We often hear about how the pandemic changed the world forever, but at a closer look, we can realize how most of the changes were already happening, and the pandemic and the consequent lockdowns all around the world accelerated the process, more than causing it.
Can we say that e-commerce wasn't already a trend in 2019? Can we say that digital communication wasn't already predominant? Other than these aspects, however, there are others that, if it wasn't for the pandemic, would have been a lot slower: the digitalization of government organization is the greatest example. In this article, we'll see how the demand for digital platforms that allow citizens to access government organizations and their services online is highly increasing. Furthermore, we'll see how no-code development is the most suitable answer to such growing demand.
Why do governments need to go digital?
Digital solutions - software, mobile apps, and web applications - ideally allow citizens to access government organizations and services. However, governments' digital transformation could have been very slow.
Then, the pandemic hit, and people all around the world found themselves locked at home, without the possibility of physically going to government offices. When the lockdowns ended, it was still safer for citizens to access government organizations remotely. This is what accelerated digital transformation: governments and public organizations needed to find quick and efficient solutions to provide citizens with software platforms, mobile apps, and applications that they could use to access public services.
The transformation is, of course, not yet completed; but with the pandemic, we’ve learned how governments can’t wait any longer: they need to start the process for the digital transformation of their organizations and services as soon as possible.
Before moving on to discuss why no-code development can be the greatest solution for government organizations to digitize their processes and accelerate their operations., let’s define what is no-code development first.
No-code development is a process of creating and developing digital platforms that don’t require developers to write code directly. Instead of writing complicated lines of code in different programming languages, no-code developers can use pre-built elements, add them to an interface and make it work together.
This way, software development is possible not only for a higher number of professionals. Even those who don’t have deep expertise in a programming language can develop a no-code mobile app or a no-code web application. And it also makes things easier and quicker for professional developers too.
How is no-code development possible?
No-code application development is possible thanks to no-code platforms that allow this kind of approach. The concept behind them is that, instead of writing every single line of code in different programming languages, the no-code platform provides pre-built elements that developers can assemble in a provided interface to create their framework.
It doesn’t mean that application development with a no-code process has no code at all! On the contrary, the code is there, back-end code included but created automatically. If the developer needs access to the code, they can simply access it, edit or even export it.
Of course, developers need to make sure that the no-code platform they use allows access to the back-end code, and that it is reliable and advanced. AppMaster is, for example, a go-to for developers: it can provide all the features we’ve spoken about so far and it can be the perfect no-code solution for governments and organizations.
How does no-code help governments with the digital transition?
If there are complex software, mobile apps, and web applications to develop, they are certainly government organizations.
Government organizations need to handle great amounts of data, create platforms users can interact with as they were interacting with an employee, and - of course - they need to be 100% secure.
In summarizing, the digital transition of governments organizations is complex because of the following aspects:
- Digital organizations need to offer citizens a wide range of services on one platform. Every process needs to run smoothly and be user-friendly so that any user, even the one with zero tech expertise, can use public services without difficulties.
- Digital government organizations' applications need to be constantly updated. This is not only because they need to keep providing the best service possible, but also because they need to be updated according to new rules and regulations (that can be updated on - sometimes - a yearly basis).
- Digital government apps and services need to be 100% secure. Security is a priority in this case: these applications handle the most personal data. Applications must be inaccessible to hackers and guarantee no data loss and citizens' privacy.
How can no-code development help achieve these goals?
No-code helps governments achieve the required performance and security goals because of many factors.
The fast benefits of no-code apps would be the speed of new apps and the web applications development process. As we’ve mentioned many times, the digital transition is something that is happening quickly. So far, very few government organizations have been able to keep pace.
No-code helps governments develop the needed applications more quickly so that the digital transformation can be faster.
No-code apps provide developers with a visual interface that they can exploit to build up their applications. Compared to traditional development methods, no-code development makes it easier for them to have a clear understanding, at any moment during the process, of what they are doing and what the final result will be.
When one of the main goals is user-friendliness, this becomes highly important.
Because no-code platform allows developers to customize applications in every detail, they also allow them to create very scalable apps.
As we’ve mentioned, scalability is extremely important because government applications need to be constantly updated.
Government apps need to be constantly updated. With no-code platforms, it’s easier to build up apps and it’s easier to update them.
No technical debt and no refactoring
Technical debt is usually responsible for losses of up to 40% of the total project budget. Sometimes in systems that are planned to be maintained, very much like government systems, it is important to get rid of technical debt. Otherwise, hundreds of man-hours will be spent on refactoring because the requirements change and something needs to be changed.
