With continued downward pressure on budgets, we're all looking for ways to do more with less. NoCode tools, paired with generative AI, are a powerful option worth considering if you're in a cash-poor organisation. It can save you money and time.
What is NoCode?
NoCode is a term for a set of tools for building your own digital products and services, without any technical skills.
Well, I say that, but the reality is that you'll get a lot more out of them if you understand some technical basics. For example, understanding the separation of form from content, and knowing what an API is. You don't need to know how they work, just what they are.
If you're comfortable using something like Excel, you can make your own software using nocode tools.
What can you make?
Lots of things.
- Custom websites, using tools like Webflow
- Mobile apps, using tools like Adalo
- Web apps / SaaS, using tools like Bubble and Flutterflow
- Business software with Betty Blocks
- And crucially, when considering how generative AI can ramp up the benefits, integration and automation services like Zapier and Make. If you're stuck with the Microsoft ecosystem, have a look at Power Automate (tiny sick in my mouth there... urgh)
NoCode tools are:
- cheap (think in the $20/month range)
- quick to use (create your own product or service in hours)
- powerful (they've come a long way)
- easy to use if you have no technical skills
NoCode + genAI combo
Where it gets interesting is when pairing nocode tools with generative AI.
There are so many options, it's a bit overwhelming. So I'll stick with my favourite benefit: automating admin.
Say you've created a nocode tool to automatically present the results of a digital programme (could be marketing, research, recruitment, fundraising etc). That's great. Somebody's bound to want a meeting about it though.
With generative AI added to your swanky new tool, you can have a meeting while reviewing the results. Your tool could collect the audio from that meeting and then:
- automatically transcribe it and store it in your tool as text for future reference (no more meeting notes or contact reports)
- allow users of your tool to ask questions about the meeting (what were the key points, summary of results, what was decided, did Jenny hog the jammy dodgers again, etc)
- automate the assignment of next actions into your project management tool of choice (Trello, Jira, Todoist, monday etc) and let each person know via Teams, Slack, email or whatever
You can connect thousands of different nocode tools together to create virtually any workflow or application you can think of.
Too much choice
That versatility is partly the problem, though. It's easy to get option anxiety. I recommend talking to a specialist if you're looking at options (cough, wonder where I could find one of those?)
It's easy to get 80% of what you want with these tools. That last 20% is a bugger though. You might want to customise the UI, UX or workflow/logic and the tool makes that really difficult without having some actual technical skills.
You might be ok with that. If not, you'll want to speak to that mystery specialist and their team.
As you build your genAI, nocode, automation estate, I recommend having a "conductor" who can orchestrate the way all the tools interact with each other. For smaller organisations, this can be as simple as having a decent diagram showing how it all fits together.
There are plenty of links to have a look at above. It's quite a rabbit hole but the potential is huge.
In the day job, my team are doing 2-hour workshops to help organisations figure out the opportunities for generative AI and automation. They're only £300 so, if you're interested in one of those, let me know.
We only do them for charities and non-profits though, which I know excludes half the people receiving this newsletter. Sorry! Should have been more ethical ;)
Some things you might find interesting
McKinsey unveils their own genAI tool
Designed for their internal staff to use, to give them access to the mountain of bloated powerpoint presentations piled up in warehouses.
What are no-code platforms and how can they speed digitalization?
The World Economic Forum continue to bandy around the word "digitalization". Watch it, WEF, you'll have someone's eye out with that!
Glide - AI nocode app development
Well, how thematically appropriate for this newsletter edition. They claim it's software that "literally designs itself". Does that mean it'll be automatically making the logo bigger or smaller?
Thanks for reading. All the best!
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