Every business relies on different software applications to thrive in its niche or market. But if your business isn’t in tech, or if you don’t have any software development experience, odds are you’ll need to use pre-made software that doesn’t perfectly fit your business’s needs.
That is, of course, unless you write your own applications from scratch. But don’t you have to know a lot of programming languages or have coding experience to get the job done? Not with no code platforms.
Today, let’s explore what no code platforms are, how they work, and whether you should use a no code platform for your enterprise’s applications and software solutions.
What is a no code platform, exactly?
A no code development platform or NCDP is a revolutionary bit of software. In a nutshell, NCDPs let both programmers and non-programmers alike make application software. But as their name suggests, you don’t have to use any coding or understand a programming language to get the job done.
Instead, you use graphical user interfaces or GUIs to put applications together. Here’s an analogy:
- If you’re a web developer, you can create a website from scratch by coding in HTML and putting different graphical components together.
- Alternatively, you can use a website builder platform, like SquareSpace, to make a website from predesigned templates and blocks that you “drag-and-drop” into the appropriate places.
A no code platform is similar to a website builder platform. It allows those without any coding experience to make applications for their enterprises or other needs.
On top of that, no code development platforms are distinct from so-called ‘low-code’ development platforms. The latter platforms do require you to have some coding knowledge; essentially, you stitch different chunks of code together to make a program or application.
No code development platforms don’t require any code writing whatsoever. They offer different prebuilt templates, features, widgets, and other functions you can combine in different ways, so your application perfectly suits your needs.
These days, no code development platforms are becoming increasingly popular among both B2B and B2C businesses. Simply put, it’s oftentimes easier to put together a custom-tailored application or software solution using a no code platform than it is to hire a web developer or agency. Plus, it’s often cheaper.
Advantages of using a no code platform
It’s true that no code platforms don’t allow you to create customized or exact software for your needs. This is compared to you writing the software yourself or if you hire an experienced software development agency. However, NCDPs do come with several distinct advantages, which make them attractive options for many enterprises.
For starters, no code development platforms allow your enterprise to enjoy much greater agility. In fact, any NCDPs worth using are known for being nimble, agile, and flexible. Put in simpler terms, NCDPs are very easy to understand and easy to master.
Practically anyone on your team should be able to use a quality NCDP and put together good software for your organization, at least after a little practice. Even if you choose to include advanced features or automation workflows in your business application, the right no code platform will let you do so without too much trouble.
This benefits your overall agility since:
- Your business can develop unique or specialized software solutions quickly
- You don’t need to dedicate too much time or resources to developing software for your business
On top of that, most NCDPs provide different templates or user interfaces and user experience functionalities. You should very easily be able to make workflows, data displays, forms, and other common functions and features within a few button presses.
Bottom line: the flexibility and ease of use offered by most no code platforms make them excellent tools for bolstering your business agility across the board.
More workplace productivity
In keeping with the above, no code platforms often lead to greater workplace productivity. With no code tools, your business will have an edge over competitors in the same niche or industry.
Why? You don’t need to hire a dedicated IT team or software development agency to get the tools you need to get the job done.
The right tools you make with your NCDP can then allow you to accomplish major workplace objectives or complete certain tasks more quickly and easily than ever before.
In addition, many of the best no code platforms allow you to integrate automation workflows and tools into your software. This, in turn, can cut down on the time your staff has to spend completing busy work objectives, such as data entry, categorizing things, and other recurring tasks.
Of course, this is contingent on you developing a good software app for your business needs. Still, if you use a no code platform properly, you’ll find that your workplace productivity skyrockets and that you are better able to meet your workplace objectives.
In most cases, custom business applications are very pricey to order or write yourself. If you hire a software development agency, you can expect to spend several thousand dollars, at a bare minimum, to get the software tailored to your unique needs.
Even if you were to try to write a software app yourself, you would need to pay for that in terms of both money and time away from other aspects of your business.
No code platforms and automation tools are increasingly popular because of their affordability. With these tools, you can get the software solutions you need ASAP without having to break the bank. Thus, these are excellent tools if your business is relatively young or if you don’t have much of a budget to develop custom software tools quite yet.
That said, you’ll want to compare multiple no code platforms and see how much they cost relative to each other. Some NCDPs are certainly more affordable than others – take stock of what each platform offers and only pick the one that has what you need.
Many of the best no code platforms allow for simplified and very helpful integrations. Integrations with third-party tools and features are vital for most modern B2B and B2C business applications.
For example, maybe you have an email marketing tool that you use to send out marketing emails to your consumers regularly and consistently. Fortunately, if you make a software application with a no code platform, you should be able to integrate that email marketing tool without too much difficulty.
