The Benefits of IT Automation and Orchestration Synergy

Tech stacks and cybersecurity risks are quickly growing at businesses globally. In addition to these relatively new, critical responsibilities, IT teams are also held accountable for the hardware maintenance and employee help desk services they’ve supported for decades. 

Add in a shortage of tech professionals that may last for years to come, and it should come as no surprise to anyone that IT employees are quickly burning out. Now more than ever, process orchestration and automation is necessary.

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Orchestration vs. automation: What’s the difference?

Automation software, sometimes known as business process automation (BPA) has emerged as a solution. Organizations use it to transfer repetitive activities – repetitive IT activities in particular – to a software platform that performs those activities with little or no action from humans. This grants tech professionals more weekly hours to spend on the tasks that matter most.

Orchestration is the direction of multiple entities, as exemplified by a musical orchestra: it consists of many instruments playing one song in harmony. Process orchestration is a process management method that empowers businesses to seamlessly interweave many automated processes, people, and software for increased productivity, time and cost savings, and security.

Differentiating between automation and process orchestration may be confusing at first. They contrast in three main areas: linearity (automated processes are completely linear), the amount of collaboration they provide (orchestrated processes are far more collaborative along business lines), and efficiency (both offer opportunities for increased efficiency, but at differing levels). 

As you can see, there are several overlapping traits; this is because the two methods are so closely intertwined.

Linearity Processes are comprised of a linear series of events that cause reactionary events to occurProcesses flow into multiple outside workflows that occur simultaneously
CollaborationAllows some collaboration among business lines and individualsGrants collaboration across multiple teams by providing full visibility and access while establishing and measuring shared goals
EfficiencyKey objective is to eliminate as much human intervention in the process as possibleMinimizes repetitive human actions while allowing humans to make key decisions at critical points
Use the table above to remember these distinctions. 

Now that we’ve compared the two BPA concepts, let’s dig a little deeper into each one.


Process orchestration is the coordinating, synchronizing, and monitoring of multiple automated workflows in an organization. It ensures that workflows are operating smoothly and guarantees the expected results for each process, every time it runs. A few process orchestration benefits include collaboration, visibility, and preset connectors and templates.


As described above, process orchestration integrates software tools, people, and processes; each fulfills its purpose in one automated system. Rather than repeatedly logging in to apps, updating spreadsheets, filing and storing hard copies of documents, and sending follow-up emails daily, orchestration fills the gaps between systems, automates (and sends) the emails, and eliminates all spreadsheets and paper.


Businesses are vulnerable to maverick spending because, by definition, it occurs outside of normal spending protocols, or blind spots, often instigated by an emergency. When processes are orchestrated, however, data can be compiled from many sources and systems for a clear picture of spending. 

The advantage of this is two-fold: 1) instances of maverick spending are made visible for investigation and 2) businesses can leverage the power of automated alerts and real-time reports and dashboards for data visibility and insights to prepare for and avoid dire circumstances from the beginning. 

Examples of this foresight include maintaining sufficient inventory control and setting automated reminder alerts for important milestones and due dates.  

Preset connectors and templates

Most orchestration tools include critical features for businesses with overloaded IT teams. Integration is the cornerstone of orchestration, so pre-built connectors should appear at the top of any orchestrator wishlist. They allow easy setup and quick implementation to maximize the efficiency, convenience, and cost savings of the new system.

Pre-built templates are another orchestrator must-have. Teams can begin using the tool with few IT demands and minimal delays to create templates for every action, email, and checklist. Templates can also be customized — your processes are unique to your business (vendor management or employee offboarding, for example) — your templates should reflect this. 


Business process automation is the use of software to minimize and enhance human effort within one specific business process. Each process is composed of a series of tasks and workflows; the primary goal of BPA is to automate as many of those elements as possible. It is sometimes referred to as low- or no-code automation.

Tech leaders look for several benefits when seeking an automation tool. Pipefy’s survey of business leaders found that the primary drivers behind the adoption of process automation software include:

  • Increasing efficiency,
  • Improving productivity,
  • Reducing errors,
  • Creating more time for employees to focus on value-creating work,
  • Conserving IT resources,
  • Cost savings, and
  • The need to scale processes or workflows.

