Operations professionals often have two things in common: first, they’re process-oriented people who think clearly and methodically about how to accomplish a multitude of tasks. Second, they’re typically not coders—which is to say, they’re not creating software for internal solutions.
This is why low-code and no-code platforms can prove of immense benefit to ops teams. Instead of having to code software from scratch, ops people can use Lego-like building blocks of existing code to assemble and reassemble software solutions that they can manage and iterate on in an agile fashion.
This is known as composable software.
Freedom to create
Every creative person knows that two of the biggest barriers to creativity are the tools you use and the associated skills needed to use them.
For example, you can frame a perfect photograph in your mind’s eye, but you need quality camera equipment and the knowledge of how to use it to capture the scene as you see it.
The same is true of operations professionals. They can imagine all sorts of ways to make their organizations more efficient, improve processes, automate repetitive tasks, and better empower employees. But too often, they run into the tools and skills problem: they can’t code.
Composability solves that impediment. Just like how an amateur photographer with a good eye can use the modes and automatic settings on their camera to help them get the shot, rather than meticulously setting each parameter manually, operations pros can use no-code tools to creatively solve problems without having to learn to code.
That also gives them more creative freedom to think about, try out, and test ideas as they come. Another important vector of freedom? They don’t have to rely so much on developers and IT, which both cuts lead times and removes burdens from your organization’s most skilled technologists.
Getting under the hood of composable platforms
The best metaphor for understanding how exactly composability works is Lego blocks—specifically Lego blocks that come with instructions, or at least suggestions for the types of things you can create with those blocks.
Think of when you were a kid with a big bucket of random Lego bricks. You could probably make just about anything! But making a specific something is significantly more challenging. For that, you need a baseline infrastructure to build from.
That’s how composable platforms work. They give nontechnical teams an infrastructure with which they can create complex software solutions. A no-code interface abstracts the best practices and technological expertise those solutions typically require.
It all boils down to providing something akin to an agile software development process, in which ops teams can pick and choose from existing parts to build something larger, the way developers do in the open-source world.
Ops and IT
Composability benefits the developer and IT wings of organizations, too. If operations teams can work briskly on their own, or in tight collaboration with the teams they support, that means they don’t have to bother IT with quite as much support work.
Giving IT their time back is not only a net benefit because it increases the productivity and efficiency of the organization, but because it can improve relationships between operations teams and IT, too.
That’s not to say IT isn’t or shouldn’t be involved; they absolutely should. The highly technically skilled people in your organization are the ones who will set up and maintain the infrastructure upon which others will create software solutions in a composable environment.
But a composable platform makes that easier, too. The developers and IT pros are the ones who will build the software blocks in the first place.
They can design the blocks to meet the organization’s precise needs, gate access for makers and systems, and maintain visibility into who’s using what and making what. This level of control is often missing from no-code platforms.
A composable platform like Tonkean doesn’t have that limitation, though. Thus, as an organization’s component teams build out infrastructure and create software solutions on top of it, IT can maintain governance over their organization’s technology and data. That’s enormously important not just for legal purposes, but also to keep the organization running smoothly.
Ops at enterprise scale
Composable software platforms unlock so much more than that, though. Yes, by obviating the need for coding skills, operations professionals can build software solutions without requiring much from IT.
Yes, it enables traditionally trained software developers and IT pros to build out an operational structure that’s easy to govern. And yes, this structure is itself composable.
But add all that together, and what do you get? A solution that is greater than the sum of its parts: a composable, no-code solution that can scale, across enterprises of any size.
That means operations team members can become makers, with the ability to compose, connect to, and benefit from composable tools no matter the context, and more powerfully support the organization’s end users.
Brett Li is a VP of Marketing for Tonkean, an enterprise no-code platform for operations teams. Brett has held leadership positions in Product Marketing, Product Management, and Sales Engineering for numerous B2B technology companies. Brett holds an MBA from Haas School of Business and a B.S. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from the University of California, Berkeley.