Keeping up with trends: No-Code development platforms and Partner Programs
Blog: NASSCOM Official Blog
Largely stated over the internet, no-code and low-code platforms refer to tools that allow non-developers to build applications (or building logic over a ready app to extend its capabilities) by either employing little to no code. Platform users can create, iterate, and release applications in a fraction of the time compared to traditional methods.
Right now, we are in the middle of something of a SaaS surge, with venture investments inclining towards enterprise software. Google acquired a no-code platform, Amazon launched its own enterprise no-code platform, Microsoft already has PowerApps, its enterprise low-code platform.
Why the sudden surge?
It’s because no-code and low-code platforms are democratizing technical skill sets. Just like the APIs democratized application connectivity, cloud democratized deployment of software, no-code is democratizing software development by empowering both the professional developers and non-developers take over a business problem and rapidly devise solutions by abstracting complexities and redundant activities and centring only around the visual and logical flow of tasks.
But no-code is not just for the non-developers. By enabling software companies and IT solution providers to develop software, sell, and manage their offerings fast, no-code is supporting ISV and MSP partners to bring unique services to the market fast.
The impacts of ongoing disruption/economic fallout
The ongoing pandemic as well highlights the importance of rapid development as (ISV, channel, MSP) partners race to build tools and solutions for their customers dealing with business disruptions.
Even for organizations with robust IT resources, operating at high speed that the ongoing pandemic calls for is borderline impossible if every change requires time and dedicated resources. With no-code technology, even in the time of disruption, these channel/technology partners can leverage no-code to operate with velocity and gain control.
By partnering with no-code/low-code vendors as system integrators and technology partners, partners can unlock the powerful offerings to build applications for customers. The building, testing and deploying applications using no-code/low-code can take from one to two weeks, something that can go beyond six months to a year if done otherwise/traditionally.
A variety of benefits for the partner gets unlocked:
The deployment of ready-to-use/existing components reduces the amount of development time needed to put the solution live. With a lot of heavy-lifting already taken care of by the no-code platform vendors, there isn’t really much that partners need to do from a deployment readiness perspective. Also, it brings a lot of standards to development, irrespective of the developer who is writing the code. The applications built are multi-device ready, i.e., built once these apps can run on iOS, Android or Web across smartphones, tablets or desktops. Manual maintenance of apps also comes down to a minimum as the platform vendors ensure the standard requirements are met.
Supports the ability to differentiate and showcase their innovative expertise – Since partners play a vital role in their customer’s business success, enabling them with the ability to differentiate quickly put their expertise and experience in customer service is vital as well.
The partner’s get to showcase their extensive expertise in complex, mission-critical systems with easy integration capabilities that no-code tools provide. For the technology partners who are leaders in their domain/enterprises that use specific enterprise software, like SAP or Salesforce, can deliver exactly what the customer needs in a fraction of time.
Empowering partners a faster time to market – Partners look for ways to go to market faster and customers want to access those apps quickly too. With pre-built components, platform guides, walkthroughs, templates, checklists, manual work gets reduced to a few points and clicks. Because the solutions can be developed about 10x faster, partners can take them to market sooner. Developing without (extensive) coding lets them build, test and iterate faster, letting them realise the value/revenue sooner.
Power-packed access to innovation – It’s competitive out there and constant innovation is vital. You need to adapt, innovate, and embrace agile delivery. No-code gives innovation in the hands of the developers to be able to build quality applications, handle integrations, customize UI, ensure standard compliances, etc. No-code platforms play the role of a facilitator by removing the hurdles of extensive programming and allowing the makers to innovate by turning more of their ideas into prototypes.
Promotes design thinking – Design thinking allows you to revisit previous steps, assess changes made and iterate faster to develop highly successful apps. No-code platforms fall right under the hood by letting partners strengthen the design thinking approach by allowing agile teams to focus on continuous integration and evolution. There is more room for experts to modernize legacy systems and applications that hamper the customer’s ability to deliver innovative products and services. Customer CRMs, ERPs, HRMS can be extended or integrated with new services, adding visual dashboards on top of them, approval and notification workflows and automations.
By going beyond speed and ease of use, a no-code/low-code user can accommodate change much more easily than traditional coding. The users’ ideas and needs get room to evolve and the no-code developer gets to seamlessly re-sculpt the app to suit the needed adjustments. With the current demand for software exceeding the supply, traditional coding is just going to be complex and more time-consuming. But that does not mean that coding is dead. While these ISVs and software development houses adopt no-code to build complex applications, they can still add coded customizations and bolt them on top of no-code. With various standard integration options including SOAP/REST services, partners can make custom logic, elements, UI for applications outside the no-code platform and then connect it back to the application.
Many technology partners are now seeing no-code and low-code platforms as a means of new business opportunities by being able to recruit people like consultants or solution experts with the knowledge of business processes to work as developers. With a much less steep learning curve, potential developers with limited exposure to coding can become citizen developers.