Code is the DNA of software programs and applications. Each line of code gives orders and instructions to computers, servers, and other machines to execute tasks, and to create those instructions, you have to know how to write code. Writing clean, concise, and good code is a valuable skill that is, unfortunately, in very short supply — there are currently hundreds of thousands of open unfilled IT and positions. What’s worse, this lack of good talent in the market is hindering innovation for most companies.
What are low-code tools?
Low-code development tools are a type of visual programming. Anyone without coding knowledge can set up systems that build digital products and then just need a bit of development expertise to really customize them for your business. Low-code solutions focus on the end-user experience and not on what is taking place behind the scenes.
These types of applications allow people with deep business knowledge — yet with little to no coding knowledge — to develop applications that would usually require a programmer.
Businesses will still need developers. By using low-code solutions, they can focus on building more customized features for the end-user instead of wasting time creating code for simple tasks like layout or images.
Why do small businesses need low-code solutions?
Low-code development makes it easier to build prototypes and test them with users before launching them. This is especially useful for building mobile and web browser-based applications for newly pandemic-created remote workers.
Other benefits of low code software include:
- User-friendly and intuitive
- Affordable and cost-effective
- Collaboration friendly, allowing multiple users to work inside them simultaneously
- Mobile compatible
- Scalability that fast-growing small companies need
Low Code in the Cloud
Cloud-based applications allow small businesses more flexibility, allowing team members to work from anywhere with an internet connection. It also means your users will access and work within a secure and centralized environment.
Why not just use Excel?
Excel serves as an excellent starting point for startups and small businesses. It offers asset management, reporting, data management, time management, and task management. Often, many crucial workflows and processes are built right on top of the desktop application. However, when companies start to grow, using Excel as a core system can become a nightmare.
Difficult to navigate
The bigger a workbook with multiple spreadsheets gets, the harder it is to find the data you need quickly. Companies end up spending a lot of time just making a spreadsheet easily navigable. In a low-code solution, you can customize your layout by user type, keeping all of the data in the same place but making it feel like a custom app for different team members in your business.
File version control
Multiple users in the same core spreadsheet lead to multiple versions, and team members must constantly scramble to figure out which is the single source to trust. Not having control over the proper version of commonly used spreadsheets means a constant cycle of reconciliation, a huge waste of time and effort.
Users can easily and accidentally edit or delete necessary spreadsheet formulas. Excel does not preemptively let users know what input type is needed, so users can easily put bad data in, resulting in bad data out. A centralized low-code system can lock down certain areas to different permission groups and prevent human error.
Excel gives users password protection as a security measure, but anyone with the password can save local copies and then do what they want with the file and data. Many low-code solutions have better security in place, with measures like user-level password protection and data encryption.
As soon as Excel becomes the core source of truth for a business, it also becomes, well, a massive, unruly file that crashes constantly. As Excel spreadsheets grow in data size and complexity of calculations, the program’s performance drops. This leads to fewer saves, which can result in lost work, and ultimately, poor office morale. No one wants to work harder because their system doesn’t work at the speed they do.
Developing small business solutions
Excel does not handle vast amounts of data and reporting well; a low-code system can solve these problems and deliver more control over data. They can handle large amounts of information and complicated queries without slowing down. These types of applications can also handle more workflows and processes that Excel wasn’t built to manage in the first place. .
Given Excel’s popularity, it’s not a surprise that many organizations still use the system as their primary data storage and analysis tool, even if they have outgrown it. Excel is familiar and rock-solid when it performs within its proper domain. But so many small businesses are still unaware that using Excel for everything is costing productivity and money.
Therefore, many businesses are moving away from the desktop application. They instead opt for low-code alternatives to manage their data, build custom dashboards, and automate their processes without a significant IT investment.
How to Get Started in Low Code
We help small businesses implement low-code solutions with the customized purposes and workflows their business needs and then train their team members to manage the system themselves. No extra developers required. Contact our team to learn more.