to the Playbook

“Change is the only constant in life”


The advent of digital technologies has vastly increased the pace of change in our business environment. New business models and competitive strategies that once took years or decades to emerge are now being conceived and launched in weeks or months. Put simply — your ability to compete, thrive, and grow increasingly depends on keeping pace with the latest digital innovations. Your business depends on it. Your employees embrace it. Your customers demand it. If you don’t find innovative ways to adopt new digital solutions to enable your business processes, you’re at a significant competitive disadvantage against those who will.

Yet this highlights a growing challenge — the supply of software talent is not unlimited.

The gap between supply and demand of software developers is increasing. According to analyst firm IDC11. Worldwide Developer Census, 2020: Infrastructure Developers Dominate Part-Time Developer Segment, the overall developer population was 26.2 million in 2020, roughly half of whom were full-time developers. This may seem like a lot, but businesses of all sizes now want to use software as a competitive advantage, leading to an explosion in demand for new digital apps.

As a result, the supply of developers is being vastly outstripped by the market demand for new software applications. This puts enormous pressure on IT, which is hard-pressed to keep up with the backlog of requested projects for new business applications.

Even for those businesses lucky enough to already have access to larger teams of software developers in-house, it’s increasingly difficult to retain top talent. The lure of “work-from- anywhere” opportunities and increasing competition for scarce software roles have contributed to the “Great Resignation,” with millions of developers leaving their jobs to seek new employment options elsewhere. Professional software developers are increasingly finding new careers and career models altogether (including freelancing and gig economy marketplaces) that make it even more difficult for traditional enterprise businesses to compete for software talent.

Given the developer talent shortages, many businesses now worry about the impact on their ability to innovate. In a survey of more than 1,000 C-suite executives, 61% said they believed access to developer talent is a threat to the success of their business — an even bigger threat than lack of access to capital, according to the research conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of Stripe22. The Developer Coefficient: Software engineering efficiency and its $3 trillion impact on global GDP. Furthermore, they found that developers on average spend 42% of their time simply maintaining and debugging existing code, further reducing their ability to put energy into sources of new software innovation or differentiation. This all results in immense pressure on businesses to find and retain software developer talent.

At the same time, business teams are now discovering they don’t need to wait weeks and months (or perhaps years) for their development requests to be addressed by IT. They are adopting a “Do-It-Yourself ” approach to software development and speeding up application development by building apps themselves using no-code. By democratizing the ability to develop software using visual and intuitive “drag-and-drop” tools, no-code enables a new range of nondeveloper roles within an organization to take on the building of software applications. While IT and software developers are still critically important for certain types of apps, the use of no-code has now significantly increased the talent pool potential inside most organizations by allowing employees within the business itself to take on or assist in development tasks.

About This Book

As you might imagine, the business world has responded positively and rapidly to the powerful “no-code” industry shift — it’s the answer to much pent-up demand by business functions for new and alternative solutions for building software applications. However, as with any shift, it can be challenging to embrace it efficiently, if you don’t know exactly how or where to start.

That’s where this No-code Playbook comes in!

What is the Playbook about?

This Playbook provides practical, no-nonsense guidance for developing enterprise business applications. While this book may interest readers building other types of applications, most of the considerations and practices are optimized for the needs of enterprise app development. It is a hands-on guide intended for anyone embarking on or navigating through a no-code journey. It’s an overview of the end-to-end lifecycle for those who want to learn tips and tricks for success.

For whom did we write this book?

It is written as a guide for business and IT stakeholders who are looking for real-world guidance in building no-code enterprise applications and scaling the no-code approach in-house. The playbook is especially targeted at IT/digital and operations executives (VP and C-level leaders) as well as practitioners delivering automation projects.

How is the Playbook structured?

The Playbook is structured in three parts for ease of reading and understanding:

The Introduction chapters

(Chapters 1-5) initiate readers into the foundational concepts used throughout the Playbook. They are important reading as a primer, and we advise starting here. Even if you have some exposure to no-code, it’s worth skimming to make sure you haven’t missed some important principles.

The No-code Lifecycle chapters

are organized around the key phases of a no-code project. First, the Design Phase (Chapters 6-10) covers planning for your project; followed by the Go-Live Phase (Chapters 11-15), which addresses building and releasing your initial app. Finally, the Everyday Delivery Phase (Chapters 16-20) covers the process of ongoing enhancements and evolution of your no-code app.

The Concluding chapters

(Chapters 21-22) close with more advanced topics and tie together our overall discussion of no-co throughout the Playbook.

Final Takeaways

Software development is in the midst of the no-code revolution, democratizing the process for knowledge workers and, for the first time, allowing nondevelopers to build apps. However, if you’re new to no-code development, it can seem intimidating, and you may not know where to start. This Playbook provides all the guidance and practices you will need to get off to a fast start and successfully deliver on your project outcomes.

However, the no-code space is still new and sometimes overhyped. Understanding what it really is — and what it isn’t — is key to realizing the expected benefits and successfully starting your journey. We’ll discuss what it is in the next chapter.