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Just as the clickable icons of Windows replaced obscure DOS commands, new “no-code” platforms are replacing programming languages with simple drag and drop interfaces. This means that powerful technology, which historically only large and well-resourced organizations have been able to afford, is suddenly within the reach of even small companies. These innovative technologies are empowering business experts (who do not have any programming expertise) to develop useful applications — which leads to immediate and significant cost savings, as well as faster technology adoption.


Perhaps most significantly, it’s making it possible to deploy artificial intelligence (AI) — one of the most transformative technologies in a generation — without hiring an army of expensive developers and data scientists. That means that smaller businesses, which often have huge amounts of data but lack in-house data science expertise, can employ the benefits of AI such as powering new kinds of customer experiences (like a self-driving Tesla), growing companies’ top line (like P&G’s AI-driven advertising spend), and optimizing operations for maximum efficiency (like Walmart’s supply chain).


Consider an example such as lead scoring: a non-technical Sales Manager can use a no-code AI platform to drag and drop a spreadsheet of data about sales prospects gathered from a multitude of sources into the interface, make a few selections from a drop-down menu, click on a couple of buttons and the platform’s internal engine will build a model and return a spreadsheet with leads sorted, from the hottest to the coldest, therefore enabling salespeople to maximize revenue by focusing on the prospects that are most likely to buy. Wow!


The potential of AI is everywhere in the enterprise, and the advantage of no-code platforms is that they are not restricted to any particular use case. These tools can be used to detect machine maintenance patterns and predict which machines need attention before they fail, they can be used by marketing teams to spot dissatisfaction and reduce churn, or by operations teams to reduce employee attrition. They can also spot patterns in text, not just numbers, and therefore can be used to analyze sales notes and transcripts alongside sales history and marketing data, allowing companies to automate complex processes.


No-code tools empower employees to think about creative ways to use data to drive or optimize their work — and consequently, the business. But how should one go about implementing such technologies?


It makes sense to begin by deploying no-code AI on bite-sized tasks vs. ocean-boiling mega-projects. Ideally, you want to:


  • Work with the data you already have. There is often more value to be captured there than you may initially think.
  • Pick high-value tasks where being more efficient will drive growth.
  • Get quick wins in common areas, sales funnel optimization or churn reduction, so your team can learn how AI applies to a wide range of use cases
  • Don’t be afraid to move on quickly if you cannot achieve a 10x ROI from any AI project. There are plenty of high-return applications to get value.


By empowering line-of-business employees to build business applications without writing a single line of code, enterprises can unlock a variety of benefits, including:


  • More effectively reusing existing technical assets for new purposes
  • Combining legacy technologies with new technologies
  • Unleashing untapped talent already present in the workforce
  • Building solutions without straining IT resources or compromising security and governance


We don’t know what the coming months and years will look like, but businesses can build resilience and gain control, even as more disruptions arise. They can do this by embracing the mindset that business applications aren’t solely the purview of engineers, and that almost anyone within an organization—even someone with no technical expertise—can be a developer.