*Header image from Freepik
No-Code is a streamlined approach that enables users to create, modify and deploy applications without the need for extensive coding knowledge. Think of it as a Lego-like system for building software. Through visual development interfaces, drag-and-drop tools and pre-built components, No-Code platforms enable users of any skill level to design, build and deploy applications.
No-Code platforms emerged in the mid-2010s. As companies sought rapid innovation and improved collaboration between IT and operations teams, the demand for a more accessible and efficient approach became clear.
No-Code offers several advantages over off-the-shelf solutions, particularly for businesses seeking tailored, flexible and cost-effective software. These include:
CUSTOMISATION – No-Code allows businesses to create custom solutions that precisely fit their unique requirements. Off-the-shelf solutions might have limitations and customisation options can be restricted. Making changes or adding bolt-on modules to off-the-shelf solutions may also incur additional fees.
RAPID CHANGES – No-Code emphasises swift development and iteration, enabling businesses to quickly respond to changing needs, market trends or user feedback. Off-the-shelf solutions may lack the same adaptability.
IN-HOUSE CONTROL – With No-Code, businesses maintain in-house ownership over the development process, allowing for better control of updates, improvements and security measures. Off-the-shelf solutions may mean relying on external vendors for updates and support.
COST-EFFICIENCY – No-Code can be more cost-effective, especially for smaller businesses. Lower upfront costs and predictable ongoing development and maintenance set No-Code DevOps apart from off-the-shelf solutions, which may entail higher upfront costs and escalating licencing fees.
REDUCED VENDOR LOCK-IN – Using No-Code reduces dependency on specific vendors, allowing businesses to switch platforms or technologies with ease. Off-the-shelf solutions often come with vendor-specific dependencies, making it harder to move to alternative solutions.
FUTURE-PROOFING – No-Code provides scalability and adaptability, ensuring software solutions evolve in line with business growth. Off-the-shelf solutions may face scalability challenges and require migrating to more robust systems.
Micro Weighing Solutions is a prime example of an SME harnessing the power of No-Code to drive growth.
Having nurtured a strong bootstrap mentality, Micro Weighing Solutions thrived on its resourcefulness and lean operations. However, as the business expanded, the very mindset that fuelled their early success proved to be a constraint.
In a bid to break free from manual, paper-based workflows, and reluctant to be tied into costly, restrictive enterprise solutions tailored for larger organisations, the Leicester-based SME sought an alternative path to its IT needs.
Addressing a recent Monthly Industry Meet-Up, Andrew Clarke, the Managing Director, shared his perspective: “As a rapidly growing company committed to continuous improvement, the idea of relying on a vendor who would charge us every time we wanted to introduce something new didn’t align with my vision for efficiency and adaptability. There had to be a better way.”
Andrew turned to No-Code, dedicating evenings to research and online forums. Today, Micro Weighing Solutions benefits from a bespoke, web-based platform, developed by Andrew at near zero cost, that oversees almost every facet of the business.
“When we hit a bottleneck in the business or want to explore something new with automation or data management, whatever it is, we can quickly and easily add new functions or modules. This flexibility has proven crucial to our adaptability and growth.”
He continued, “The pay-per-use model that charges $10 to $15 per user per month can get very expensive very quickly, especially if you want your entire workforce to use the software. With a No-Code solution, the number of users doesn’t inflate the cost.
“This scalability makes it perfect for a growing company like ours. Multiple users can be logged in at the same time, with the flexibility of restricted access if needed, and the base cost of $49 a month doesn’t change.”
While No-Code provides several advantages for businesses, especially SMEs, it’s important to understand and address potential risks. Andrew shared his risk-mitigation strategies with a select group of Members during an engaging breakout Discussion Group.
Risk-Mitigation in No-Code Software Development
The group identified five potential risks with No-Code software development, including:
Andrew emphasised the importance of online forums, communities and video tutorials for invaluable support and expertise. Tactical upskilling and hiring have helped Micro Weighing Solutions to build a digitally literate, tech-savvy workforce.
The Managing Director is no longer seen as the go-to IT oracle, with the time previously spent firefighting and resolving issues now focused on long-term, strategic improvements and further business growth.
Andrew also suggested using a trusted cloud infrastructure provider, such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Cisco Cloud, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud, IBM Cloud or Oracle Cloud.
Global providers such as these will have a comprehensive set of security services and features, including encryption, identity and access management, and compliance certifications. Beyond security, they also provide a scalable, reliable and cost-effective platform for hosting your applications and systems, Andrew noted.
Join our Next Monthly Industry Meetup!
The opportunity to openly discuss challenges, opportunities and solutions is what makes the Made in Group’s Monthly Industry Meetups so invaluable.
During these captivating virtual events, industry experts, thought leaders, and professionals gather to share knowledge, insights and best practices.
The goal is to foster collaboration, inspire innovation, and drive growth within the manufacturing community.
Each month, we feature three engaging talks from Made Members, focusing on best practices around key themes that shape the future of manufacturing, including Global Trade, People & Skills, Future Factories, and Sustainability.
The presentations are followed by interactive Discussion Groups. These virtual roundtables enable Members to exchange ideas and gain further insights on their chosen topic.
We look forward to seeing you at the next one:
*Header image from Freepik