Driving digital innovation and digitalization is on the mind of forward-looking business owners in most industries today. Embracing technological innovations and embedding them in a company’s workflow is becoming the norm – rather than an exclusive advantage – for businesses from all venues. 

While undoubtedly beneficial, digitalizing your company’s processes is not an easy feat, nor is it a cheap endeavor. Traditionally, it involves expensive and complicated software development services that you need to outsource to external experts or hire а tech team to complete internally. After creating the digital tools, you need IT support as well. 

How can you drive digital innovation and digitalization without the heavy involvement of the IT department and without using hefty tech specialists’ services? That seems to be the million-dollar question for today’s businesses, whether they’re small or large. 

Automatic app creation is one of the top answers. Creating no-code apps without writing a single line of code is revolutionizing companies’ digitalization process across the globe. It brings innovation to how your business runs its operations, how your employees are doing their daily jobs, and how your customers interact with your brand. 

With no-code platforms such as Open as App, all your employees can put their ideas into practice and build the apps they need for their work without software development skills. These tools are custom-made, so they can fully match the requirements of the task at hand. No-code apps don’t require the involvement of technical staff. This means that anyone on your team can become a creator of a useful app straight away and drive digital innovation without effort.

In the guide below, you can get to know the most typical challenges that businesses face when they seek higher levels of digitalization and how automatic app creation addresses these prevalent issues. 

Table of Content

  1. The 6 most common challenges to digital innovation for businesses
  2. 5 top uses of no-code apps for your digital innovation
  3. Try out automatic app creation for your business innovation

The 6 most common challenges to digital innovation for businesses

Introducing novel digital solutions is a top priority for businesses in diverse industries. The digitalization process’s primary goals are to increase productivity, streamline processes, and improve a company’s overall performance. 

However, achieving these results is often a long and challenging journey. Many companies face many difficulties when trying to purchase, build, and implement new digital platforms.  

1. Budget: The main challenge that businesses typically encounter is budget restrictions. Buying ready-made and developing custom digital solutions are neither cheap nor easy. Their technical support also requires continuous investment. This means that planning and executing digitalization steps is directly tied with the company’s financial resources, which leaves many businesses behind and directly hampers their competitiveness. 

2. Lack of internal talents: Another obstacle to driving digitalization is the lack of internal talent. To develop innovative digital tools in-house, companies need to have specialized staff. This is rarely the case, especially with small and medium businesses. Even if external software development providers are hired to create the tools, the team needs to have the necessary skills and training to use and maintain them afterward. 

3. Slow processes: The traditional process of software development is often slow and complicated. Whether digital solutions are outsourced or built internally, the speed is rarely optimal. This means that businesses need to wait long to use critical tools to improve productivity and place them in the right spot on the market. 

4. Limited IT-capacity: Even when a company has a dedicated IT department, the tech team usually has a limited capacity and plenty of projects to handle. This often causes bottlenecks in the development and implementation of new digital tools. It’s also an issue in the day-to-day support necessary for their proper functioning. 

5. Lack of quality: Another potential issue that can hamper digitalization is the actual quality of digital solutions. Tools that are not created with a thorough understanding of a company’s business processes and needs may bring some results, but they certainly would not be impressive. This problem can arise with both purchased software and custom-made tools. It’s essential that the people who will use the software have a say in its creation; otherwise, its use may be limited. 

6. Data security: The security of digital solutions can be a potential issue as well. Many businesses handle sensitive data, and this requires a high level of protection. The tools that are bought or developed should thus match this, which may be challenging to ensure. 

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5 top uses of no-code apps for your digital innovation

#1. Budget and status reporting app created by a financial controller

KPI Reporting App
Budget and Status Reporting App

The financial controller’s job involves exercising general accounting oversight and handling numerous tax, banking, and payment processes. 

Mark holds this position at a medium-sized eCommerce business. He is responsible for its financial stability and the various aspects of its economic functioning. In his day-to-day work, he needs to take care of financial operations, reporting, forecasting, and budgeting. In Mark’s case, this means creating and using many Excel tables that take a ton of time and effort to organize and maintain. 

The eCommerce company can’t afford to hire a software development company to create new digital tools for financial control and drive digital innovation. This is where a no-code platform like Open as App comes in, as it offers the building of apps at a fraction of the cost of the traditional development process. 

Instead of sharing endless Excel spreadsheets and databases, Mark can quickly build the same tools that he needs to provide a financial overview of his management. As he is the person who understands best the processes and the actual business needs, he can tailor the new digital solution to perfectly match the information workflow of his company.  

For example, Mark can create a budget tool app based on the company’s existing data. He just needs to upload the Excel spreadsheets to the Open as App platform and then select the app’s formatting and content. Mark can start using it within minutes, handling operations such as revenue estimation, expenditure planning, and spending restrictions.  

Another potential tool for digital innovation that Mark can build is a status reporting app. With its help, he can create a status check on the finances of different departments and activities. The app can then be offered to management so that they are kept updated and that they get timely overviews. 

#2. Inventory reporting app by a retail manager

Barcode Scanner App 1
Barcode Scanner app

Retail managers have to juggle many responsibilities, and inventory is a major one among them. But they can also drive digital innovation.

