Glancing at Twitter, a Business Insider article said that a German no-code solution company, Bryter, had raised $ 66M from Tiger Global. It is said that it already has customers such as McDonald’s, PwC, and Deloitte.
With the rapid introduction of telework due to the pandemic, the trend of quickly introducing ready-made systems in the cloud from the conventional on-premises and tailor-made systems has been accelerating. However, there is a growing demand to change the system to a form suitable for the company’s employees and business. With services called low-code or no-code software, even if you do not know about programming or computing, you can develop a business system with just a mouse and simple keyboard inputs. Services that provide a development environment called no-code or low-code are becoming more and more popular.
Providing a development environment that does not require programming skills such as no-code or low-code will become more popular, especially in countries such as Japan and Germany, where it is difficult to dismiss employees.
Especially in Japan, it is virtually impossible to dismiss an employee once hired, so it is impossible to invest in a system and replace it with an employee who has the skills to adapt to the new system. Therefore, even unskilled employees will continue to stick to the old-fashioned business system and business procedures that have been established to continue hiring them. Moreover, since reassignments and personnel transfers are carried out regardless of the work’s specialty and skills, a person who has no skills or experience will be newly engaged in the work.
Nevertheless, tasks are usually dependent on particular employees. This causes more problems such as “Kami” Excel problems and macro files that they cannot maintain.
The “Kami” Excel problem is a wonderful solution unique to Japan that uses an Excel sheet like graph paper. The Japanese word “kami” stands for “paper” and “gods.” Japanese people call something tremendous or astonishing “god.” For example, a superb vocalist like Freddie Mercury is called a “kami” singer. So “Kami” Excel means “an overwhelmingly ridiculous way to use Excel like paper.”
This Excel problem is especially noticeable at government offices. It is the final form of Galapagos-like Excel, which has achieved development unique to Japan, completely ignoring digital and database ideas.
In the United States, it’s easy to dismiss an employee, so if there’s a change in the way you do business or your business itself, you can easily hire employees who adapt to it and fire old ones.
In Germany, Gerhard Schroeder’s reform has significantly increased employment liquidity, but it is arguably one of the countries with the best employee protection in Europe. When you think of Germany, SAP comes to mind, but it’s notorious for its uncool user interface. The no-code and low-code user interfaces are very user-friendly, as they are only for people who have no programming skills.
According to ILO statistics, Japan’s labor productivity is the lowest in the G7, and Japan’s real wages have been declining for decades. There is no doubt that this one major cause is that the above-mentioned personalized business practices. Old-fashioned systems have become a legacy and hinder reforms. We hope that eliminating that personalization with no-code and low-code operations will help Japanese companies develop further.
By the way, when I say low-code development, I think of FileMaker Pro. Initially, the company had been called Claris, it was named Filemaker after being acquired by Apple, but recently it has returned to Claris’s company name again.
It’s a great piece of software to learn the concept of relational databases, and recently the cloud-based FileMaker cloud is readily available. The only way to share database files over the network was to buy an application to install on an on-premises server called FileMaker Server. After that, around 2018, it was possible to build a server on AWS and handle it like a cloud, but at that time, it was pretty tricky because AWS settings were still required. However, a few years ago, it became very convenient because it became possible to build a FileMaker server by simply accessing it from a browser.
However, besides the fact that the Japanese business people rarely used Apple computers for business in Japan, Filemaker itself did not focus much on Japan’s marketing, so it is not so popular here. It is sometimes introduced in small and medium-sized companies with dozens of employees. There are also some specialized development contractors for FileMaker.
Recently, companies that provide no-code and low-code services have emerged in Japan as well. Some of them, like Yappli, have reached the listing on the Mothers market. Besides, From Scratch and others have been actively advertising inside taxi recently.
However, you cannot expect change unless the company’s people, not the tools, are replaced. I hope that promising and talented people worldwide will find employment in Japanese companies and do their best for further development.
If you are interested in working in Japan, drop me a line.
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