No-Code and the Rise of the Business Engineer

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One of the talking points about no-code is that people working in business functions in companies can develop, test and implement changes to software with, as the name suggests, no coding required. This could be building a new offer in a product catalog or developing a new retention campaign for high value customers showing a high propensity to churn or any other business focused process.

IT is probably thinking – wait a minute, that’s my job. They’re probably also thinking that everybody and anybody could get loose on the systems that they manage and are maybe a bit worried that there will be no central control to ensure that there’s not a free for all.

But the culture of telcos is changing to encourage more risk-taking by removing the cost and fear of failure. Telcos need to be able to try out new processes and offers. The focus on this will increase as SA 5G gets rolled out and new opportunities emerge. No-code systems significantly reduce the time, cost and risk of trying out new processes or business models.

In BSS the message that people in business functions can make changes to the system could cause joy and fear in equal measure. Some people will be itching to develop new offers and processes to make them more productive and get better results against their KPIs. Others, maybe less so. Does no-code BSS mean that the junior intern in marketing will develop, test and implement an onboarding process for enterprise customers? Maybe not.

No-code BSS doesn’t mean an uncontrolled free for all to make changes to BSS. There needs to be control. That’s why we’re seeing the emergence of a new role of business engineer in the business departments in service providers. The business engineer works in the business team (sales, marketing, care, product management, etc) but also works closely with IT.

These will be the go-to people to implement no-code changes. They sit close to business teams, and they can quickly design and launch new commercial offerings across channels and segments. They can also experiment with commercial conditions, such as customer eligibilities or discounts and promotions. They can also adapt and personalize customer journey flows, by designing omnichannel processes and rules. A business engineer should be guided by insightful data, so as to avoid adaptations that are based on a blind trial-and-error approach. IT can work with the business engineers in the business teams to ensure overall control and ownership of the BSS.

With no-code BSS and the emergence of business engineers in the business teams, we will see the core business units in service providers become stakeholders in BSS—not just end users or customers. The emergence of business engineers working closely with IT enables stakeholders in these teams to think differently: instead of prioritizing a few items that can be delivered in a six-month timeframe, they can start embracing more explorative and experimental avenues to innovation. At the same time, IT can provide a framework for overall system management and control.

IT can grow its stake as platform enablers and support business teams' empowerment with no-code BSS. They can for instance drive strategic initiatives, help the company to enter new business domains and engage with new partners. For many years IT has been stuck in the middle between legacy system vendors and the business teams. The teams ask for new features, IT gets a change request quote from the vendor, and six months later a new feature and an invoice. One of the principal advantages of no-code BSS is that it can significantly reduce the dependence on legacy vendors and the change request process. By removing this barrier to transformation, IT can play a more prominent role in enabling transformation by running and managing the no-code BSS.

The adoption of no-code BSS approach is not just a switch of BSS paradigm and technology. It will also enable a shift in BSS user culture, attitudes, roles and skillsets to deliver a level of agility previously unimagined in traditional BSS—delivered and managed by the business teams and IT working together.


Francis Ristori
Program Director


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