Nancy works as a retail manager in a small retail company. She needs to take care of all the stock that comes in and is being sold. She has to provide regular analysis and reports to the CEO and COO of the business. 

Her usual way of managing the inventory is to use complicated Google Spreadsheet files with endless items and complex formulas. She often finds it challenging to prepare reports on the inventory, including many other tasks, as extracting data from the spreadsheets is tedious and time-consuming.  

With Open as App, Nancy can quickly build a performance reporting app. She doesn’t need advanced technical skills, as she just has to connect the Spreadsheet files to the no-code platform. Through the automatic app creation process, Nancy can use a functional reporting app within minutes. 

As the app is super easy and quick to work with, Nancy can handle complex calculations and data analysis much faster. She can update her inventory lists straight from the newly created app, as it is connected to the source file and can write to it. Nancy can also easily share the app with the company’s management, so they get an instant overview of inventory. 

#3. Safety reporting app by a safety manager

Safety Reporting App 1
Safety Reporting App

Safety managers in construction and manufacturing have a crucial role in ensuring the prevention of workplace risks.

Jemma is a safety manager in a small construction company. She has a lot of ideas and likes to drive digital innovation. She has to take the necessary steps to secure a safe working environment for the whole team. Jemma also has to take care that the company meets all legal requirements regarding health and safety in the workplace. 

Her method of organizing safety reporting is to use Excel spreadsheets. She enters all relevant data about construction sites, and employee lists there. Health and safety measures are also detailed in other spreadsheets, such as protective equipment and the proper working with tools and gear. Jemma also takes care of preparing protocols for emergency reaction in case of a safety hazard or accident. Naturally, handling all the spreadsheets is often a complex and slow process.

Jemma can benefit significantly from using automatic app creation to build a few crucial digital tools that would make her job much more manageable. With Open as App, she can quickly set up a safety reporting app, for example. The costs are much lower than buying specialized software or building a custom-made solution. Plus, the tool is super fast and easy to use. 

The app gives Jemma a full overview of health and safety issues. She can also easily share the digital tools that she creates with other team members and the business managers. Information is more accessible, and the company greatly benefits from this digital innovation.   

#4. Work equipment app by an HR manager

Equipment Inspection App 1
Work Equipment App

The HR manager’s tasks are diverse, and this position has crucial importance in the operations of companies of all sizes.

Brandon is an HR manager in a mid-sized business with 350 employees. Besides hiring and taking care of current staff development, he has to keep an overview of the equipment and software that team members need to do their jobs. For this purpose, he’s been using Google Spreadsheets. Brandon logs in the different hardware equipment entrusted to each employee. He also notes down the software licenses required, as well as their pricing and expiration dates. 

Besides keeping records for his use, Brandon regularly updates the company’s CEO, IT staff, and financial officer about work equipment expenses. This is especially relevant when new employees are onboarded, as well as when an employee leaves. 

Instead of working with spreadsheet files and sharing endless versions of them with the management, he can create a functional no-code app with Open as App and drive digital innovation in his responsibility area. Brandon just needs to connect the Google Spreadsheet document to the platform. Then the automatic app creation provides him with the rest. 

The equipment inspection app allows him to handle the hardware and software inventory for employees in a much easier way. Brandon can get an overview of counts immediately. He can also update the source files directly from the app whenever he renews a software license. The company’s managers can consult the status of equipment purchases and renewals at all times via the app’s intuitive interface.  

#5. Quick invoicing app by electrician services company owner

Quick Sales Invoice App 1
Quick Invoice App

Small business owners always have a thousand priorities simultaneously, whatever the field in which they want to develop a winning company. So there is hardly any time for digital innovation.  

Ralph owns a small electrical business with 15 electricians who work at different customer locations. His employees are always on the go. This makes the customer invoicing process a bit complicated at times. 

Ralph usually handles the invoices himself, which often takes a lot of time in his busy schedule. He needs to get the input of services provided by his employees. Then Ralph uses Excel tables for the pricing calculations as he stores the formulas there. This turns out to be a slow process, as he has to make the calculations and then create the invoice separately for each client. 

With Open as App, Ralph can create a quick invoicing app in no time. He has to upload the Excel files to the platform, which then automatically processes the data. Then he can further tweak the app to match his invoicing process perfectly. For example, Ralph can create a form that first asks to select the provided services and customer details. Afterward, the app generates the invoice. 

When one of his employees is on-site with a client, they can follow the steps to create the invoice in minutes. Then, they can send it to the customer via email and forward it to the back office, where Ralph also will receive it. 

Ralph also doesn’t need to worry about his business data security when using Open as App. The platform provides an extra level of protection, as all formulas and other sensitive business data are not visible in the app. Employees can just enter the client and job details and get the generated invoice. So, even as a small company owner with low digital know-how, Ralf can implement digital innovation on the spot.  

Try out automatic app creation for your business innovation

Driving digital innovation in your business doesn’t need to be a costly and challenging process. Automatic app creation helps companies of all sizes and diverse industries introduce novel digital solutions in their operations. 

Want to get started with Open as App’s no-code platform and bring more digital innovation into your business? Experiment today with our easy-to-use app creator to bring your ideas to life and create the right custom-made apps for your business.

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