At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, as governments struggled to disperse information and aid, Unqork, an enterprise-software development platform, was ready to lend a hand. The company, often given deadlines of only a few days, was able to help officials in Washington, D.C. and New York City build and launch COVID information portals. And as no-contact protocols upended how state and local governments did business, Unqork’s platform virtualized services like granting marriage licenses—and, in New York City, helped deliver meals to more than 125 million needy and hungry citizens.
How was the company able to move so quickly? The key lies in its no-code platform, which allows users to utilize a visual interface to build custom applications at expedited speeds.
Instead of binary bits and bytes — all the complexities of code, and all the issues that come with it — we can now construct software in a very simple way,” says Gary Hoberman, Unqork’s founder and CEO. “We’re essentially dragging and dropping information, simplifying a very complex process.”
In addition to its work with governments, Unqork’s no-code technology allows a broad range of private sector companies to bring mission-critical software to market three times faster and at a third of the cost, helping Unqork earn a spot on Fast Company‘s list of the world’s Most Innovative Companies.
DOING MORE WITH LESS
In the past, companies would maintain servers and hire teams of developers to build software from scratch using programming languages such as COBOL, Java, and Clojure. Developers were then on the hook for maintaining and patching legacy code, a process that is both time-consuming and costly.
But technology, Hoberman points out, is moving toward ever-greater abstraction. For instance, private servers have been largely replaced by cloud computing. Similarly, because no-code programming abstracts coding language, enterprises no longer need to produce thousands of lines of code. This “codeless architecture” offers a way to build software without having to worry about coding. “You can forget about all of the complexities,” Hoberman says, “and focus on solving your problem.”
In 2021, the company launched the Unqork Marketplace, a library of prebuilt software and integrations from industry-leading partners including DocuSign and Experian. The marketplace allows partners to create entire solutions that companies can use in custom applications. For example, a website that requires a customer signature could use a premade building block provided by DocuSign.
Because there is no legacy code to maintain, applications are easy to modify and evolve. Developers can drop in prebuilt reusable components to adjust application design instantly and without risk of introducing mistakes.
A CODELESS FUTURE
Demand for no-code programming has surged. Since 2020, Unqork has nearly tripled its global workforce. Its number of customers has grown as well, more than doubling in 2021, with a client roster featuring leaders in finance, insurance, healthcare, and government—including Goldman Sachs, Marsh, CVS Health, and the Department of Health and Human Services.
Beyond the work Unqork has done, Hoberman sees codeless architecture as critical to the future of enterprise, helping companies reduce chores like infrastructure maintenance and focus on core missions and problem solving. “However they choose to adopt it,” he says, “codeless architecture can set a company up for a future whereby 80% of their investment is in building the innovations their company needs, versus today where 80% of their investment is in simply keeping the lights on.”