“Tech has previously limited how fast I could build a new business.” These words come from entrepreneur and author Jacob Bøtter.
He is kicking off the day in a room gathering executive-level peers for a roundtable session, hosted by Microsoft Denmark on how to activate citizen development in organizations using no-code and low-code.
Jacob Bøtter’s biggest struggle as an entrepreneur was to find people who could help him execute the relatively simple ideas he generated throughout the day, sometimes even in the shower. That realization became the beginning of his journey of building app prototypes using no-code.
Microsoft is putting out many tools for free for people like me to discover. I now have tons of technology, that I can access and use even as a non-coder.
– Jacob Bøtter, Entrepreneur and Author.
According to Jacob Bøtter, it should be as easy to realize an idea as coming up with it in the first place, he states. Adding to that, there is momentum in the industry, as it faces an increasing lack of coders and developers. Jacob Bøtter predicts that our ambitions grow faster than we can train and educate coding professionals. And that is why businesses need to leave the safe harbors of traditional technology and allow individuals to start their no-code journey and become so-called citizen developers.
This process starts by creating smaller teams. Jacob Bøtter stresses the importance of a minimum viable product approach, testing ideas, and simultaneously gaining concrete insights about technology and tools.
“Three years ago, I had never worked on apps, but now I build a new app every week.” He says concluding his speech.
Digitalization creates a need for speed
Anders Romare, CIO of Novo Nordisk, has never built an app, but he is responsible for Novo Nordisk introducing citizen development to 48.500 employees to unleash innovation and increase productivity among individuals, teams, and across the entire business.
In the last couple of years, Novo Nordisk has gone from being a worldwide pharmaceutical company to being a tech pharma company with an ambitious digital strategy. Instead of just selling medicines and supplies, the products now also come with either an app or data. And Novo Nordisk is looking to not just offer pharmaceutical products, but also the knowledge and predictive insights that can prevent diseases. “We are a pharma company, but we are going to amplify our purpose through technology and data,” Anders Romare states.
With an ambitious digital strategy and pro-developers being a scarce resource, it has been imperative for Novo Nordisk to enable individuals of the organization to optimize their everyday work-life without drawing heavily on IT resources. That’s one of the reasons why Novo Nordisk has introduced Microsoft Power Apps.
We see a need for speed and flexibility – something that has a small corporate impact can have a huge impact on the team.
– Anders Romare, CIO, Novo Nordisk.
“We see a need for speed and flexibility – something that has a small corporate impact can have a huge impact for the team”. Anders Romare says, stressing how powerful you are as a business when individuals in your organization can create their own small scall innovations through low code apps.
The technical specialists at Microsoft ensure security that enables full governance and adherence to data regulations like GDPR when using the Power Platform.
“I’m responsible for all IT in the company. I can’t control everything, but I can put up guardrails and give people the best tools to work with,” Anders Romare says. He continues: “I’m not concerned about putting our knowledge into platforms like power apps, because of the sustained level of control Microsoft delivers.”
Are no-code and low-code safe?
But what about the security and data privacy related to everyone building apps? That question was one of the primary concerns of the day when discussing prototypes in Power Platform.
Julie Strauss, General Manager of Power Platform Pro Developer and Admin Experiences at Microsoft, joins the conversation remotely to answer this important question. According to her, we see three modern imperatives for technology in every organization: Trust, talent, and transformation. And the power platform can cover all three dimensions. Julie Strauss points out that no-code probably already is happening in your organization without you knowing it:
We need to enable talent to run independently to drive innovation and transformation for the organization.
– Julie Strauss, General Manager of Power Platform Pro Developer and Admin Experiences, Microsoft.
Julie Strauss argues that businesses need to get apps out of the shadow of IT and shine a light on them. “With a platform that is built for transparency and setting up guardrails, you get transparency about what is happening at all times,” she says.
Julie Strauss also predicts that the shortage of coders will only worsen, sparking more people to try on no-coding. She sees a shift in paradigm from building a single app to managing apps at scale. “Low-code is about empowering the business to push innovation forward – we don’t see many companies who can afford not to invest in enabling businesses to drive digital change fast.” Julie Strauss argues.