Humanity has always striven to build efficiency through automation, and with each passing year, it’s clear that our society is putting more and more value on superior results and smaller manpower. In the modern age, automation is a controversial topic — you can walk into a McDonald’s and order food without interacting with a cashier, soon your car will be able to drive itself to its destination with nobody inside, and you can now get your medical diagnoses from an artificial intelligence system all from the comfort of your home. Careers across multiple industries that were once seen as safe are disappearing at an increasing rate. Programmers, application designers, and system administrators have usually been seen as impossible to automate. This idea was sound — how could a computer possibly code software and manage itself without human interaction? But people were more worried about how instead of the when. In May of 2019, Hartmann Industries made programmers obsolete.
Whatever you are studying right now, if you are not getting up to speed on deep learning, neural networks, etc., you lose. We are going through the process where software will automate software, automation will automate automation.
— Mark Cuban
Two years ago, we embarked on a mission to disrupt the backbone of the technology industry. The goal was to build a platform with the capabilities to visually build software and automate business processes without writing a single line of code. Although this attempt wasn’t fully unique to us, the current platforms on the market are all either “low-code” — involving coding in one way or another — or else are so expensive that entire small and medium market segments are priced out. Many others may work well in a limited domain, but simply don’t have the capabilities to support a business’s entire operation. In order to compete with the currently available options and push the technology to the next level, our new platform had to be suitable for every business, no matter the size, industry, or location, while still maintaining our pledge to ensure that even the most non-technical business owner can have an excellent experience building the software they need.
This venture involved many challenges along the way - we were breaking into new territory and innovating new technologies, while simultaneously bootstrapping our own funding and growing other segments of our business. Late-night debates about everything from interfaces to the engineering of resilient and self-healing subsystems, to user testing and acceptance, all came to fruition in May of 2019 when we launched EUROPA. EUROPA: ERP Universal Operating Application is a web-based software-as-a-service that helps business owners visually build unique and beautiful databases and enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems without writing a single line of code. In minutes, and we mean that literally, you can build a fully functioning application in just a few clicks. It’s available everywhere, for everyone, at an unbeatable price point. The event horizon has been crossed.
Information technology and business are becoming inextricably interwoven. I don’t think anybody can talk meaningfully about one without talking about the other.
— Bill Gates
This article is not intended as an advertisement, but our way of trying to start a conversation about automating “safe” technology jobs. And there’s a lot to talk about: we’ve spent significant time and money building a system that has the capacity to replace entire IT departments over a weekend for pennies on the dollar. EUROPA is not the only platform with this goal — we already have competition which will surely increase in quantity as time goes on and the global ERP market increases. If a company signs up for EUROPA to build their ERP system, what happens to the architects and engineers that traditionally code and maintain these systems? What about all of the employees of the off-the-shelf ERP companies who have refused to keep up with modern technology trends and pricing? EUROPA is a cloud-based platform and aims to replace every physical piece of equipment on your desk through integrated phones, fax, email, and chat all within the platform. All a business needs these days is an internet connection and a cheap laptop with a web browser. So, what happens to the teams of system administrators that no longer need to manage servers, complex networks, and backups?
Even though there will always be some legacy systems and the need for at least one onsite employee for physical issues (or at the very least a contract with an MSP), these questions are far from abstract. These are real dilemmas that business owners are going to be asking themselves in increasing numbers in the coming years, and our goal is to be a leader in the ensuing conversation.
When the car replaced the horse, people whose jobs relied on the equine industry had to adapt to the new technology if they wanted to stay employed and relevant. Whether it is EUROPA, OutSystems, TrackVia, Odoo, Zoho, Microsoft, or Google, the same type of change is here now. As an engineer, architect, designer, or administrator, do you have a plan for the inevitable day when this change automates you out of your job?