Low-code, high reward: How modular tech innovation is helping businesses thrive in 2022

By Will Hale, Northern European Leader, monday.com.

As consumers, we have seen the age of customisation take over the globe in recent years - from targeted ads to personalised emails. In fact, in our personal lives, software continues to try and anticipate what we want. This trend is also reaching our professional lives, with the personalisation of tech at work becoming increasingly common - reaching a tipping point in 2022.

With such vastly different technology available, businesses are becoming pickier about what tech they take on. In the coming months, the tech solutions that will be most influential for business innovation are those that can flexibly shape themselves around how teams work, with little need for technical know-how in their implementation.

No-code/low-code development is an essential part of how companies are achieving this. According to Gartner, 70% of new apps will use no-code/low-code technology by 2025 and, although it is not a new concept in the industry, the applications of this tech promise to make catered solutions an accessible reality in 2022.

From play to practical

For consumers, apps have come a long way in offering versatility. The first app, only released in 1997 by Nokia, was a built-in mobile version of the arcade game “Snake”. Now, the Apple App Store has a huge 1.96 million apps available for download, whilst the Google Play Store has 2.87 million. These applications have turned our devices into multi-functional havens; an all-in-one camera, address book, calendar and gaming console.

In our work lives, as business processes are changing, people increasingly want that same level of versatility from their apps. But to achieve this, they need something that can seamlessly connect all their ways of working - that’s where work software platforms come in.

Many of these companies have adopted the no-code/low-code modular approach to integrate “if-this-then-that” features that can help companies optimise their workflows. This could be: sending a reminder to the team if a deadline is in three days, or even automatically assigning a new task to a particular team based on their capacity.

Citizen developers: Innovation at work

No-code/low-code at work can provide non-technical workers with customisable building blocks to help create apps and workflows that are unique to them, their workdays, and their projects - all without knowledge of code or programming.

This is especially important since 66% of digital leaders say that the tech talent shortage has slowed their digital transformation. This way, tech amateurs can bring together the most important functions of our work devices, including the calendar app, notifications for meetings and reminders for deadlines - all while using a series of functions that enable automation.

The nature of no-code/ low-code is that it provides users with greater autonomy - improving efficiency, empowerment, and productivity. This investment in, essentially, more developer resources can also help to increase efficiency. In the past, the majority of businesses have had to wait for IT teams to create solutions for them, but with no-code/low-code, these applications can be built outside of IT – helping to create catered and bespoke solutions without extensive IT expertise. With “citizen developers” armed with the resources to develop apps, digital innovation can be - at least in part - democratised for any workplace.

The result is an accessible way for people to change their workflow for the better, enabling IT teams to focus on other high-priority tasks like security and compliance.

The gateway to sourcing tech creativity

Once armed with customisable features for things like workflows, users can use this as a recipe to work however they want. Some work platforms, for example, have introduced app marketplaces where users can integrate any app on the market to create a whole ecosystem of work that allows them to customise their processes and flows. This integration can help businesses do things like increase transparency for multiple teams working on one task or help manage projects with many moving parts.

The flexibility afforded by modular tech is what will be key to fostering creativity, diversity and specialisation in digital transformation. With no-code/low-code quickly making its mark, modular tech innovation looks set to help businesses thrive in 2022.

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