No-Code empowers new businesses to build custom enterprise-grade software faster without having to first invest significant time and dollars. With this newfound ability to get to market quickly, it means those businesses can start profiting faster.
Unqork is a no-code platform and Ken Gavranovic is the Head of Platform Strategy, SW Engineering, DevOps, and Solutioneers at Unqork. The things that excite Gavranovic the most about what Unqork is doing is it has a purposeful culture, leadership with great ideas, and that it already has great traction with companies like BlackRock, Goldman Sachs, and Liberty Mutual. Unqork is helping states roll out rent relief, so the work they are doing is important.
Impact of Unqork on the Industry
Unqork is one of those companies that has made a direct impact on the industry and the lives of developers. When a developer looks at a business problem, they have to look at it from different perspectives – how much cloud, what about security, what about performance and so on. “With Unqork, they don’t have to do any of these things,” says Gavranovic.
With companies having to take customer requests faster than ever, every business needs to have the speed to deal with those requests. Companies like Unqork are helping to deliver on the no-code promise, so businesses have to do less. “We give you tools and no-code building blocks. We can go straight from that business problem into a working, enterprise and secure application in days. What we’re seeing with customers is something that might’ve taken months or years to complete can now be done in three months. Even from an accessibility perspective, we’re seeing a developer move almost three to 10 times faster in the amount of quality code and problem solving that they can deliver,” Gavranovic adds.
Low-Code vs No-Code
But what’s the difference between Low-Code and No-Code? To answer this question, Gavranovic describes low-code as, “I think that low-code is still code. To me, you have legacy the moment you write code, or you use an API or any kind of low-code solution. At some point, you’ve got to scan it again to make sure it’s secure. You’ve got to make sure it’s not outdated. You’ve got to make sure that when you make changes, hopefully, somebody understands how that code was documented.” In comparison, Gavranovic says, “With No-Code in the platform that we deploy, all of that’s built-in. So if you build an object, you’ve got future-proof built into it.”
Future of No-Code
As to the future of No-Code, Gavranovic points to the idea that 70-80% of most enterprise developers are building code that looks like another company’s codebase. Those businesses are solving the exact same problems, but spending resources to build it again, and again, and again.
With No-Code, Gavranovic states, “I think that companies are going to say…we can have anybody that has a developer mindset build it. We can go faster, and we’ve got security maintenance already built-in, and we don’t have legacy.” Gavranovic backs this up by bringing budget into the picture and asking, “How much of your budget is spent maintaining the applications that you’re not even actively building on?” With No-Code, companies don’t have to deal with such issues. With this in mind, some of the biggest brands in the world are embracing this new paradigm on how they’re thinking about building their enterprise software.”
It’s a game changer!
Summary for this interview/discussion was written by Jack Wallen
Here is the full, but rough transcript of the show:
Swapnil Bhartiya: Hi, this is your host, Swapnil Bhartiya, and welcome to TFiR Let’s Talk. No-Code is lowering the barrier of entry, allowing enterprises to quickly go to the market without having to invest both time and dollars in building infrastructure that they need for their services. Unqork is one of the pioneers of no-code enterprise application platforms that helps large companies build, deploy, and manage complex applications without writing a single line of code. To talk about not only the company, but also the whole no-code landscape, today we have with us Ken Gavranovic, Head of Platform Strategy, SW Engineering, DevOps, and Solutioneers at Unqork. Ken, it’s great to have you on the show.
Ken Gavranovic: Swapnil, thank you for having me on the show. I’m so excited to talk about no-code and digital transformation and what we’re seeing enterprises doing. It’s a very challenging environment.
Swapnil Bhartiya: Let’s just start with some of the basics. Let’s talk about the company. First of all, what do you folks do? If I look at your own career, what potential did you see in the company that you decided to join?
Ken Gavranovic: I think that’s a good question. A little background is, as you mentioned, I’m at Unqork and I kind of run three areas of the platform. It’s a no-code platform. I run the Engineering teams that actually build the platform, the DevOps teams that really operate and automate that deployment for our customers. Then finally I have a team, we call them Solutioneers, where we’re actually using our own platform to extend the functionality of the platform.
