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Low-code and soft skills - a recipe for success

Adam Spearing Profile picture for user adamspearing October 13, 2020
Leaders need to integrate both hard and soft skills into the workplace for higher consciousness, says Salesforce's Adam Spearing.


Since the start of the pandemic, timelines of many digital transformation strategies have been accelerated from years to months. In order to keep pace with change and maintain business velocity, businesses have needed to build solutions quickly to meet demands and scale with confidence. Banks, for example, are rising to the challenge by digitising front-line operations to meet increased demand for loan requests. With the need for new applications and services higher than ever, low-code development is an effective option to save time and resource.

According to Forrester Research, the low-code market will double in size to $14 billion by 2024. Low-code app development helps non-technical users turn into citizen developers, empowering users to expand their ability to build applications and work with IT departments through the use of simple visual tools. Low-coding empowers companies to condense their digital transformation timelines. Apps that used to take weeks or months to build through traditional development methods, can now be built in just a few days with fewer resources, making companies more nimble during a time when the environment around us is changing rapidly. 

In this context, initiatives such as EU Code Week - taking place between 10-25 October this year - play a key role in equipping people of all ages and skillsets with the knowledge they need in today’s digital-first world. In 2019, 4.2 million people in over 80 countries took part, highlighting the impact of making coding tools accessible to all.

Low-code skills, however, are not the only skills needed as the future of work continues to be redefined. Our work-from-anywhere world has made the role of softer skills even more important - with many employees communicating via video calls and customer contact taking place via online platforms. Companies need employees that can adapt to using new technologies, collaborate to solve complex problems, and create a shared sense of purpose across dispersed teams. 

Why businesses need low-code

One of the benefits of low-code is that it is accessible to everyone and gives users the freedom to create all types of applications. Like all technology, developed and applied correctly, it can be used for the good of businesses and all stakeholders.

According to global Salesforce research, 49% of UKI employees wish they had better or more up-to-date skill sets. Employees are looking to reskill in order to succeed in the modern workplace and low-code tools can help equip and empower employees to engage with digital solutions without an engineering or coding degree. 

Low-coding also helps to develop a culture of continuous learning, ensuring that there are more than enough opportunities for everyone by ensuring innovation is accessible by all. This doesn’t only apply to workers, but also students. These low-code tools can support students by enhancing their learning experience and equipping them with programming skills that will prepare them for the digital workforce of tomorrow - given the increasing need for technology skills in the workplace.

As an example, adapting technologies such as Salesforce Lightning, organisations can empower users to create apps fast with low-code, build collaboratively and accelerate automation with pre-built business processes.

The growing importance of soft skills

In the past, there has been a strong focus on STEM related skills, particularly in the technology industry. Our new data insights have highlighted the increasing importance of soft skills since the pandemic began and the urgent need to upskill. From our research, we know that half of UKI workers are looking to reskill post-COVID-19 and prioritising adaptability, resilience, empathy and inclusion as priority skills to develop.

As leaders, we need to integrate both hard and soft skills into the workplace for higher consciousness. COVID-19 has shown that if you don’t have emotional literacy and deep relationships, you will not be able to navigate the complexities that are required. The future of work is emotionally literate organisations where skills such as empathy and adaptability are equally as important as hard skills. 

Project management, decision-making and many other processes are continuing to be managed more virtually and as a result, collaboration is essential for success when it comes to working across locations and time zones. Low-code development is especially important for remote workers and users who need to share and access collaborative tools across teams. For example, when US campuses shut down in March, Deloitte launched Deloitte Digital's Salesforce Academy, to replace on-campus hiring and training.

A partnership - soft skills and low-code

As the world of work continues to change, the need to be agile, adaptive and responsive will remain constant. Low-coding skills together with soft skills are more relevant today than ever before. With low-code technology being one of the key drivers in transforming businesses and re-skilling the workforce, and soft skills helping users to emotionally manage remote working, together they will play a fundamental role in determining future business success. 

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