, users with limited experience can use them to design enterprise-grade apps, meaning if you know how to use programs like PowerPoint and Excel, you can build your own application.
“The software acts and behaves like a no code environment so companies can easily start using the technology. You don’t need a programmer or a technical developer to use the software. If you can build basic formulas in Excel, you can use low code/no code technology to build solutions for your company.” – Robert Shurtleff
Low code/no code platforms:
There are very few purely “no code” or “low code” applications on the market. Instead, these programs lie on a spectrum, Shurtleff said. No code is the starting point on the development journey and branches out to include increasingly complex low code and pro code applications.
Professional developers are generally not needed during low code/no code development unless applications reach a level of complexity and compliance needs where they need to be integrated into a company-wide ecosystem.
IDC predicts that 500 million new apps will need to be built in the next five years, or 274,000 apps a day, to keep up with demand – more than all apps built in the last 40 years combined. Unfortunately, skilled software engineers are in short supply, creating an immense backlog for these applications, according to Forbes.
At Enavate, almost 100 team members have completed Power Platform training, part of the company’s effort in alignment with Microsoft’s continued investment in Power Platform.
“The Microsoft roadmap is to continue to make Power Platform the core enabling and extensibility platform across the entire suite of Dynamics 365 business applications. Going forward, you will not be able to work with any of the Dynamics 365 solutions without also being a specialist in the Power Platform,” Shurtleff said.
Low code/no code platforms, such as Microsoft Power Platform, solve this problem by putting app development into the hands of citizen developers (those with no or limited coding knowledge). Non-technical employees can create valuable apps as needed, allowing professional developers to focus on more strategic work. Additionally, smaller companies can design applications without outsourcing or hiring new staff.
The Microsoft Power Platform, with low code/no code and drag-and-drop capabilities, incorporates four primary areas:
Low code/no code platforms put the power of app development in everyone’s hands.
Even without extensive training or in-depth knowledge of programming languages, most business users can learn how to use programs like Microsoft Power Apps to design web and mobile applications. The Power Platform also supports more than 500 certified connectors providing native integration to external enterprise and software as a service (SaaS) applications.
For example, at distributor G & J Pepsi-Cola Bottlers Inc., two employees used the Microsoft Power Platform to create a system to track the products they were distributing across Ohio and Kentucky.
With the help of the AI Builder tool, they built an app that automated their inventory management while forecasting how likely the company would be to fill orders on time based on performance and capacity. The new app was easy to use and significantly improved the efficiency and accuracy of their company.
It only took two business employees to change how their company does business.
What can your team accomplish with Microsoft Power Platform? Contact one of our Enavate experts today to learn more.