Everyone is a Developer Now (And That's a Good Thing)

Jan 9, 2018
7 Min Read
Image of young people working at a white board.

The Future of Work is Changing Application Delivery

The digital era has changed the way we work forever, and created demand for business applications that traditional IT developers simply cannot meet. At organizations of every type and size, workers are drowning in data and desperate to wrangle inefficient processes, but very few IT organizations have the developers necessary to support them. At the same time, a new generation of workers — who grew up with the internet and smartphones — expects to have tools and resources to move quickly and easily through their tasks.

It's no wonder business workers find their own solutions with desktop databases, online databases, cloud apps, and consumer productivity tools. The sprawl of these solutions puts corporate data at risk and compounds the inefficiency at an organizational level, leaving technology leaders stuck between a rock and a hard place.

Fortunately, a new type of solution has emerged to help organizations empower business workers to solve their own problems while maintaining IT's standards for governance and security. Forrester has recognized Quick Base as a Leader in The Forrester New Wave™: Low-Code Platforms For Business Developers, Q4 2017, and noted its ability to offer “plenty of data power made accessible by well-designed tools and automation,” and “free entry points for novices to experts, backed by ample help and resources.”

The Business Case for Business Developers

CEOs all over the world have been driving toward digital transformation, but the reality is that only 10% of organizations can describe themselves as fully digital. The result is that manual processes choke innovation and inhibit growth. The struggle to modernize has big implications for the bottom line, as organizations struggle to make data-driven decisions, uncover new market opportunities, shore up risks, and improve operational efficiency.

Increasingly, organizations are turning to low-code platforms to power digital transformation. These platforms enable those closest to the work to turn their ideas into actions more quickly. Low-code platforms for business developers are designed for use by anyone — from front-line workers to AD&D professionals. Organizations like Google, Procter & Gamble, and Norwegian Cruise Line use these platforms to improve productivity and reduce demand on central IT teams.

Empowering business developers drives real results. In a 2016 Total Economic Impact® study commissioned by Quick Base, Forrester found that a representative Quick Base customer with 2,000 users could see a 260% return on investment, adding up to a net present value (NPV) of $7.2 million.

How to Choose a Low-code Platform for Business Developers

The market for low-code platforms for business developers is booming. Selecting the right one requires careful review of several important criteria:

  • Ease of deployment and use. Business developers are not professional developers, so their success depends on an intuitive platform that allows them to create applications and workflows in a way they understand. The platform should provide an abundance of sample applications or templates, help documentation and training, and support through the initial build process. Furthermore, the platform should include features that empower the business developer to create an interface that is straightforward and user friendly.
  • Data management. Working with information inside the platform should be intuitive as well. The best low-code platforms for business developers have a straightforward data model that makes sense to a business developer familiar with spreadsheets, while offering advanced capabilities to create relationships between data sets.
  • Reporting and collaboration. Business developers should have the flexibility to quickly generate and share reports and charts within the platform. Look for a platform with a wide range of chart types and reporting options, plus the ability to automatically share recurring reports via email notifications.
  • Governance and security. The best low-code platforms for business developers offer robust governance features that allow the organization's IT team to manage and administer at scale. Look for platforms that offer the ability to set granular roles and permissions and provide application usage reporting. The vendor should also be able to provide important security certifications such as SOC 2 Type II and HIPAA.

These are the core criteria by which these platforms can be measured, but they are not the only ones. In its New Wave, Forrester identifies 10 criteria on which to evaluate platforms for business developers. In 8 out of 10 categories, Quick Base was assessed “Differentiated” (the highest possible ranking). Forrester also recognized Quick Base’s “rich startup experiences and strong data management.”

As the future of work continues to evolve and more organizations look to their own business workers to solve complex problems, low-code platforms for business developers are sure to be a key enabling technology. With 6,000 customers, Quick Base has long been the platform of choice for organizations that want to drive real results fast.

Want to Learn More?

Watch our on-demand webinar, "Gaining Control over Shadow IT", featuring John Rymer, Vice President and Principal Analyst at Forrester Research. We discuss how low-code platforms for business developers not only enable IT teams to harness the power of business users, but also how these platforms can be used to put the appropriate controls in place to guard against the key risks of shadow IT.

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