European companies are facing more complex challenges than ever and grappling with significant business changes linked to rising inflation, geopolitical conflicts, climate change, and the energy crisis. Despite these disruptions, Europe has shown remarkable resilience to the challenging environment.
A recently published Accenture study observed that European businesses have maintained earnings in this environment by focusing largely on near-term profitability and squeezing more from their existing infrastructure investments; however, this has come at the expense of growth, and Europe now lags both North America and Asia (which are growing at nearly 2x the pace compared with Europe). In this same report, Accenture data indicates that European businesses are behind in using technology for top-line value creation, and less than half stand above the global average for technology penetration and mastery.
Facing these challenges, No-code development provides European businesses a new alternative for enabling digital transformation initiatives while simultaneously facing tightening budgets and shortages in finding and retaining developer talent. No-code platforms allow non-developers to participate in the app development process through visual, drag-and-drop tools; users can visually compose the forms, workflows, and data needed to build an application rather than needing to understand a programming language or have formal software development training.
Using this no-code approach, European businesses are now automating the most complex and mission-critical of business processes within enterprise organizations, often at a fraction of the cost of traditional approaches.
No-code in Europe
This type of no-code strategy is taking hold in leading enterprises across Europe, where it has been used to deliver significant advantages in terms of accelerating results and providing greater agility. It is common to see implementations of no-code solutions in mere weeks.
Take for instance the Virgin Media O2 Business – they went live with a no-code service delivery app in 3 weeks. FiDO Tech (voted top Tech Innovator in the UK and now the number two Global Tech Innovator by KPMG) were live in less than a month with their no-code-based CRM application to leapfrog competitors using older, more traditional packaged software players. SpringGDS, part of PostNL, wanted more agility than traditional solutions could provide; they rolled out a modern no-code solution across the globe to streamline customer-centric workflows and the first go-live happened in just a few weeks! These examples clearly illustrate how no-code has been used successfully to address European business needs of greater speed to market and resilience.
No-code is now used across many industries in Europe. In fact, McKinsey found in a study earlier this year that Europeans are interacting digitally with twice as many industries as they did before the pandemic. There are regional Banks using no-code to automate processes around customer onboarding, lending, sales management, loyalty and reward programs, compliance, risk management, and more.
Manufacturers are also using no-code to automate digital processes including sales forecasting, product catalogue and configuration, order processing, and inventory tracking. They can rapidly build on reusable no-code components and app templates to speed development, yet still be customized for the unique industry requirements. In both these industry examples (plus many others), these no-code processes are extremely detailed and complex with many levels of subprocesses and are perfect for no-code as the business can literally define and see the workflow processes themselves. Adoption across European geographies is generally strong, with an increasing appetite by consumers across Europe for new digital applications.
In the same McKinsey study mentioned, they reported Europe has seen a net increase of some 100 million digital users since 2019. Geographically, Italy, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Finland, and Denmark reported the highest levels of adoption; Austria and Germany, which have traditionally been slower to adopt digital behaviours, saw the greatest surge in adoption.
An appetite to catch up
While European businesses may be behind in investing in technology, they have an appetite to catch up – Accenture’s study cites that 55% of European executives intend for their reinvention strategy and transformation programs to set a new level of performance for their industries, compared to the global average of 45%. This explains why customers across Europe are embracing no-code to realize significant benefits. For them, it provides an opportunity to digitally reinvent their business processes and accelerate top-line growth, even in spite of more limited budgets and talent constraints. It accelerates their ability to bring new products and services to market, by allowing the business to take ownership of parts or all of the development, which avoids the usual delays when waiting for IT development.
Finally, no-code allows European businesses to respond to change more readily, whether it be to react to new competition or to capture new opportunities in the market. The company can pivot its strategy quickly, as the ability to ideate on new innovation allows the opportunity to introduce new strategies or new products and services rapidly. Realizing these benefits, it’s no surprise that the no-code revolution has taken hold across Europe and shows no signs of slowing down!