Why Business Workflow Automation is Better with Low-Code

Your paper-based customer intake form may seem like a minor inconvenience. Your spreadsheet-based inventory tracking system may just be an occasional headache when version control goes awry. When it comes to your digital transformation strategy and competitor differentiation efforts, though, these one-off knicks can turn into a death by a thousand cuts if gone unchecked. The salve to those cuts? Business workflow automation.

In a 2020 Gartner CEO study, respondents listed the number one challenge of managing their future workforce as being outdated work processes. The results of poor processes are truly impactful. IDC suggests that companies lose 20-30% in revenue every year because of inefficiencies. According to Forrester, a staggering 70% of organizations still rely on paper-based activities for critical business processes. Given that, it’s no wonder businesses have historically struggled with digital transformation and that automated workflows are a key to success.

It’s also no wonder that in the latest edition of the Gartner ® Magic Quadrant ™ for Enterprise Low Code Application Platforms, Gartner lists business workflow automation and systems integration as a critical capability you should consider when evaluating low-code vendors.

Why build business processes with low-code?

The connection between low-code and business workflow automation can be found in the need for a universal language between IT and business users. Creating better processes—whether by digitization or automation—starts with developing applications that run business processes.

Companies lose 20-30% in revenue every year because of inefficiencies.

Developing these applications and orchestrating the many background tasks that make up the processes means tying together disparate data sources and integrating many different core systems. That rests on IT’s shoulders. The issue that a lot of organizations run into is that when the development of process-driving apps is left solely to IT the goals of the process can get lost in translation, and the demand for solutions becomes impossible to keep up with.

Business processes are—as the name suggests—business driven. They don’t necessarily follow your IT landscape. The people who would understand the broken business process best are the same people who experience it first-hand, the ones who pull their hair out over it. It’s important to bring business more into the development fold so that IT can better understand requirements.

With visual modeling—which abstracts coding and automates development tasks—the entry to application development is lowered, which makes low-code the perfect platforms for organizations looking to having IT and the business speak the same language.

Mendix and business process automation applications

The Mendix Platform is expertly suited for automation.

The core of the Mendix Platform is the accessibility it provides developers and non-developers alike to quickly build and adapt mission-critical solutions, including applications that drive business processes. User tasks are visually represented and machine tasks are logic represented as easy-to-understand microflows.

Data models and logic can be changed and easily configured thanks to the visual nature of Mendix. With the Workflow editor, Mendix provides out-of-the-box functionality to support visual process models. Workflow is based on BPMN 2.0, the latest version of the Business Process Model and Notation Standardization.

With regular business workflow automation tools, you make applications that let your processes run. With Mendix, you assemble the applications that run the process. The difference here is that you can strengthen the applications by adding UI or logic on top rather than having to rebuild the application.

Since business processes touch many different data sources and core systems, it’s important to find a low-code platform that can easily integrate with third-party players. Mendix is open to third-party add-ons and APIs so that you can easily fit them into your technology stack. Mendix also has a partnership with AWS, which makes it easier to leverage the intelligent automation services you can find in AWS’s vast library.

Take Siemens Italy, who have used Mendix to modernize 54 legacy processes managed by nearly 1,000 spreadsheets. Giorgio Moia, IT Director at Siemens Regional Company, leverages Mendix, and the Workflow editor in particular, to visualize each business process and create a more “engaging development process.”

Automation and digital transformation

The connection between better processes and digital transformation is a clear one. What is the goal of digital transformation if not to modernize the way your organization works—whether it’s internal or customer-facing?

Finding a glide path to efficiency via workflow automation is key. So make sure you do it with Mendix, a Leader in the latest Gartner Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Low Code Application Platforms.