Empowering everyone in the digital workforce is the key to effective problem solving and business agility.
In our third annual report on the state of business apps (fka state of citizen development), we compare the problem-solving people who create and update solutions based on no-code applications every day versus their peers in traditional IT. As in the past, the study surveyed application builders and users among both Quick Base customers and non-customers. See the full infographic below.
Here are our 5 top findings from this year’s State of Business Apps report:
1. Organizations should include, not exclude, workers from creating their own technology solutions.
In many organizations, problem-solving technologies are controlled by a small group with professional computing skills. The rest of the workforce is entirely dependent on this group for solutions that may take months to arrive due to the group’s limited availability and time-intensive tools and processes.
Our survey found that among professional developers using traditional development platforms, 94% are men and on average, 70% work in IT. Among professional developers using low-code platforms, 81% are men and 58% work in IT on average. The consequences for the business is that most workers, especially women and the clear majority who lack coding or scripting skills, are excluded from taking an active role in creating solutions to business problems.
In contrast, organizations with no-code application building platforms can break down gender and generational barriers by empowering every worker to become a problem solver who creates and customizes their own solutions. Our survey found that among those building apps with Quick Base, 40% are women and 74% work in business groups. Having the people closest to the problem using their business skills and knowledge to solve challenges for themselves, their departments and their organizations means that solutions are available for use within days or weeks rather than months. In addition, their solutions closely fit the needs of the business on day one as well as every day after that through quick updates driven by evolving employee, customer and market needs.
2. Millennials and Gen Xers are adapting existing solutions and creating their own solutions.
Millennials and Gen Xers are leading the way with innovative problem solving with each representing 43% of Quick Base app builders, followed by baby boomers with 14% according to our survey. Despite stereotypes that millennials are the only truly tech-savvy generation, our survey found that Gen Xers show equal levels of comfort using no-code tools.
Most app builders get started building apps right away. Our survey found that 80% of boomers, 53% of millennials and 45% of Gen Xers started by building a new app, while 32% of Gen Xers and 29% of millennials started by customizing apps that they used. These younger workers have the confidence and technical abilities to first try and adapt and improve on other people’s solutions before creating entirely new solutions.
3. App building is a win-win for both builders and their organizations.
For most no-code app builders, building apps is not an official part of their job descriptions. However, their innovative approach to problem solving has a positive impact on their careers. Our survey found that most Quick Base app builders — 52% of baby boomers, 63% of millennials and 69% of Gen Xers — received increased recognition for the value they contribute to their organizations by building and updating apps. Career advancement benefits may not end there. Among millennials, 27% earned a promotion as a direct result and 23% made a name for themselves in new positions by using their app building skills to address new challenges.
4. IT supports business app building with more involvement on the way.
App building by business professionals receives high levels of IT support in organizations of all sizes, with small and mid-sized organizations offering the most support according to our survey. Recommendations for securing even more support include:
- App building training for business professionals;
- IT oversight of the app building process; and
- IT retaining ownership over data integration.
This points to the importance of collaboration between IT and business teams. While 54% of business teams prefer to build apps on their own, 30% rely on help from IT and 12% rely on help from external consultants to provide the technical expertise needed for their solutions to be successful.
5. Numbers of business app builders and new apps will increase over the next 12 months.
The culture of problem solving with no-code apps is expected to grow steadily over the next 12 months with steady growth in both app builders and new apps. Our survey found that 62% of Quick Base customers expect increases in the number of Quick Base app builders and 36% expect the number to stay the same. In addition, the number of business problems solved with no-code apps will increase as enterprises expect more than 100 new apps, and mid-sized organizations expect more than 10 new apps on average.
A key driver in this growth and the use of Quick Base in general is the desire among business teams for apps that provide access to views of aggregated data from multiple sources, which is necessary for doing analysis and making insightful and informed decisions.
For the full report, click here.
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Quick Base was named a leader in The Forrester New Wave™: Low-Code Platforms For Business Developers, Q4 2017 and was the only vendor to receive a differentiated score in as many as eight of the ten assessment criteria. For a copy of the Forrester report, click here.
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