The Great Resignation has had a lot of business leaders worried, scrambling to find and attract the talent they need to thrive. But it’s those that have embraced innovation that are accelerating ahead. In this guest article, CEO Adil Mohammed examines why no-code champions are winning the talent war.
Everyone wants to harness the power of technology and digitally transform their organizations. But, to do that, they know they need the right talent and the right tools.
Acquiring and retaining that technical talent has long been a headache for business leaders. Even before the aftermath of the pandemic triggered the Great Resignation, the likes of software developers and engineers were in high demand resulting in high salaries and remuneration packages.
And the demand has kept growing, and with it the shortage of talent and talent churn as well. According to one survey, up to 75% of digital workers are looking to change jobs in the next two to three years, causing untold disruption to transformation agendas in their current employers.
Plugging the Gaps
This leaves many businesses facing a dilemma – while retaining great talent is ideal and should always be the primary priority for all business leaders, heavy investment is needed, especially as the job market remains buoyant. Do they try to replace departees (and pay an even larger premium), or do they attempt to find an alternative in the market (such as outsourcing certain functions), losing that central control?
Each has its downsides, and while there are also positives, none are guarantees of success. Yet, what if there was a different option?
The Shadow of Business Impatience
Before we answer that, it’s worth considering another headache many leaders are facing: impatience within the business for the right tools. The term “shadow IT” has been around for a while, and the phenomenon shows few signs of disappearing. Traditionally, new technology was acquired through slow-moving central IT functions and business units being made to jump through multiple hoops to allow the adoption of new technologies. The advent of cloud and as-a-service solutions suddenly meant that significant power and capabilities could be acquired with a company credit card. While this gave business units the tools they needed, the fact that it fell outside of centralized procurement processes had significant security, management, and operational implications.
An exodus of technical talent could very well trigger new rounds of shadow IT procurement as impatient business units bypass resource-stretched development teams to acquire off-the-shelf products.
Fortunately, there could be one answer to both challenges: low- and no-code tools.
According to one survey, up to 75% of digital workers are looking to change jobs in the next two to three years, causing untold disruption to transformation agendas in their current employers.
Founder & CEO, Virtuoso
Your Non-Technical Team Could Be the Answer
Low code/no code (LC/NC) applications allow users, rather than technical developers, to build the tools they need quickly and at a lower cost. Few programming skills are required, if any at all, with much of the build made up of choosing from simple menus and other interfaces tailored to general users (e.g., Natural Language Processing – NLP).
LC/NC has finally come of age and allows users to carry out some sophisticated activities that were previously only possible in code. What they build can be for limited use within a function or even a specific team, but by not requiring significant technical resources, these users can spin up an application that helps them do their jobs without demanding input from developers that should be deployed on more complex, mission-critical work.
While LC/NC is not a particularly new area, it’s one that is enjoying a significant boom. Gartner forecast that 2021 would see a 22% increase in the LC technology market, driven by pandemic-forced remote working.
It ticks all the boxes for resource-stretched organizations: it empowers general users to find and build their own solutions that will fit in with their workflow, not one adapted from some corporate decree; it boosts productivity without taking up scarce technical resources; it gives business units the tools they need while combating shadow IT procurement; and it grows the company’s development capabilities without demanding a major recruitment drive.
It also contributes to the personal development of non-technical staff, giving them skills they previously thought might not be available to them. This can be a major factor in retention – a Gallup survey found that nearly half of workers would leave a role to update their skills.
Supporting, Not Replacing, Your Best Resource: Your Team
Let’s be clear – this is not an attempt to get non-technical staff to replace developers and engineering teams; these highly skilled specialists will still be required. What LC/NC does is give non-technical users the ability to self-serve and meet their specific needs without draining limited technical resources.
In doing so, it also grows non-specialist understanding of the challenges in developing and testing applications. By expanding knowledge of what it takes to develop, provision, test and deploy applications (and, most importantly, encourage user adoption), businesses may well find that employees are better equipped to brief developers when it comes to bigger, company-wide projects.
Empowering Users to Find Their Own Answers
There is not going to be a silver bullet to tackle the issues of the Great Resignation. Talent scarcity is going to be an issue for a long time to come. But, rather than view it, or the issue of shadow IT, as a challenge that can only be tackled in a single way, businesses should be looking at how the ongoing development of new approaches could provide a solution to multiple issues.
Ultimately, LC/NC applications can help empower employees, plug gaps in business knowledge and resources, tackle shadow IT, and in doing so, allow businesses to maintain their transformation trajectory.
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