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No-code in Big Tech: Why Key Players Embraced it in 2020, and How they Can Leverage it in 2021

In this special guest feature, Tal Daskal, CEO and Co-founder of EasySend, discusses the ways that key big tech players embraced no-code in 2020, and how they’ll be able to leverage this disruptive tech trend in 2021 and beyond. EasySend is a SaaS company with a no-code development platform for insurance companies and financial services based in Tel-Aviv, New York, and Germany. Tal is an expert on all things digital transformation in banking and insurance and is a passionate advocate for the paradigm shift towards no-code application development in the financial sector.

Sometimes the best way to adapt is simply to adopt.

Innovation does not always have to come in the form of the “next new thing,” and embracing prevailing trends or preexisting tech in savvy ways can be the key to thriving through the most trying of times. 2020 was a year where the ability to digitally adapt in a short time-frame was often the make-or-break factor for companies across countless sectors. No-code tools—software development platforms that allow non-technical employees to create top-tier applications without the need to write a single line of code—quickly shot to the fore of the innovative solutions for digital adaptation. It is now increasingly clear that the importance of these tools will long-outlive the pandemic that catalyzed their rise.

It’s certainly no accident that some have been quick to call the no-code movement the most disruptive trend of 2021. Here are some of the ways that big tech leaders capitalized on the no-code revolution in the past year and how they can continue leveraging this digital Deus ex Machina in the year that lies ahead.

Back to business basics: Operational streamlining

When the COVID-19 pandemic reared its head, companies were forced to seek out new operational efficiencies and cost-saving measures – and no-code tools have demonstrated immense value on these fronts.

According to a 2020 Tonkean survey of 500 IT and business operations professionals at large and mid-sized companies, 68% of IT professionals reported budgetary increases in the last year to address operational inefficiencies, and robust majorities of both IT (88%) and operations (75%) professionals were hopeful that no-code/low-code tools would allow their operations teams to work more effectively down the line. Additionally, 95% of respondents reported that they have already implemented or would soon begin using no-code/low-code tools.

No-code development offers simplified solutions to many of the burning issues that IT teams regularly face, and small and mid-size businesses are far from the only ones that are hopping on the no-code train. In just the past year, Microsoft, Google, and Amazon have all launched no-code products to add to their arsenal of tools, and are each already looking for ways to utilize the disruptive tech more innovatively than one another.

Abstraction: Replacing “development” with “assembly”

At the core of what makes no-code software development so useful is the rise of software “assemblers” who are now able to handle tasks that in the past were usually reserved for those seen as traditional software developers.

By allowing any technically astute employee to create new software capabilities, this change in how we think about software development will help increase the speed with which tech-forward companies can complete their digital transformation initiatives.

With no-code tools, the process of building enterprise-grade platforms, apps, and user experiences is more akin to assembling a collage from magazine clippings than it is to the high-level computer programming you might expect to be behind such a high-level platform. The process of this assembly-style no-code development is called “abstraction.”

Abstraction allows no-code platform users, regardless of their coding ability, to create unique programs with point and click interfaces, rather than by writing every individual line of code. This means that non-coders can build customized software by merely assembling puzzle piece-like blocks of code.

The abstraction process has made it easier than ever for every employee to play a role in creating innovative software solutions, and is well on its way to becoming an accepted constant in the evolution of software development.

Beating the clock

For many of the enterprises that were hardest hit by the pandemic, the “why” of their struggles is no big secret: they failed to adopt new digital technologies as their IT departments scrambled to meet new, unprecedented challenges and needs.

Companies vying to avoid similar fates increasingly recognize that no-code/low-code development in enterprise IT is becoming a must. While no-code tools had already became a standard in the SMB segment, enterprises have, for the most part, continued to rely on traditional development projects. But now, enterprises, especially those in insurance and financial services, are turning to no-code development platforms when they’re ready to make even their most complex workflows simple and easy for both their employees and their customers.

These tools owe their growing popularity to the fact that they provide businesses with easy-to-use, fast-implementation solutions that can amplify overstretched internal resources, reduce backlogs, and improve productivity.

The special sauce of un-specialization

In the past, people thought that the key to top-tier development was to bring top-tier coders, but with the rise of no-code development, the barriers to entry are breaking away. Rather than hiring a greater number of specialized employees, no-code tools allow companies to engage a greater number of employees across all departments, bringing to bear a plethora of skills and experience that can enhance the development of apps and interfaces.

This has led to a sharp pivot away from the long-dominant notion that workplaces of the future would need to be places where all employees had substantial coding abilities. Companies are beginning to realize that it is more cost- and time-efficient to give employees the tools that allow them to act like coders, even without formal coding knowledge.

Facing Forwards: The Future of No-Code

So how will this trend continue to change the game in the coming year?

AI technology will drive new advances in no-code solutions, and as technological progress fuels greater interest in no-code platforms, adoption will increase. Analysts at Gartner predict that by 2023, more than 50% of medium to large businesses and enterprises will have adopted no-code platforms as a key strategic application.

Unlike disruptive trends of the past, the rise of no-code is making innovation easier and more accessible across the board.

The beautiful flower of no-code technology’s potential is only just beginning to bloom. As businesses return to some semblance of normal operation in the coming years, it is increasingly apparent that no-code software will be an integral part of their technological toolbelts.

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