No-Code Features: Business Process Automation (BPA) Accessibility
Business process automation (BPA) has topped the charts of business’s most transformative technologies for years. However, traditional approaches to process automation often require specialized programming skills, limiting the bandwidth available to tackle fresh ideas.
Even for the most well-stacked IT teams, the rise of mobile apps, self-service preferences, and snackable digital interactions exhausted time in the day—so much so that 25% of technical projects are abandoned due to work overload. In this blog post, we’ll cover everything you need to know about no-code BPA.
What are no-code tools?
Look around, and everything is shifting towards greater ease of use.
Operate a car, ATM, refrigerator, or find a date with a similar choreography of gestures. User interfaces across industries are shifting to the big, bold, and predictable experience of smartphones. Similarly, no-code transitions the need for programming languages over to interfaces that sales, marketing, and customer service can build with.
Simple website builders help social media influencers open online shops within a day. Modern smart home systems allow us to link products from different vendors into convenient ‘welcome home’ routines in a few taps. Voice assistants like Siri shorten the legwork between a frustrating or trivial question and its nectarous answer.
Everywhere you look, interacting with technology becomes increasingly more convenient, and no-code features are leading the charge for business.
No-code opens up the power of BPA to more users, making process automation accessible to a broader audience.
Top 5 features to look for in a no-code BPA
Gartner predicts that non-programmers who wield no-code tools, known as citizen developers, will soon outnumber professional coders 4:1. What features should you look for in a no-code BPA platform?
Visual workflow design
Instead of a blinking cursor awaiting code input, no-code BPA platforms use visual interfaces similar to popular consumer-facing apps. Pluck pre-built elements from a library and drag and drop them onto a canvas. Team members can sequence tasks, set dependencies, and mark decision points—all through a whiteboard-style user flow.
Empower no-code users by letting them borrow from existing elements. Features like PM Blocks allow experienced developers to craft an advanced feature once. Citizen developers then repurpose that content for future needs. Low and no-code relies on composability: building apps and services using smaller components that users can combine and recycle into new projects.
Automatically turn written descriptions into process maps
New AI-powered text-to-process tools generate process maps through words alone. Simply type in a brief description like “create a process to automatically approve invoices under $500” or “create a leave request process.” Artificial intelligence gets to work, predicting the necessary steps. Without any clicks or keystrokes, a working process map appears you can edit and tweak to your liking.
Intuitive form builders
Whether you want a self-service website for customers to open their accounts or a way for employees to check their vacation time, many vital processes involve a form. No-code BPA platforms make form-building easy. You can configure form fields using drag-and-drop features, define validation rules, and integrate with external databases.
BPA platforms with no-code features offer pre-built connectors for integrating with popular third-party systems and applications. Without complex coding or scripting, users can connect to ERP systems, CRMs, or point solutions for seamless data exchange.
Simplified rules engine
A rules engine defines the logic that supports your organization’s decisions. Rules might include:
- Compliance regulations
- Invoices you want to pay without managerial review
- What orders earn free shipping
- Credit score threshold for approving loan applications
Decision-making can involve a single condition or a complex decision tree. Low-code tools make it easy to teach automated systems to conduct themselves based on your policies and procedures.
Low-code is an extremely valuable set dressing. It layers new actions over programming elements, allowing more users to achieve the same outcomes within the comfort of their skillset.
How can your organization benefit from going no-code?
By democratizing the automation process, organizations can leverage the skills and knowledge of their business users to drive process optimization and efficiency. Here are a few of the many benefits no-code teams enjoy.
Grant project ownership to enthusiastic business users
Experiment with new ideas, test potential improvements, and trial-run popular customer requests. No-code BPA platforms place automation into the hands of business users. They can take more ownership of the processes and apps that fuel their line of business.
Your top-most talent would love to be more involved with tech projects. They’re champing at the bit to pitch in on more important assignments. After all, 70% of high-performing employees want to feel like their work has more meaning. No-code tools invite team members to be part of the bigger picture, increasing their likelihood of sticking around.
Projects that once required months of IT focus can now get done in far less time. No-code doesn’t do away with traditional programmers in the least. But, it clears the table of distracting projects so experts can focus their skills and attention on building creative, strategic initiatives—finally completing that quarter of jobs that fell by the wayside.
Rapid deployment and iterative development
Bestow every department with user-friendly tools they need to manage automated processes. Simple tweaks won’t get lost in the IT workload; business users can lend a helping hand. This increased agility allows organizations to respond quickly to changing business requirements and introduce budding ideas faster. Citizen developers can quickly design and implement workflows, test them in real-world scenarios, and adjust as needed.
Tightly collaborative teams
No-code business process automation platforms boost collaboration between business users and IT teams. For example, AI process generation cuts the back-and-forth needed to clarify a new project’s needs. Type the description of a back-of-the-napkin sketch into an AI-savvy BPA—and voilà—it transforms into a process map. IT can see exactly where their expertise, like an API connector, is needed to get processes up and running quickly. No-code is the much-needed handshake between business objectives and technical needs.
Integrating no-code features within BPA platforms significantly shifts the automation landscape. Experts predict that no- and low-code users will build 450 million of the 500 million incoming apps in the next five years. No-code opens new, easy ways to introduce more automation into your processes. As no-code BPA platforms evolve and mature, we can expect even greater accessibility, continually flattening automation’s learning curve.
Chat with our experts to learn how you can leverage intelligent automation in your organization.