Across industries, disruption—a radical change in the way all companies in a given sector do business—is the new normal. Incumbent organizations are scrambling to compete with an avalanche of new offerings from both digital-first startups and larger, more technologically savvy competitors. As a result, product life cycles are shrinking. And this is forcing executives to maintain a laser-sharp focus on time-to-market (TTM), which is the length of time it takes to turn a concept into a viable product or service.
To understand why TTM has become so critical, let's consider its effect on the return on investment (ROI) of a typical consumer-facing application. If you build an application with a shelf life of 30 months, a three-month delay steals 10% of the potential ROI right off the top—and that doesn't include any cost overruns that result from the delay. Not great, but not make-or-break. But if that application is going to be outdated in just 12 months, that same three-month delay will lead to a 25% reduction in ROI. And then the problem just keeps compounding; the longer it takes to bring an application to market, the less time you have to gather critical market feedback to guide that next version.
Despite the pressure to move faster, development timelines have, on average, actually slowed in recent years. It takes developers 20% longer to create enterprise software today than it did in the 2000s, according to one study. For large-scale projects, outcomes are even more worrisome. McKinsey found that, on average, such projects come in 66% over budget, 33% past the scheduled deadline, and 17% short on promised benefits.
A number of factors have converged to slow down application development times. Technology ecosystems have grown exponentially more complex. Disparate legacy systems are leading to technical debt (i.e., the outsized amount of developer time devoted to maintenance rather than innovation). Plus, the rising demand for developers, particularly those skilled in advanced fields like machine learning and data analytics, has led to a technology skills gap.
Fortunately, an enterprise-grade no-code application platform like Unqork helps organizations overcome (and, in some cases, avoid) these challenges, thanks to:
A single, unified platform. No-code brings all of the tools necessary to build applications into one ecosystem, dramatically reducing the time it takes to build, manage, and maintain the environment itself.
Completely visual development. No-code empowers less experienced users—Unqork calls them Creators—to design applications within a completely visual framework.
Prebuilt connections. With no-code, less experienced Creators can seamlessly connect new applications to backend systems—without worrying about syntax or processes associated with traditional programming languages.
Baked-in security and compliance. Enterprise-grade no-code automatically applies the strictest information security and privacy standards, plus up-to-date regulatory and enterprise rules engines for complex regulatory requirements, from SOC2 to HIPAA.
Automated testing and debugging. In addition to automating testing, a recent study demonstrated that, by removing the need for custom code, a no-code platform can reduce bugs by up to 600X.
Together, these capabilities can dramatically accelerate time-to-market. According to James McGlennon, CIO of Liberty Mutual, development is “a minimum of three times faster and three times less expensive” using Unqork’s platform versus the company's previous approach. Given results like this, it is not surprising that, according to Forrester, the market for platforms like Unqork is growing at 40% a year, with spending expected to hit $21.2 billion by 2022.