At the Airtable Leadership Forum in New York City, CEO and Co-Founder Howie Liu discusses how a Connected Apps Platform enables businesses with the speed and flexibility they need to succeed in an uncertain economy
We’re on the doorstep of a new, massive wave of transformation, powered by artificial intelligence. Despite recent advancements in modern AI, most leaders are still grappling with how best to seize this opportunity and implement it across their organizations. Those that struggle to adapt risk being left behind.
We’re also in a very different, uncertain economy. Yet with this uncertainty one thing is clear: the pace of change in the world is only accelerating. Companies are being forced to work smarter and faster, often without the people and resources they were used to. At a time when agility has never been more important, organizations must redesign how they work in order to succeed.
Two major forces: modern AI and inflexible, fragmented technology
We’re just beginning to see the profound impact AI will have on how we live and work, much like we experienced at the advent of personal computing and the internet. AI is projected to increase annual global GDP by $7 trillion over the next decade, according to Goldman Sachs. The reason for this is that AI – especially modern, generative AI – is going to fuel a massive boom in productivity. Modern AI enables people to increase their output, even on creative and advanced forms of knowledge work. Entirely new types of jobs will emerge, enabled by AI, with many of them beyond our current imagination.
Despite the need for greater agility, companies are overspending on inflexible and fragmented technology. Very few of these tools are equipped to help companies realize the potential of AI and keep up with the pace of change. On one hand, you have billions of dollars being invested in legacy systems that handle incredibly complex data and workflows. But these tools are brittle and require highly specialized training. That makes them difficult for companies to implement, and painful for employees to adopt. On the other hand, companies have also purchased hundreds – even thousands – of simple tools for teams to manage individual projects and use cases. But because they’re limited to specific functions and don’t integrate deeply with other systems, they drive disconnection between teams and leave valuable data stranded in silos.
Together, these pressures are creating a new wave of transformation. Emerging stronger on the other side requires that every company take steps to adapt today. For leaders, that means taking a fresh perspective on the technology your organizations use, ensuring employees have the right tools needed to operate with greater agility, and harnessing the promise of AI.
Airtable’s next generation app platform
To help you meet these challenges, Airtable is embarking on a new frontier. This year, Airtable will become the fastest way to build and deploy engaging apps across your organization – unlike any app development or project management tool on the market.
The Airtable Connected Apps Platform is a next-generation platform where business apps are radically simple to build and use. With AI capabilities integrated into your work. Powered by your organization’s most critical data. We’re creating a completely new app building experience that’s intuitive, yet powerful enough to handle your most critical business processes. While most app development platforms cater only to professional developers, ours is designed for builders in any line of business. And unlike project management tools, apps built on Airtable can power and connect an organization’s most valuable data and processes, across multiple departments.
With Airtable’s new app building experience, teams can choose from a set of pre-configured apps and an easy to use, create from scratch experience. You can have an app up and running in as little as 15 minutes. These apps can be tailored to a team or person’s specific needs, while remaining completely connected to each other.
Soon, you’ll easily be able to deploy AI-powered workflows, requiring no custom code or prior experience. Airtable apps arm organizations with the fastest and easiest way to deploy AI capabilities across the enterprise. With many companies still in the early days of evaluating AI and how best to implement it, our commitment is to make the power of this profound technology accessible and easy for people to integrate into their data and work. Teams will have a library of pre-built AI components that can be easily customized and chained together to support complex and creative forms of knowledge work. They’ll be able to accomplish in minutes what once took days or weeks.
Airtable’s foundation as a relational database makes this possible. A relational database can flex and scale to meet the unique needs of any organization. This year, we’re dramatically expanding the amount of data you can manage with Airtable. We’re making it even easier to integrate with systems that contain your organization’s critical information, like personnel, customer, and supply chain data.
The value of Airtable in the enterprise will also get better and better with scale. To do this, we’re introducing best-in-class security and compliance features that safeguard your organization’s data and workflows. We’ll support the full application lifecycle so teams can develop and stage apps before deploying them to users. IT teams can approve and publish app components and data sets that can be easily reused across the organization. This not only saves your teams’ time by avoiding the need to start from scratch. It ensures they’re able to operate with reliable information and support whatever processes or requirements that are unique to your business.
The future of work demands more flexibility than legacy tools can provide
Agility will determine who wins and who loses. The urgent question facing every organization is how they’ll adapt to execute faster and better in the face of economic uncertainty. Organizations will be tested on how deftly they’re able to navigate the sweeping transformation of AI, while refocusing their investments on more flexible technology that drives better, faster business outcomes.
The answers won’t be found in project management or legacy app development tools. This moment calls for a fundamentally different approach. One where organizations can easily create and deploy engaging, powerful apps in every corner of their operations. Where the power of AI is accessible and relevant in people’s day-to-day experience. Where critical data is powerfully expressed and easily managed, and the platform making this all possible gets better as you scale it across your organization.
Airtable’s next-generation app platform delivers what enterprises will need to confidently face the winds of change, and emerge stronger in this next wave of transformation.