New report explores why leveraging technology to solve business problems is growing in all industries, with employees at all levels and in all roles.
In May-June of 2017, Quick Base surveyed 231 customer organizations at the EMPOWER 2017 conference in Boston, MA. These organizations represent 115,000 Quick Base application builders and users across 30+ industries. Then, we surveyed 782 non-customer organizations (also across 30+ industries) that use traditional and low-code application development platforms, business point solutions or productivity tools for tracking people, projects and processes. Results from these two surveys formed the basis of Quick Base’s State of Business Apps 2017 Report.
One of the most intriguing nuggets in the report involved the gender of the individuals taking advantage of low and no-code application development. According to the surveys, those using traditional or low-code platforms are almost always professional developers housed in information technology departments (i.e. you are trained in coding languages like .NET as well as scripting) and they are almost always male. Their skillset is relatively rare and does not translate well outside of IT.
On the other hand, those who solve business problems using no-code application building platforms are often women (4 out of 10) who are subject matter experts on a business team. This means that women make up nearly the same percentage of no-code application developers as women in the workforce in general! The fact that men and women are using these platforms in approximately equal numbers bodes well for continuing efforts to give women a stronger voice and emphasize diverse perspectives when resolving organizational challenges.
The surveys found that the number of applications and employees building them varies by size of organization. Among organizations that have adopted low or no-code application development platforms, those with more than 1000 employees have 174 people creating 422 applications for 1,144 users on average. Mid-sized firms with 100-999 employees have 10 people creating 158 applications for 162 users on average. Small firms with less than 100 employees have three people creating 11 apps for 29 users on average. This illustrates an already significant pace of development.
And year over year, business is changing faster than ever before. New situations never experienced require organizations to be increasingly agile and able to pivot quickly from one approach to another. Over the next 12 months, more companies will aim to create cultures of continuous problem solving and will adopt no-code platforms to assist with this effort. Because these platforms are so easy to use, the number of employees who actively use them is also expected to increase.
Larger enterprises expect to increase their application quantity drastically, developing 100-120 new applications using no-code platforms. Mid-sized firms are following suit, expecting 10-20 new applications, and small firms are not to be left behind with one to five new applications. In six out of 10 organizations, no-code application development is going viral, and as word of mouth spreads, more teams and individuals will start using these platforms to solve organization or department problems.
The apps that will gain the most ground next year are those that help workers stay connected to the resources and information they need in an environment of distributed teams and remote work (seven out of 10 request this). Professionals are also in dire need of applications that provide access to a variety of data sources (eight out of 10 request this) while ensuring that workers remain in compliance with corporate policies and aren’t taking unnecessary security risks. The most effective apps will also facilitate data entry and viewing on smart phones, deliver streamlined insights so decision-makers can act quickly, and improve on existing processes for greater efficiency.
An app that accomplishes one or more of these critical tasks may well become an organization or department’s “golden goose,” and if a no-code platform is used to develop it, it can easily be tweaked or customized by employees in other groups to be used elsewhere in the company. From there, adoption could be exponential!
Will your company increase its use of no or low-code development platforms in 2018? Do these findings square with what you’re seeing in your organization?