If you own or work for a small- to medium-sized business you are most likely using packaged software solutions to automate your core business functions, such as accounting, time-tracking, contact management, and activities specific to your business (such as CAD software for design). However, what are you doing to streamline non-core functions?
If you are like most other small businesses you are probably using a hodge-podge of shared spreadsheets and documents. Or maybe you are still using paper forms to pass information from one department to another. While these makeshift solutions are less costly than investing in a packaged software solution or hiring a developer to create a custom database for you, they are likely costing the company money in staff time, data entry errors (or inconsistencies), duplication of effort, or simply the cost of paper for all of the forms.
The seemingly endless dilemma between automation and status quo may finally be getting a nudge toward automation. With the recent introduction of low-code application development tools small- to medium-sized businesses may finally be able to say goodbye to paper forms and shared documents. These tools, such as Microsoft PowerApps, FileMaker, Zoho Creator, and AppSheet, offer a plug-and-play environment that makes database application creation just about as easy as generating a series of spreadsheets.
Even Google has a solution on the horizon. Their App Maker product, when released, will become part of the G Suite for Business collection of applications. As a Google reseller, we have been checking it out for a few months as a beta tester, but it is now available for just about everyone who has a G Suite for Business account. Admins can apply for early access as part of Google’s Early Adopter Program.
Google App Maker is exactly what I have been looking for for quite some time, and it may very well be a game changer in the low-code application development market, with its ease of use, its seamless integration of other popular Google apps like Calendar and Maps, and its inclusion in G Suite for Business without an add-on price. Check it out if you are a G Suite for Business user. If you’re not a current G Suite user, you can learn more about G Suite for Business here.