No-code platforms have a mixed reputation among IT professionals. Recent research suggests IT’s increasing confidence in no-code. But there’s still a healthy degree of skepticism surrounding software that puts development tools in the hands of business users.
This is especially true in manufacturing. Here, the integration, maintenance, and control of software has long been the province of IT, not front line engineers. It’s entirely fair that IT professionals would worry about the security, serviceability, and scalability of applications built by workers without extensive technical credentials.
The truth is, no-code platforms benefit IT in manufacturing as much as they benefit engineers, operators, and other end users.
The trick is learning to see how no-code platforms give IT more time. Time to focus on infrastructure, security, integrations, and other critical tasks.
Here are five concrete ways that no-code benefits IT in manufacturing, too.
- Empowering End Users
- Lets IT Deliver More Value
- Ensures Business Continuity
- Provides a Safe Environment for End-User Development
- Creates a Better Basis for Collaboration
1.) No-Code Empowers End Users
Those closest to problems know best how to solve them. This is a central tenet of agile philosophy, and one that’s fast redefining the manufacturing landscape. It’s also a guiding principle of the no-code revolution.
No-code gives engineers the tools they need to build solutions to the problems they face every day. It empowers them to troubleshoot, implement, and iterate without having to involve IT at every stage.
What this means for IT is fewer tickets in the backlog, less time spent on minor updates, and less lag between problem and solution. In other words: faster time to value for the whole organization.
2.) No-Code Lets IT Deliver More Value
IT pipelines can be clogged with hundreds of tickets. Of these, many ask for only a minor fix or minor update. By some estimates, the backlog in manufacturing can be as long as a year.
Small updates are by no means trivial. Delivering small pieces of value at a rapid pace is what agile manufacturing is all about. However, small updates by IT often don’t deliver proportional value to implementation time.
With Industrial IoT fast becoming the norm in manufacturing, IT’s core workload isn’t going to diminish any time soon. The trends speak for themselves. Connected devices are only going to become more common on the shop floor. The cloud is going to handle a greater percentage of total manufacturing data storage and compute power. And security and integration will only grow in importance in the digital era, when increased connectivity can also increase system vulnerability.
By unclogging the pipeline of minor application updates, no-code platforms let IT spend their time on projects that deliver the most value to their organization.
3.) No-Code Helps Ensure Business Continuity
There are thousands of things that can disrupt manufacturing processes. Disconnects between IT and the shop floor shouldn’t be one of them.
No-code makes end users responsible for minor updates. It radically reduces the time between problem and solution by letting engineers test and implement themselves.
Further, some of the most popular apps we see at Tulip all improve continuity in the face of seasonality, short product cycles, and high employee turnover. Apps like New Employee Training, Digital Work Instruction, and Root Cause Analysis, all help ensure continuity.
The data collected while these apps run can inform efforts to create continuity across many locations.
So while engineers and managers may be developing apps, they work they do is important for eliminating data silos, improving data integrity, and harmonizing operations within factories and across plants.
4.) A Safe, IT-Approved Development Environment for the Shop Floor
Security is among the most common concerns IT professionals raise about no-code platforms.
Not just in terms of data or system vulnerability to outside threats, either. In traditional systems, workers without the right skill set could accidentally divulge confidential customer information, ignore ISO or other compliance laws, or any number of other serious security breaches.
In reality, no-code platforms provide another layer of protection against security violations. By limiting business users to a secure development environment, they guarantee each app is safe to deploy and safe to operate.
Further, organizations can choose to have IT manage permissions and controls governing the use of the app. This means that end users won’t have the ability to make changes to the back end.
Need more convincing? TechTarget even found that no-code platforms actually “help eliminate security problems associated with shadow IT and third-party apps.”
5.) Better for Collaboration
In the end, no-code platforms work best when they improve collaboration between IT and business users.
They do so by creating a common ground where both sides can agree on the systems-level projects to accomplish. Then shop floor users can do their day-to-day work without escalating minor concerns to IT.
TechRepublic recently reported that nearly 17% of no-code users reported better collaboration between business units and IT as a result of the platform. Almost 50% of IT departments reported full support of no-code solutions.
In the end, no-code platforms won’t drive a wedge between IT and business. They’ll bring better alignment on the tasks that really matter.