App development using low code and no code report in
|Richard Harris in Enterprise Thursday, February 8, 2018|
Using low code and no code to create custom mobile apps is being more widely adopted by organizations because of its flexibility in development finds new report from Apple subsidiary FileMaker, Inc.
Creating custom mobile apps using low code and no code platforms induces a rare form of nausea in some native programmers. Why? Because they don't fully understand what low code platforms really do and they don't want to care. As programmers we want to think of ourselves as "high and mighty coding Gods" with anything less than scripting languages beneath us. And the more we learn, the worse the bias gets.
I'm the first to admit, before I embraced the possibilities of low code as a tool in my arsenal, I’d be the first one to argue “it’s sooooo much easier to write 50 lines of code, instead of just dragging and dropping an object over onto a designer screen.” But let's face it everyone, low code and no code platforms have a foot in the mobile industry, and we need to pay attention as to why.
As more organizations turn to making custom apps using low-code and no code platforms, they’re seeing gains in productivity, return on investment, efficiency, and more. A new report from Apple subsidiary FileMaker, Inc., titled "The 2018 State of the Custom App Report" , takes a deeper look at how business teams of all sizes are using these tools to accomplish their business goals. App Developer Magazine spoke with Ann Monroe, vice president of FileMaker, to learn more about the findings of this report.
ADM: What are some of this year’s big findings? Any surprises?
Monroe: One thing we found particularly interesting is how many businesses said they turned to custom apps after finding that pre-packaged software wasn’t flexible enough for their unique needs. In fact, 94 percent of businesses that had previously relied on packaged software found that it lacked the flexibility they needed. Flexibility was cited by 81 percent of respondents as a driver for their decision to adopt custom mobile apps.
ADM: What are these custom apps being used for?
Monroe: There is a wide range, but we definitely see some common themes when it comes to how custom apps are being used in businesses. Some of the leading uses are managing contacts, reporting and analysis, managing projects/tasks/schedules and managing inventory and assets. Invoicing is another common usage.
ADM: What kinds of problems were these respondents experiencing before they started using FileMaker?
Monroe: Prior to adopting custom apps, businesses reported struggling with paper processes, scattered sources of information, complex spreadsheets and significant manual data entry. Reliance on paper processes was a real problem for 69 percent of respondents and 67 percent reported grappling with scattered sources of information. Other reported problems included ad-hoc or no processes, significant manual entry and generic inefficient workflows.
ADM: Why are custom mobile apps, low-code / no code and the like becoming so popular? What do you think is propelling their adoption?
Monroe: Mobility is really key. Businesses value being able to access data anywhere and anytime, and they can do this with their mobile custom apps. In fact, 68 percent of those we surveyed said that mobility was moderately to extremely important to their organization. Users want to be able to access information from the field, using mobile devices like iPads and iPhones. Half of the people we spoke with for this report said they were using custom apps in the field - 72 percent were using them on iPads and 49 percent are using them on iPhones.
ADM: What are some of the results that custom app users are seeing? What stands out the most?
Monroe: What really stands out to me is the productivity and efficiency increases that users are experiencing. 93 percent of respondents said they saw a reduction in efficient tasks as a result of using custom apps. And 91 percent reported an increase in team productivity. Likewise, 77 percent saw a reduction in data entry. These are huge gains that make a significant impact on a company.
Ann Monroe, Vice President
ADM: Can you give us a specific example of how a company is using a custom app and what results they’re experiencing?
Monroe: One of the customers we showcased in our report is NMR Group, Inc., in Somerville, MA. NMR Group specializes in the design, implementation and analysis of qualitative and quantitative market research, as well as the evaluation of energy efficiency and renewable energy programs. For them, their custom apps make it much easier for technicians to collect data. Much of their work involves collecting data in businesses and in people’s homes. They’ve created an app using the FileMaker platform to assist with this onsite data collection, where they document inventories of a home or business, like light bulbs or heating systems. This is all done using iPads that technicians can easily carry with them from site to site. Previously, this all had to be done on paper.
About Ann Monroe
Ann Monroe is vice president of worldwide marketing and customer success for FileMaker, Inc. She is responsible for marketing the company’s software for creating custom apps for iPad, iPhone, Windows, Mac and the web. She holds an MBA degree from Stanford Graduate School of Business and a BSE in Mechanical Engineering from Loyola Marymount University.