Future Focus 2021: online event

Innovation |  Digitalisation |  Growth

#FutureFocus engaged with business and IT leaders who want to drive innovation, transformation, and change within their organisations. Our panel of expert speakers at Future Focus 2021 looked to the future and highlighted ideas and opportunities focused on driving efficiency, productivity, and creativity in a post-pandemic world. 


Event Video

Key highlights from Future Focus 2021

– Conor O’Kelly, Chief Executive Officer of the NTMA explores Ireland’s current economic situation, outlining where opportunities for growth exist in the Irish economy. 

– Two of Ireland’s leading companies have embraced digitalisation to drive innovation. Karl McEntee of ATA and Philip Adams of Mercury Engineering share their experience and advice.

– Derya Sousa of Kianda highlights how companies in a variety of other sectors have used no-code technology to drive efficiency, cut process times and improve customer satisfaction.


Future Focus 2021 at a glance

Each of the speakers at Future Focus shared how their organisations are embracing the No-Code / Low-Code movement. They looked at what no-code development means and how this technology can benefit businesses overall, not just IT departments.

Two very successful Irish businesses, ATA and Mercury Engineering have embraced no-code technology to digitise many critical processes. Firstly, to improve operations internally and to then pass on these efficiencies to enhance both employee and customer satisfaction.

Karl McEntee, Group Digital & IT Director at ATA, and Philip Adams, Head of Group IT at Mercury were on the panel of speakers at Future Focus 2021. They both highlight the agility and speed of developing applications without coding. As well as sharing their experience with Kianda. Certainly, these capabilities have played a key role in enabling both organisations to ramp up their resilience and accelerate innovation throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

In conjunction with valuable insights into the important roles of technology, Conor O’Kelly, CEO of National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA) positively explores Ireland’s current economic situation during his session at Future Focus. He expresses that “the economy is in very good shape” and that he is “not greatly worried about the burden of COVID borrowings”.

Additionally, NTMA’s CEO continues to highlight how technology will be a driver in creating opportunities for growth for organisations post-pandemic. 


Why companies are embracing digitalisation

Our speakers from Future Focus 2021 stressed the importance of digitalisation for business continuity, with Conor discussing how much our behaviour has changed and how fast that we have adapted. Before the pandemic, many organisations were fearful of change or new technologies. Today, we are more fertile and willing to change.

“COVID-19 is not a disruptor, it is an accelerant and it has got a lot of people across that digital fear”. 

– Karl McEntee, Group Digital & IT Director

Many organisations quickly adopted digitalisation to implement a remote workforce. As a result, they are now continuously digitising to stay competitive and not only survive under the harsh conditions but to thrive, despite them.

No-code development is one of the technologies that are successfully enabling this as no-code ultimately speeds up software development cycles.

Software development has been known to be an elaborate and complex process until recent years. The introduction of no-code technologies has changed software development into a much easier, more agile process with less turnaround time.


Mercury’s journey with no-code technology

Philip Adams, Group Head of IT, Mercury EngineeringLeading construction contractor, Mercury Engineering has deployed many business processes using Kianda’s no-code technology. “Knowledge Vault” is their most recent application built with the Kianda platform. It is an internal portal that allows employees to share their knowledge, ideas, and innovations in a media-rich way.

The group adopted a no-code software development approach to avoid challenges associated with traditional development. Moreover, their use of no-code had a priority to speed up the development and deployment of digital solutions.

“The concept of low-code or no-code for us is having that ability to spin up a solution very very quickly and get it to the people who need it as quick as they can and get value from it, literally the next day”.

– Philip Adams, Head of Group IT at Mercury

Not only has no-code technology allowed Mercury to develop solutions at a more rapid pace. But, it has created the opportunity for them to address their digitalisation needs themselves. As well, it enables them to be more independent, agile, and efficient and significantly reduces costs.

During Philip’s session at Future Focus, he says, “Having that ability to look within the applications we currently have, either develop on top of those or develop something new in a very fast, short period of time without huge technical, software development skills is a huge advantage to us and the Knowledge Vault is an example of that”.


ATA’s journey with no-code technology

Karl McEntee, Group Digital & IT Director, ATA

Leading engineering and manufacturer of precision engineering tools, ATA firstly introduced the Kianda platform to enhance their innovation process. As Engineers with innovation as a core priority to the group, ATA “had that manufacturing mindset and brought innovation to the forefront” said Karl McEntee, Group Digital & IT Director at ATA.

