7 Reasons Why You Should Automate Workflows with a Low-Code Platform
7 Reasons Why You Should Automate Workflows with a Low-Code Platform by Taylor Bornstein
Automation is an enterprise imperative. Even before the world evolved in a moment and remote work became the global standard, organizations were making every effort they could to replace manual, error-prone processes with more modern digital alternatives.
Options abound when it comes to getting your processes and workflows running in tip-top, automated shape. Automating your entire enterprise is a massive undertaking, and an unceasing one. Processes change. User expectations evolve. You need to support the ongoing nature of automation.
A low-code platform might be just what you’re looking for. Here’s why:
It’s not uncommon to build an MVP on a low-code platform in 5-6 weeks. While end-to-end process automation across an enterprise organization can be a massive undertaking, getting an initial product out quickly doesn’t have to be. Create a pilot for users to try and provide feedback on, then iterate quickly. You’ll be closer to achieving the goal of full-scale automation possible within a reasonable timeline.
Unlike some automation options – low-code is flexible. Automating with a BPMs or COTS solution might seem like the best option until you company goes through a major acquisition, your capital expenditure system gets upgraded, or all your HR functions are outsourced. Then you’re stuck with an inflexible digital model of your outdated process, and a business-critical function requires a complete overhaul. With low-code you can make changes and evolve processes with the pace of business.
Low-code relies on visual modeling to build software. Showing someone from Procurement hundreds of lines of Python isn’t going to give them a lot of insight into what you’re building, but a visual representation of a digitized task or function is accessible to people who don’t come from a development background. Automating with low-code brings the people building the solution and the people who understand the business side of the solution together, and keeps them working in tandem throughout the application development lifecycle.
Share the work.
Low-code is easier to understand than long-form coding, and it’s also easier to learn. Handing off the development of one part of a new hire onboarding portal to an HR intern isn’t possible if you’re building a program from scratch with custom code or going through the litany of steps and customizations required to get a BMPs solution up and running.
However, people who aren’t professional developers (like that enthusiastic HR intern) can become proficient low-code developers, as can end users, business analysts, and anyone else with the curiosity to dive in and learn something new. Sharing the work of building out a new solution to a bigger team is a more efficient process, it increases the likelihood you’ll get the business logic right on the first try, and it also creates more time for your heavy-hitting developers to work on the really hard stuff.
Get out of the shadows.
Making one’s job easier is a strong motivation, and it’s one that has been inspiring people throughout the enterprise to creatively solve their own workflow problems for a long time. So many departments and functions have used email and macro-heavy spreadsheets to “automate” all or part of how they work. Then you’ve got folks who turn to freemium options or pay for a single-license of an ungoverned platform with their corporate card.
Shadow IT shady in its lack of visibility, which makes it unreasonably hard for any organization to even know just how much of it is going on. This opens your organization up to an unknown, and potentially staggering, degree of risk.
Incorporating a holistic low-code platform, with high security standards, into your technology landscape will eliminate the risk around all those tasks and processes lurking in spreadsheets and give you control and visibility into an evolving application library.
Make an app for that.
The end result of automating a process with low-code is a solution built as an application. It can be made accessible to anyone, anywhere. You can update and evolve it as needed. You can control who uses what parts of it – and what data they can access.
With COTS or BMPs – you are only able to customize a system or solution within established parameters. Once you have to make changes beyond the built-in options, you’re looking at an incredible amount of work, if it’s even possible.
An application built in a low-code platform is an endlessly adaptable digital entity entirely controlled by you and your team.
With a low-code platform, you can automate any part of any process or entire processes from beginning to end. Your team can also package components and widgets that you build for one process and populate a library for others, who can just drag and drop them into another project.
You can do more with a low-code platform than you can with a solution that was designed to automate a single process or a single task. A low-code platform can also supplement your existing automation tools, so if you’ve invested heavily in a specific solution or a technology is business-critical, low-code solutions can be built up and around existing infrastructure. This allows you to amend and adapt processes, rather than invest the significant time and money required to replace them wholesale.