The anticipated benefits of no-code automation ranged from making better business decisions faster, improving agility, creating better collaboration between teams, and achieving more consistent process outcomes. 

A few of the most practical benefits to consider when seeking a no-code tool of your own include usability, conserving IT resources, waste elimination, and process improvement.


The name says it all: no coding background or experience is required to learn or use no-code automation tools. Your employees and the customers they serve instead get an intuitive, user-friendly graphic-based interface designed for daily use.

Many automation tools incorporate several user-friendly features to transform a department’s processes into ones of efficiency and productivity:

  • Dashboards display the results of real-time data analysis in a simple, organized format.
  • Forms are customizable, pre-built questionnaires designed to capture all data required to open a service request within your company. The information that forms glean follows the request as it moves through phases of a process.
  • Templates are pre-built documents that can be customized with just about any information and repeatedly used when called for. They can take the form of various types of notification emails (approval signature needed or past due tasks, for example) and documents ranging from NDAs to change requests.
  • Portals group multiple related forms, templates, widgets, and hyperlinks onto one screen or web page for efficiency, convenience, and organization. 

Conserve IT resources

“Doing more with less” is a conundrum businesses reluctantly settled upon during the COVID-19 outbreak, but the global shortage of developers has now made it a mantra for many IT departments. No-code diverts requests from IT’s already crowded work queue by empowering citizen developers and non-tech teams to maintain their workflows and solve issues without making IT requests.

AI’s appearance in the no-code universe has once again revolutionized the service request process. Common questions go to AI-powered chatbots for fast, reliable help. It’s the dictionary definition of “win/win”: Employees and customers get the help they need without delay, allowing IT teams to focus on issues of bigger significance. 

Waste elimination

Any action in a process that isn’t necessary is considered waste. It hides in several forms, including product defects (lost time and costs in re-doing work) and overproduction (lost time, costs, and resources). 

No-code platforms cut out the time, effort, and confusion of tasks like manually sending status updates, physically taking documents to approvers, and updating spreadsheets multiple times per day. 

One or two daily emails may be dismissed as inconsequential. But imagine the time savings of 15 employees relieved of sending 10 confirmation emails per day. Now consider six recipients of each of those messages who no longer must hand-key the information into an ERP. Waste adds up quickly; automation tools pinpoint and eliminate it.

Performance improvement

No business adopts an entirely new system of operations without looking for an uptick in company and employee performance. It’s high on the priority list as IT leaders consider automation options. 

No-code automation leverages multiple methods to ensure the continued improvement of an organization and, in turn, its continued competitive edge in the market. These include: 

  • Speed iteration, or the nonstop repetition of a task. It is a key feature that AI lends to no-code automation. Bots are programmed to interpret and continually analyze unstructured data, allowing businesses of all sizes and data types to not only speed up the rate of their processes to a significant degree, but also find, diagnose, and repair anomalies instantly.
  • Accessibility, collaboration, and security. Cloud computing leverages servers, apps, and development tools for hosted services and computing resources via the Internet. It grants users mobile access to the no-code platform at any time from nearly any place, introducing a new level of internal and external collaboration. Additionally, the high level of web-based security that cloud computing delivers extends to the data of you and your customers, as well. 
  • Integrations. As businesses add new systems and apps to tech stacks, they also add complexity and, sometimes, challenges to managing processes. Many no-code automation tools include API connectors that optimize data flows between existing systems to create cohesion, dissolve data silos, and improve data accessibility and consistency. 

How orchestration brings out the best in automation

Given that orchestrated processes consist of a series of automated tasks, you’ve probably gathered that orchestration is a far more complex concept than automation, performing more functions faster and with ease. 

While that’s true, a better way to view the relationship between the two is orchestration as an extension of, and, in some cases, a solution to the challenges and limitations of automation. Let’s examine the biggest of those challenges and the solutions process orchestration presents.

