Low-code automation is one of the most critically important technologies available for businesses today. By fusing highly adaptable automation software with a low-code development framework, low-code automation helps business and IT teams collaborate to build solutions faster and easier than ever before.
But because this technology is new — and because it’s part low-code development and part automation — there has been some confusion about what low-code automation can do and how it’s done. This post explores the most pervasive myths about low-code automation and resolves common misconceptions about this technology.
Low-Code Automation: Good for Business, Great for ITRead the report
There isn’t enough access control.
Low-code tools provide access control. In addition to industry standard authentication parameters, low-code automation tools like Pipefy give IT teams the power to determine and enforce individual user-level access and permissions. External users can also be granted limited access to submit requests or track statuses without compromising data integrity or exposing sensitive information. Look for low-code options that include SSO and 2FA authentication options.
There aren’t enough security features.
Low-code automation is known for its ease of use, but that shouldn’t imply that it’s not secure. Look for low-code automation software that meets ISO 27001, SOC1, and SOC2 certification standards. Check with your vendors to ensure that they maintain industry-standard availability and learn about how and where data is stored. For example, Pipefy’s uptime is 99.9% or higher, uses 256-bit encryption, and all data is hosted in AWS.
In addition to the best practices above, make sure vendors engage in regular pen testing and bug bounty programs.
It introduces additional risk.
One of the most frequently overlooked benefits of low-code automation is that it reduces risk. Low-code automation helps teams contain risk in two important ways. First, low-code automation makes it easy for teams to standardize their processes. Process standardization is important because it simplifies security enforcement and increases the consistency and reliability of outputs.
Second, automation reduces the need for duplicate data entry and manual work, both of which are two primary sources of errors and data leaks.
Low-code means zero code.
Another persistent myth about low-code automation is that it’s used to replace developers and IT teams. This misconception stems from an incorrect understanding that low-code means zero code. The truth is that there is no such thing as an absolute zero-code tool, and every app and system that gets added to the stack will require some support from the IT team. However, some definitely require more coding support than others — and some require much less. That’s how low-code is most helpful.
The point of low-code automation is that it helps companies conserve their developer resources. Rather than replacing developers and IT teams, low-code automation offers these teams an alternative to manually building or modifying every custom business solution or automation that is requested. Instead, low-code automation gives business teams an IT-sanctioned toolbox that business teams can use to solve some of their problems on their own.
To be clear, low-code software doesn’t allow business teams to circumvent IT protocols. Instead, it combines a low-code development framework with automation technology to speed up problem-solving and invite business teams to take a more active role in managing their processes and workflows.
IT stays in control. Always.
It’s too complex, so the business team won’t use it.
While some people believe that low-code tools are meant to replace the IT team entirely, others have the opposite view and believe that low-code automation is too complex for business teams to use. The truth is that low-code automation technology is designed with business teams in mind. Like apps on a smartphone, low-code automation is designed for use by those without coding experience.
Users engage with the tool through a visual user interface, often as simple as a drag-and-drop builder. Features such as rules and conditionals, customized forms, and automations can be easily assembled using IT-approved building blocks.
One important benefit of low-code automation is that these software tools create a system of engagement that complements the system of record. In other words, low-code automation makes it easier for teams to manage their workflows by providing a process orchestration layer that dissolves data silos and eliminates duplicate data entry.
It will swell the IT backlog.
Developer resources are a precious commodity. With a shortage of IT skills projected for at least the next decade, finding ways to reduce the IT backlog will take on greater urgency.
Instead of creating more work for IT teams, low-code automation is designed to reduce the number of requests that end up in their backlog by giving business teams the tools they need to manage many aspects of their workflows and processes.
It will lead to more shadow IT.
The reason business teams resort to shadow IT is that they need solutions faster than IT can provide them. This leads teams to figure out their own ways to solve issues, even if that means bypassing the IT team’s protocols.
Low-code automation replaces shadow IT with an IT-sanctioned platform that accomplishes the same goal as shadow IT, but without the secrecy or variation that can lead to problems with oversight or risk mitigation.
Our existing apps and systems should be enough.
Tech stacks are already complex, and new apps and systems are added all the time. That’s because as business needs evolve and new technology emerges, better ways of doing things are needed. As a result, teams invest in new apps to complement their ERP, HRIS, CRM, or other legacy components.
As these new systems are integrated, teams often find themselves dealing with new process gaps or the need for customized workflows. We call this the process automation paradox. Tools that are implemented to optimize processes create new automation opportunities and workflow gaps — and new manual, time-consuming work that may lead teams to believe that low-code automation isn’t worth the investment. However, low-code automation helps teams avoid the process automation paradox in two ways.
First, it provides a process orchestration layer between processes and apps. Low-code integrates with existing systems to facilitate data transfer between them and create a unified system of processes. Second, low-code automation provides a high degree of adaptability, so it can be used to automate any type of process or workflow. That includes core business processes, support processes, and longtail workflows.
Solving the Process Automation ParadoxRead the report
It’s just another kanban tool.
It’s true that low-code automation software does provide a kanban view of processes and workflows to see how items are progressing through them. But low-code offers more than just a kanban view.
Flow views allow teams to see processes from a higher level, which is helpful for process mapping and modeling. Through API integration, low-code automation can also fuse with the capabilities of other stack components. This is one example of what we refer to as stack extensibility, or the capacity to use low-code automation to get more from existing apps.
It won’t work for every department.
Very often, the impetus behind adopting a low-code automation tool is a specific need in one department or team. For example, HR teams need a way to manage a high volume of employee requests or a complex onboarding process. Or, the finance department needs a customizable workflow solution to manage procurement or vendor management.
Yes, low-code automation is ideal for creating unique workflows in situations like these, but low-code automation is also highly adaptable and can be used to automate any process in any department.
Low-code automation is especially useful for managing longtail processes. These are the unique, ad hoc, and manual workflows that inevitably pop up as the business evolves. Low-code automation’s visual interface and integration capabilities make it easy for teams to develop new automated workflows to address the types of process gaps that other apps and systems simply can’t manage.
It won’t scale.
Scalability is one of low-code automation’s greatest strengths. Since workflows and automations are created and modified using a visual interface and IT-sanctioned building blocks, business and IT teams are able to solve problems more quickly than ever before.
And because low-code automation eliminates manual work and repetitive tasks, the volume of work that can move through the process is no longer constrained by barriers or having to increase headcount in order to increase capacity.