Even better, many NCDPs allow you to integrate multiple apps and even create a workflow journey. It’s entirely feasible to create several different software solutions using your chosen no code platform, then design them, so they interact and integrate with each other quickly and easily.
Add this to the automation capabilities offered by many NCDPs, and before you know it, you’ll have a smooth-running, well-oiled application with many different pieces that work perfectly together.
Accessible automation for your employees
Above, we’ve mentioned automation many times. That’s because automation tools are valuable timesavers and can increase productivity at your enterprise in more ways than one.
Fortunately, NCDPs oftentimes allow you to integrate automation tools and workflows without too much effort. The more automation you can weave into your customized software solutions, the better.
This is even more important since employees are logging longer hours and doing much more work than before. Work that’s recurring and requires little effort.
Luckily, the proliferation of business APIs and no code software tools has allowed many workers to free up extra time and automate current tasks that don’t require their full attention or focus.
Say that your team has been using an outdated bit of software for data logging and organization. This takes a ton of time out of each worker’s day.
With a no code development platform, you can make a modernized solution that automates some of the processes. This results in better, faster work, and happier employees overall.
Or you can automate the financial elements of your business. By utilizing a business bank account that allows automating financial transactions, you’ll save time and minimize the likelihood of experiencing an accounting error due to forcing an employee to input transactions over and over.
While no code development platforms have a stigma of being overly simplistic and not altogether useful, this stigma is false.
Modern no code development tools and automation platforms now allow you to bootstrap feature-rich tools and software applications that can do almost anything you need them to.
Previously, NCDPs were limited to very basic application functions. However, modern tools now allow you to design, develop, and deploy apps that are tailored or specified to your business’s unique needs.
Added to the above-mentioned easy integration capabilities, it’s clear that no code platforms are much more robust tools than they were previously.
Better security (in theory)
Lastly, no code platforms may provide your brand with better security overall (at least in some circumstances). Simply put, because no code platforms use pre-checked chunks of code or apps that have been used many hundreds of times over at minimum, odds are those chunks of code or functions are more secure than any custom software you may write.
Look at it another way:
- You can use custom-written software for your organization that was just created by a software development agency.
- That custom-written software may have its own advantages, but it also hasn’t been used ‘in the wild’ before. Therefore, it may be vulnerable to modern malware threats or other digital intrusions.
- Or you can use the code provided by no code platforms. The code used by NCDPs has been checked, double-checked, and triple-checked, plus been used by many different enterprises over the years.
- Any breaches or issues in that code have long been discovered and patched (presumably) by the no code platform developer. In this way, there’s ironically less of a chance of a basic security breach affecting your business if you use a no code platform compared to having software written by an expert for your organization.
Of course, cybersecurity isn’t just dependent on code. It’s also dependent on how your employees treat the software, who has access to sensitive data, when you run security audits, etc.
But even so, no code platforms can oftentimes lend your business greater digital security, especially if you use software apps developed exclusively by NCDPs.
Is a no code platform right for your enterprise?
As you can see, there are lots of reasons why a business might decide to use a no code development platform. However, these tools aren’t the ideal solutions for every single business need. It can be tough to tell whether your enterprise will benefit from an NCDP or if you should hire a dedicated software development agency (or write customized code yourself).
No code platforms are great for the following businesses and circumstances:
- When you have a new business and need relatively specialized code to handle unique needs or objectives.
- When you have a new business and don’t have much of a budget to hire specialized developers or a software development agency, you still need a relatively customized software solution.
- When you want to increase automation in your organization, especially by getting rid of busywork or freeing up time for your employees.
- When you want to bolster business security by not using ‘one-size-fits-all’ programs that don’t provide your enterprise with the functionality it needs.
- When you want to make sure you have some control over the software apps your business uses without having to learn to program yourself or hire a software development agency.
- When your business needs to expand, but you don’t yet need software custom-written for your organization until you have more resources.
Take stock of your business’s needs, your budget, and what your ideal software needs to do, then decide whether a no code development platform is a good idea.
No code helps you get ahead without breaking the bank
Ultimately, a no code software development platform could be the perfect solution for your enterprise and its application needs.
When you need a specialized or customizable application for your business, you don’t have to hire an expensive agency or learn how to write code yourself. You or your employees can instead use a no code platform and enjoy several ancillary benefits at the same time.
Do you use a no code platform in your business? What do you think is its most valuable benefit in your organization?
Nahla Davies is a software developer and tech writer. Before devoting her work full-time to technical writing, she managed – among other intriguing things – to serve as a lead programmer at an Inc. 5,000 experiential branding organization whose clients include Samsung, Time Warner, Netflix, and Sony.