The Coronavirus pandemic caught almost everyone off guard in 2020. While some organizations were quick to adopt new technology that empowered their workforce to quickly ease into working from home, others struggled to acclimate to the new reality while maintaining a healthy cash flow.
Millions of people in the United States lost their jobs as their employers shut down temporarily — some permanently. The construction industry alone lost more than a million jobs between February and April of last year, though many had rebounded by fall.
Through it all, essential-service providers like hospitals, schools, and grocery stores, as well as the contractors and utility crews responsible for building and maintaining our infrastructure had to carry on, often at reduced capacity, while introducing new safety protocols into their workflows to protect their employees and customers from COVID-19. Globally, we all had to adapt to a new normal. One that insisted on agility, adaptability, and ingenuity.
That’s where no-code development platforms can help.
Leveraging no-code for adaptability
No-code and low-code platforms are helping companies bridge the gap between business processes and software development. It’s no fad: Forrester predicts organizations will be spending $21.2 billion on no-code/low-code tools by 2022.
No-code platforms are an alternative to traditional software development, enabling non-programmers (sometimes called “citizen developers”) to build and modify custom solutions to their business problems using a visual, drag-and-drop interface. They can be web- or mobile applications (or both), and run the gamut from web-based CRM applications like Salesforce to mobile workforce solutions like Fulcrum.
Turning everyday employees into citizen developers is a win for both the employees and the organizations they work for: It allows the people who are closest to the problem to solve it, rather than putting that problem into a queue that competes for company resources, only to get back a solution that doesn’t meet the requirements of the people who have to use it. And for the employee, it increases their visibility within the organization and introduces valuable skill sets that can open new career paths.
According to Techopedia, a citizen developer is “an end user who creates new applications or programs from a corporate or collective code base, system or structure. In a general sense, this developer is not a professional developer who is paid to code applications, but an ‘amateur,’ someone who uses the tools available to him/her for building applications that his/her team can or will use during the course of their work.”
In other words, your future citizen developers who are the people currently working within and around the tasks you’re looking to improve. For organizations with mobile teams, it’s your project managers and leaders in the field.
If you have a mobile workforce that is conducting inspections, installations, or maintenance out in the field, the biggest benefits of adopting no-code app development are reduced costs and increased agility. Because you can empower virtually anyone on your team to create solutions that propel your business forward, you don’t need to hire an army of expensive software developers. And because no-code platforms leverage pre-built modules, you can get your mobile apps built, tested, and modified much quicker — according to Forrester, as much as 10 times faster than with traditional development.
When new circumstances arise that require procedural changes (whether it be a pandemic or new regulatory standards), a citizen developer can simply log into the web-based dashboard, update the framework of a mobile app in minutes, and immediately deploy it to their colleagues in the field — for example, by adding a section for face coverings and hand-sanitizer stations to a safety inspection checklist.
As soon as your mobile workers hit the “sync” button in the application on their smartphone or tablet, they have the most recent iteration in their hands, ready to use. With a no-code platform in your toolbox, your team is well-equipped to adapt to future business challenges. And in today’s world, it means less face-to-face interaction which keeps your workforce healthy.
Fulcrum’s data collection and automation platform enables organizations with mobile workforces to streamline their workflows, gain real-time visibility into the activities of their teams, and drive data-based insights. More than 30,000 users around the world rely on Fulcrum to improve the safety, quality, and efficiency of their field operations.
Want to see if Fulcrum is right for your organization? Request a demo today!