Automation ChallengeOrchestration Solution
Huge number of endpoints, or places in processes that instigate new tasks. Endpoints can be humans, AI, or automation. Many businesses have reached a point at which there are too many interacting software components, creating silos the technology was implemented to break down.Holistic coordination of processes provided in orchestrators that significantly reduce the number of endpoints, or even offer standalone orchestration solutions.
Processes are increasing in complexity. Businesses are attempting to automate workflows that are no longer linear, resulting in repeated delays.Delivers advanced logic capabilities that allow processes to be paused and picked up again without creating disconnects among stakeholders and subsequent task delays.
As endpoints and complexities grow, visibility of end-to-end processes falters and communication between business lines dwindles.Applies standards-based language to create and view workflows across many endpoints, increasing communication among multiple stakeholders using multiple devices.

How automation and orchestration work together

Just like a real orchestra when it first gathers, there will almost certainly be mistakes, processes to re-think, and growing pains. But with everyone on board displaying patience, aligned goals, and the willingness to learn, chances for success are high. 

Automated tasks and orchestrated processes work well together. Below, you’ll find a great example.

Security orchestration

Employee, customer, classified, and trade secret data can become compromised when the multiple security measures necessary for protecting the many different types of software and apps are siloed. (That software can include threat hunters, vulnerability management, malware analysis, or VPN checks, among others.) 

Security orchestration is designed to prevent data breaches by integrating disparate automated cybersecurity technologies into one seamless security solution. Multiple tools (such as threat hunters, vulnerability managers, malware analyzers, and VPN checks) respond to security threats as one unified system. 

IT professionals see benefits like:

  • Streamlined IT processes. IT professionals are relieved of the time-consuming tasks of deploying and operating several security solutions simultaneously. What once required an entire team can be managed by a few.
  • Enhanced responses. The search capabilities of an automated phalanx of security solutions identify threats faster and when integrated with logic-based automation technology, produce accurate, rapid responses to them – many with no required human intervention.
  • Efficiency. Continuous system surveillance and automated responses quickly fix bugs before they wreak havoc on an organization and prevent data leaks, saving time, money, IT resources, and possible legal repercussions – again, often bypassing the need for human intervention. 
  • Role-based access control. Orchestration allows IT professionals to prevent customers and employees from causing inadvertent (or purposeful) security risks by limiting their access to sensitive data. This applies to software, networks, and even files. Criteria for access can include the individual’s role, responsibilities, and authority.  

The future of business automation and orchestration

Since its introduction, automation technology has never stopped developing; the digital age has only sped up and increased those advances. If the following interrelated developments are any indication, businesses have a lot to look forward to in the next couple of years.

Artificial intelligence (AI)

The AI revolution is upon us. Industries like transportation and medicine are embedding the technology into their products and equipment for instant results. Process management is no exception – its fast answers and ability to create customizable processes with just one question are changing the automation game.

Tech professionals most anticipate AI’s data insight potential. Imagine obtaining data from hundreds of sources — and types of sources — formatted, in an instant. Rapid data extraction is the key to the future of business, revealing trends and market shifts to organizations before competitors so they can pivot operations accordingly.

Intelligent orchestration

Intelligent orchestration is the natural evolution from simple automated resource allocation and manual, piecemeal solutions to one holistic system capable of anticipating user needs. Just one request pulls insights, real-time updates, and hazards from data lakes into formatted, easily understood reports on topics of the user’s choice.

The internet of things (IoT)

The next step for process automation and orchestration? Connecting to the hive mind! We’re kidding, of course… but only partially. The IoT is an entire network of connecting systems and “things” that interact with each other and, when programmed to do so, share data. 

Imagine automated manufacturing equipment connected to the IoT with the ability to begin production on its own, triggered by a purchase order approval signature. The possibilities of the IoT are unlimited. 

Deploy your automation and orchestration strategy with Pipefy

Pipefy’s no-code BPA is a one-platform orchestration solution for businesses. We maintain a standard of security excellence with 256-bit full data encryption, Auth0 Single Sign-on (SSO), 2FA, and customizable permission levels for your users. 

Pipefy’s formidable integrations list offers connections to the systems you rely on, including applications as diverse as Salesforce, DocuSign, Workato, Slack, and MailChimp. 

Learn how Pipefy powers businesses for better process and workflow harmony
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