Unlike classical development, there are no situations in which new developers who came to the project may not understand the code because no-code platforms do not provide access to the code, and everyone understands the flowchart logic.
Moreover, there are no different programming languages or platforms. Everything is unified, and any person who does not even have technical knowledge, and this can be a business analyst, seeing the logic of building block diagrams, understands how the application works. He can export and change the documentation. And also, due to the fact that no-code, it regenerates the code as new patches are released and technologies improve, code generation is getting better and better, and the client does not need to make any effort; he just needs to press the generate button and in 30 minutes get a completely updated application, taking into account all new libraries of methods and approaches.
This is the approach used in the AppMaster platform.
No-code platform applications
We’ve mentioned so far about government organizations' applications and digital platforms, but we have not yet discussed what kind of apps can be developed with to the no-code development method.
Citizen government organization services
No-code platforms can be used to provide citizens with digital portals that they can access through mobile apps or web applications. Through them, users can request services, download forms, check statuses, and more…
No-code applications, however, can be very beneficial to improving the lives of people who live in cities. And this is where the digital transformation of citizen-government organizations can truly make a difference. With no-code applications, governments can easily provide their citizens with:
- Public safety apps that can help manage and signal incidents, incident response, community engagement, etc.
- Education and learning apps at the disposal of students and other categories.
- Feedback apps through which citizens can provide suggestions or signal malfunction in public services.
- Utility management applications: every city should have an app through which they can quickly communicate with their citizens. It could be used to inform them about traffic, streets that are momentarily closed, changes in public transport hours and services.
Internal no-code software
No-code platforms shouldn’t only be used to provide citizens with the services they need: they can also help automatize tons of internal processes. With no-code applications, the work of government departments can become a lot easier and they’d be able to improve the service they provide to the community.
Useful no-code apps for internal officials could be:
- Management apps: simple no-code applications can be created to handle digital checklists, data collecting, and management.
- Project management apps: no-code software can help create applications to automate different processes within project management workflows.
- No-code software to automate any repetitive process that happens within any government office.
How to choose a no-code platform?
We’ve already mentioned that AppMaster is one of the best no-code apps in circulation today, but why is that so? In this section, we’ll discuss what makes an excellent no-code development software. And what kind of features are essential if that no-code software is meant to be used for the digital transition of citizen government organizations.
Security is probably the most important feature you should check before relying on no-code software. Whether the no-code application is meant to be used by internal officers or provided to the community, governments apps need to be 100% secure for many reasons:
- Governments store citizens’ personal data.
- Government organizations provide vital information to their community.
- Government organizations handle payments that need to be 100% secure.
A no-code platform that governments choose for their transition needs to allow them to provide their community with top-quality applications. These apps are going to be used by thousands of people on a daily basis: performance is a priority just like security.
Flexibility and scalability
We’ve mentioned many times that government rules and regulations are often changing. When governments use no-code apps, these need to be updated according to those rules and regulations changes.
No-code software must be flexible and scalable enough to allow developers to constantly and easily make the needed changes and updates.
No-code government use case
Before the advent of digital services, if a person needed to request a driving license, he would do the following:
- Go to the local office to fill out all the required forms. Bring documents, make copies of them, and sign all papers.
- Wait for the verification process to happen and - at the end of it - approval.
- Wait for the call so they can take a 20-minute test.
And this is how no-code software comes into help. With a no-code app, government organizations can provide citizens with a platform through which they can handle processes that would be otherwise complex and would require weeks or even months to be completed. In the above example, with a no-code software application at their disposal, the citizen who needs a driving license would need to:
- Log in to the provided web application. Upload the documents and fill out the form directly from the app.
- Wait for an automated validation process that would take a maximum of 24 hours.
- Reduce the waiting time: they’d be called for the test in less time because the entire process is quicker.
With this simple example, it’s easy to see how no-code software applications can not only ease the experience of citizens or work of officers but also help governments improve the quality of the service they provide to the people.
The digital transformation of citizen government organizations and services is something citizens require. No-code software and development methods can help governments respond to such a growing demand in a more effective way.
As we’ve seen, the digitization process doesn’t only respond to people’s demands but also brings a lot of benefits:
- It improves the quality of public services.
- It makes governments' internal workflow more efficient.
- It eases the work of public officers.
- It improves the perception that citizens have of government organizations.