Prior to joining Unqork, I ran Product and Engineering for a company called New Relic that you may be familiar with globally. Don’t quote me on the stats, but maybe 30-40% of the Internet’s monitored from an observability perspective. Prior to that, I was at a company called Cox, [made for 00:01:58] Dealertrack, Kelley Blue Book, Autotrader. I ran the digital systems, and I’ve been in there since the beginning. Back in the day, I started a company, it’s still around, called Web.com, when cloud computing really wasn’t even a thing.
The thing that really excited me about Unqork, I always looked at it that the first thing is culture, right? You want to join a company that has a purposeful culture, and that’s something that attracted me to Unqork. Secondly, you want a leadership team that’s got great ideas. You want to be in the right space at the right time, and have a huge opportunity where the only thing holding you back from success is really execution. That’s what really attracted me to Unqork, where we’ve already got tremendous traction with companies like BlackRock, Goldman, multiple states, Liberty. We’re helping states actually roll out rent relief. It’s really neat to be in a company where not only do you help some of the largest financial insurance institutions around the world go faster, but you can help states deliver very much-needed resources, like rent relief, where you’ve got renters and the government’s trying to help them. We can also help the states do that. It’s a really exciting opportunity here.
Swapnil Bhartiya: If I’m not wrong, Unqork is around four years old. If I ask you, what impact the company has made on the industry or ecosystem where you folks are helping, especially after the pandemic? What we have seen is that companies need to have their digital transformation infrastructure in place. They need to have their cloud infrastructure in place, but moving to cloud or to digitally transform your company is a lot of work. You have to write a lot of code. You have to build about the whole infrastructure. Talk about the direct impact Unqork has had on the industry to help them move faster.
Ken Gavranovic: We think about digital transformation or companies, and, even with the pandemic, I think that was a really spot-on point, companies faster than ever have to take their customer requests, that idea of what does a customer want, and put it in production. The details of multi-cloud, the details of how you do it, companies just need to have that speed. What’s really nice, and again, Unqork’s been around for four years, they’ve been able to help, whether it be the largest institutions: BlackRock, Goldman, Chicago, multiple states, Principal, MMC. Anything from healthcare, to financial, to insurance. But also, as I mentioned before, what I get even personally excited about is helping states do things like rent relief, where we’ve got people that simply can’t pay their rent and the government’s put aside dollars, but you have to have systems that can quickly address that. So not only can we help, again, some of our largest financial institution insurance, but we can help states move fast. Those are really exciting things that we’re doing right now, successfully.
Swapnil Bhartiya: Once again, you gave a lot of examples, if I ask you from a purely technical point, if you can just say, “This is the impact Unqork had on the developer’s life of these companies… This is the trends they noticed ever since Unqork came into existence…” That’s the answer I’m looking at.
Ken Gavranovic: I think there’s a couple of different perspectives there. From a developer’s perspective, from a business perspective. From a developer’s perspective, if you think about it, you get to go right into problem-solving. My background is a developer, so I’ve always been interested in customer problems, and what is the customer experiencing, and how can I help solve that problem? If you think about it as a developer, maybe you have to think about, “Well, how much cloud? How are we going to think about security? How are we going to do all of the things you need to deliver a modern enterprise application?” With Unqork, you don’t have to do anything. We give you tools, building blocks, no-code building blocks. We can go straight from that business problem into a working enterprise secure application in days. What we’re seeing with customers is something that might’ve taken a year or six months or two years to complete, you can do it in three months. Even from an accessibility perspective, we’re seeing a developer almost move three to 10 times faster in the amount of quality code and really problem-solving that they can deliver.
That’s exciting to the developer because we always like to solve problems, and that’s exciting to the business because that actually helps them move forward quicker.
Swapnil Bhartiya: What is the difference between low-code and no-code, if you can explain that a bit?
Ken Gavranovic: I think that’s a good question. I think that low-code is still code. To me, you have legacy, the moment you write code, or you use an API, or any kind of low-code solution, at some point you’ve got to scan it again to make sure it’s secure. You’ve got to make sure it’s not outdated. You’ve got to make sure that when you make changes, hopefully somebody understands how that code was documented.