The group looked at many technology options on the market but many offerings were expensive and yet they limited flexibility.

“You can buy something that someone has already made which is nearly what you want but won’t be exactly what you want, so it would be 80% of your requirements or you can get your big development team to do exactly what you want, which is a costly proposition”, Karl says.

Using no-code to develop applications consumes a lot less resources than developing with code.

With a goal to become more self-sufficient, ATA settled with Kianda’s no-code option to build custom applications that suit all of their requirements. Karl emphasizes on how the agility of no-code development allows ATA to be able to respond to the changing needs of the company immediately and efficiently.

ATA have successfully acquired their German competitor and will now be launching their applications built using Kianda with their German employees.


Introducing no-code by Kianda Technologies

Derya Sousa, COO of Kianda TechnologiesKianda is a no-code development, business process automation platform that enables organisations to digitise and simplify business processes. No-code provides a tool-kit approach to software development, empowering users without technical skills to self-build digital solutions without coding.

In the early days of the pandemic, adoption of new technologies like no-code was slow, “there was a bit of a freeze in the market, people were not making decisions”, says Derya. However, COVID-19 has completely shifted market conditions, ultimately increasing market demands, some of which simply cannot be addressed without digitalisation.

Derya says, “We need to accept that we are now living in a different world, things are not the same. However, no-code, low-code digitalisation are not new concepts, we have lived with them before. But what we are seeing now in the last year, this is all accelerating”.

Many businesses are facing multiple obstacles throughout these turbulent times. Digitalisation and no-code technology are playing a vital role in helping these companies overcome such challenges and two of Kianda’s customers, ATA and Mercury Engineering are “great examples of this” says Derya.

For any organisation that is looking to adopt no-code technology, Derya has 3 pieces of advice:

    1. Ensure that the right people are involved, they will be the champions of the projects.
    2. Choose a technology that can evolve with your business, one that is truly agile and can allow you to make changes as you go.
    3. Start small, this gives you the agility and the time to see what you are doing, get feedback and listen to the people that will use the platform.

“The business recovery is going to be digital and it is a good investment for businesses who want to survive and thrive”.

– Derya Sousa, COO of Kianda


Future of Ireland post-pandemic

Conor O'Kelly, CEO of NTMAConor O’Kelly, CEO of National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA) assures that he is “not greatly worried” about the impact of COVID-19 on Ireland’s economy.

He comments that there has been an “increased sense of business and personal resilience and adaptability”.

Speaking on Future Focus, Conor delivers an overall positive outlook on Ireland’s economy, highlighting how resilient Ireland has been throughout previous downturns such as the financial crisis.  

“Back in the crisis, Ireland had to slam its foot on the brake and cut spending. This time, Ireland has put its foot on the accelerator and invested hugely in the economy. That has had a huge impact and this economy is flying, right now even during the pandemic.”

– Conor O’Kelly, CEO, NTMA

A positive outlook for Ireland

Debit card spending has only reduced by 5% in a single year and excess income or savings is approximately 11 or 12 billion euros in Ireland. Certainly, despite job losses and business closures, Ireland is still circulating a lot of money within the economy and the government is heavily investing in order to minimize the financial impacts.

With regards to the interest bill as a result of Ireland’s borrowing, Mr. O’Kelly comments:

 “We will carry risk into the future in terms of refinancing that debt but we are not on our own, we are in with everybody else, not just in Europe, right across the world. There has been extraordinary pandemic spending and institutional policies will make sure, in my opinion, that the environment for all of that refinancing will be benign, so it’s not something that worries me greatly”.

He goes on to say that investors have seen Ireland survive quite extreme cycles and have come through. Certainly, this demonstrates Ireland’s ability to adapt to change, showing great economic resilience. 

Kianda Technologies is currently helping NTMA digitise some of its core business processes.

For businesses looking to the future, Conor has three pieces of advice:

    1. Digitalisation will be a key factor in business continuity
    2. Embrace sustainability
    3. Don’t underestimate your capacity, potential, and resilience

Watch how ATA & Mercury leveraged Kianda’s no code solution

If you are looking to start digitising your business processes why not start with a free customised demo from Kianda?

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