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Zoho Creator Low-code platform blurring the IT-business divide to build, integrate applications, and analyze data

Coding is not everyone's inclination, yet there is a need to rapidly automate new workflows, generate new insights from scattered datasets, drive competitive advantage, improve customer interactions and make operational improvements. Low-code/no-code platforms such as Quickbase, Airtable, Microsoft Power platform, and Salesforce Lightning aim to equip and empower business users to be self-sufficient and agile to achieve their business objectives. But Zoho Creator Platform is different. It effortlessly enables both business and IT users to pursue their individual interests and is very well suited for the SMB and midmarket segments. It replaces the band-aiding of work processes with a permanent yet elastic fix to improve organizational efficiency. Business users can spin up applications. If IT needs to add additional complexity, the IT team can develop that through custom capabilities. Developers can write, store, and execute reusable code blocks in the Zoho Creator Platform using Deluge or Java or Node.js. These functions encourage IT and business teams to work together to build scalable and easily maintainable enterprise-ready apps faster. Developers can now launch solutions in different environments of choice—development, staging, or production, with a single click based on the application's readiness.

Most people associate Low-code with spreadsheet replacement, email replacement, automating, and digitizing them. Instead, the Zoho Creator Platform aims to help recreate processes to leverage everything a local platform can do in mobile, analytics, and governance.

Zoho Creator was introduced 15 years ago as an online database. Its latest version, Zoho Creator Platform, announced on March 3, 2022, aims to empower everyone to build applications solutions with a unified platform quickly. Specifically in the SMB and midmarket firms, IT is overloaded and has less time to codify new processes and modernize existing ones. Regardless, most organizations do not have well-defined business processes and want flexibility.

Low-code has been around for quite some time but making it a strategy by IT has come to a lot more in the past two years. With IT taking a more prominent role, Zoho has introduced new capabilities:

  • Blueprinting, integration, and BI & analytics to the low-code builder, which allows developers to build custom solutions with one or more capabilities from within the platform without needing any external application
  • Support solution building phases - development, deployment, and management from a single dashboard
  • Onboarding hand-holding, bootcamps, priority support, structured and unstructured learning interventions, and implementation support services to help scale low-code adoption organization-wide

Zoho Creator Platform is ideal for midmarket firms. These firms have multiple applications which add additional complexity, and the need to integrate and secure numerous data streams is acute. And where IT's influence is more significant than within small businesses. The application usage within midmarket firms belongs to many different categories. SaaS applications that support IT management functions, and CRM, ERP, HR/talent management, customer service applications, social marketing, etc., that specific non-IT users and departments use. Its Unified Solution Builder creates, integrates, analyzes, and manages custom business solutions at scale from a single dashboard. Not only does it enable business users to switch between different components seamlessly, but it also has built-in guardrails for IT teams to drive enterprise-wide citizen development programs. The intuitive drag-and-drop builder graphically constructs the required business process for each step, assigning responsibilities across stakeholders and automating actions based on pre-set conditions. At the same time, varied data formats and evolving app landscapes add layers of difficult-to-solve complexities to data integration, resulting in sub-optimal business results. The Status Dashboard provides complete visibility of how each process step and integration operates. In addition, the dashboard offers critical findings on successes and failures, facilitates early error detection and resolution to enable organizations to resolve them quickly. As a result, IT can identify bottlenecks and have the clarity to allow scalability for evolving business needs, competition, business pressures, and environments change.

Zoho's unified data modeling is the cornerstone for Zoho Creator's success. Current users say that 75%-80% of applications built in the Creator platform have a spreadsheet imported to it at some point in time. While RPA is growing in adoption, Zoho automatically identifies all the different field types and helps clean up any data inconsistencies. Universal cloud modeling help developers establish secure data transfer by automating data integration protocols with unified data architecture and over 650 plug-and-play connectors to make data integration easier for users. Users can add features continuously or make changes without disturbing the existing application in production.

SMBs and midmarket firms are prioritizing a wide range of improved outcomes within their businesses: improvement within existing operations and processes, expansion of the customer base, profitability and the business as a whole, creation and accelerated delivery of new offerings, reduced cost, and enhanced ability to manage the unknown. Zoho's intelligence and analytics engine is included in the Zoho Creator Platform, enabling users to derive business insights from the data residing in their applications without worrying about bringing another subscription into the fold. In addition, the low-code platform easily supports advanced functionalities like predictive analytics, data alerts, what-if analysis, data blending, and conversational analytics.

There is a need to connect people, processes, and technology to pursue business growth. The common thread runs through the cloud, security, and data. Zoho's platform addresses each. But, as is often the case, deploying best-fit solutions is only part of 'the answer': developing the culture and competency to capitalize on the potential of the solutions is also critical to the achievement of executive objectives. Zoho blurs the IT and business divide to fast-track application build, integration, and analysis and can be a catalyst to propel any organization towards its goals. The platform includes BI, data preparation, Zoho Zia, other functionalities like Zoho Flow. Zoho Creator Platform, low-code/no-code platform, both raises the high bar set by its competitors and challenges the competition to jump a few notches higher.

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