How to drive innovation at your business using no code / low code apps
2021 is set to be the year that businesses woke up to apps in a big way.
As consumers, we’ve long been used to apps managing different aspects of our lives, but B2B apps have taken longer to catch on.
That is, until now. COVID-19 has forced businesses to come up with innovative solutions to deliver remote services and support homeworking – and apps have played a key role.
Now, video conferencing apps like Zoom are ubiquitous, while project management and collaboration tools like Slack and Asana have become the backbone of many small businesses.
But what was originally driven by necessity is now being driven by enthusiasm, as people have discovered what apps can offer their business.
In fact, many Fliplet clients now have more ideas for apps than they can build.
However, ideas alone aren’t enough, and implementing innovative solutions can bring a whole set of challenges of its own, both technically and in reaching consensus between internal stakeholders.
In fact, a 2019 study by BCG found that while 80% of executives said that innovation was a top priority at their company, only 30% felt that their business was good at it.
With the rewards of innovation being evidenced, how can companies foster an environment that encourages and supports new ideas? How can they ensure that the right solutions are put forward for development? How do they stop innovation from getting held up by internal processes or bureaucracy?
In this article, we aim to answer some of these questions.
Meet the innovation gurus
We recently hosted a webinar with innovation gurus from our client Mills & Reeve.
Mills & Reeve has been working with Fliplet for around two years and currently have seven apps with us, all at different stages of development. For more information, take a look at our case study on their hugely successful What The Tech? app.
The company has an eight person IT Projects and Innovation team who are tasked with identifying and using innovative new technology to drive process improvements across the firm, both internal and customer-facing.
They don’t just simply come up with cool ideas (although they do that as well), they take an issues-based approach and work closely with colleagues across the business who face daily challenges that could be easily solved using technology.
Some of the team were kind enough to take time out of their busy schedules to provide us with their top eight tips for using technology to scale your business:
1. Innovation is everyone’s responsibility
Over 50% of companies report a lack of internal alignment as their biggest barrier to innovation, according to KPMG. No one person or team can push the innovation agenda for an entire company. Everyone in the business needs to be on board and everyone needs to contribute. Getting buy-in at board and middle-management level is vital.
2. Build a curious, proactive team
Getting buy-in across the business is one thing. However, you also need to have a dedicated team (like the one at Mills & Reeve) to drive innovation. This has to be staffed by enthusiastic, proactive people who are willing to try new technologies.
3. Get to the heart of the problem
You should conduct workshops with internal teams that express an interest in using apps to solve issues. This helps you understand their challenges so you can deliver the solution they need, not what they think they need. Getting to the heart of the issue that you are trying to solve can be time-consuming, but it will save you time and money in the long term.
4. Communicate with stakeholders
Projects can take a long time to move from concept through to a published app, so it’s important to manage stakeholder expectations and keep them informed of progress. Fliplet’s collaboration capabilities allow you to grant permissions for people to view, comment or edit your app as it is being created, keeping stakeholders up to date and creating full transparency.
5. Prototype quickly and fail fast
Trying things out is an important part of innovation, but so is knowing when to abandon an idea. By trying out your app concept early on, you’ll get a sense of whether your app is going to solve your issue or not. If not, don’t be afraid to move on to the next idea. Fliplet’s templates allow you to try out ideas with minimal effort and no extra cost.
6. Ensure that you meet regulatory requirements
Ask yourself what regulatory or business functions your app will impact and discuss it with the relevant teams. For example, does your app process client data? If so, do you need to run it past your information and security team? Does your legal team need to write up terms and conditions for using the app?
7. Manage the agility of the whole tech portfolio
If you produce apps regularly you will need to develop processes so that each one is smoothly delivered. For example, where will users access your app? Who will manage it there? Will they need access to Apple or Google app stores?
8. Get expert support
No code/low code app platforms like Fliplet are all about customer enablement, so we’re always on hand to provide you with advice and support to make sure you get the most out of your app. For example, the Apple App Store is notoriously difficult to work with. We know that most of our first-time users will need lots of support with this. We inform them of this up-front and lead them through the process when they come to it.
A decade of innovation
Innovation is likely to be an important differentiator for businesses over the next ten years, as more and more companies embrace developing technologies like B2B apps.
However, simply saying that you want to launch an app and funding it won’t ensure its success.
Organizations need buy-in from all departments, understand the problems they want to solve and have people in place to drive innovation across the organization – and that’s just the beginning.
Fliplet’s no code app templates provide a fast, simple and affordable way for your organization to embrace innovation. Get in touch to find out how we can help your organization.