With no-code in the platform that we deploy, all of that’s built into the platform. So if you built an object, you’ve got future-proof built into it.
Yesterday, Angular was exciting. Today, it’s React. Tomorrow, it’s something else. Unqork will automatically adjust whatever that front is. It doesn’t impact your no-code application. You get the modern, you get the security, without the maintenance that you typically have in low-code or code solutions.
Swapnil Bhartiya: Talk about the role that no-code is playing in this evolution of the way we build, write, and deploy software.
Ken Gavranovic: I think what’s nice about no-code… To me, companies that talk about citizen developers, I don’t know if that’s really a true promise… But I do think with no-code, if you have a developer mindset, it doesn’t mean that you’ve been necessarily a developer your whole life, but you have a developer mindset, you can go in. Whether you’re an experienced three-year, 10-year, 20-year veteran, or someone that thinks like a developer and understand the constructs of development, you can go in there and understand the business problem and deliver enterprise-grade working applications in minutes.
I’m going to ask… I know we’ve got Mark on the call. Mark, if we can get a small video, and again, you can use it or not. I’d love to just demonstrate how in literally minutes you can build an enterprise-grade application. This is just a small sample. We see people… I really enjoy a lot of times, I get to talk to some of our customers, developers, and they get so excited where they were able to take a project that everybody said, “It’s going to take two years,” and literally deploy it to production in months. So they’re excited, they look great in the company, and the company’s excited because that idea and that innovation cycle, that business agility, that all enterprises are looking for is really working in a demonstrative way.
Swapnil Bhartiya: If I ask you, how do you see the evolution and adoption of no-code, what role will it play in the future?
Ken Gavranovic: Here’s what I believe, and this is one of the reasons why I joined the company, I think if you look at most enterprise-applications, for 70-80% of them, it’s really building code that looks just like another company’s codebase. They’re solving the exact same problems, but they’re spending resources to build it again, and again, and again. So with no-code, we think that there’s a subset of applications… I think I saw some stat that there’s going to be 500 million applications built in the next X amount of years. But we, and I personally believe, that a large percentage of those are going to be built on no-code. I think that companies are going to say, for a set of our applications, this is what we’re going to do, because we’re lowering the barrier. Now we can have anybody that has a developer mindset build it. We can go faster, and we’ve got security maintenance already built in, and we don’t have legacy.
Because, if you think about it, when you’re running a budget, how much of your budget is spent maintaining the applications that you’re not even actively building on? You don’t have to do any of that with no-code. That’s… and I can’t mention all the company names, I have to go talk to the team about who I can mention… but I talk to customers all the time, some of the brands, the biggest brands in the world, and I’m seeing them increasingly every day, embrace us as a new paradigm on how they’re thinking about building their enterprise software.
Swapnil Bhartiya: If I ask you, who would you consider your direct competitors and what sets you apart from them?
Ken Gavranovic: It’s always a question about competitors. I’ll just say for myself, one of the reasons why I joined the company, is we compete with both everyone and no one. Right? There’s code, there’s low-code, but in the same sense, with the platform that’s been built, I think about this application. Many SAS solutions are built, starting with SMBs and very simple applications. This company from day one was built for highly-complex, highly-secure enterprise-applications. The whole leadership team came from some of the biggest companies across the globe. I think we’re really uniquely positioned.
So I would say, who are we competing with? Everyone. In a way, I also think that we’re unique in the platform, and the way, and the Thought Leadership that we’ve built into the platform from day one, because not every startup goes straight in and wins some of the biggest brands globally. That’s what we do every day.
Swapnil Bhartiya: Ken, thank you so much for taking time out today and talking about not only, of course, the company and your own journey and why you joined the company, but giving us a very good insight into why no-code is becoming popular, and why enterprises are embracing it. I would love to have you back on the show. Thank you for your time today.
Ken Gavranovic: I’d love to do it. Thanks for having me. Have a great day.