Low-code Automation: What It is, Benefits and Examples

Benjamin Babb

The term “silver bullet” is a metaphor for a reliable solution to a problem that has been previously unsolvable. For many businesses, low-code automation is a tool that fits this description. 

In folklore, silver bullets are magical ammunition that have the power to subdue even the most formidable of foes. These adversaries are usually witches or werewolves, and the heroes who face off against them know that solving their problem (or slaying their monster) depends on having the right tool for the job. 

For decades, businesses have looked for a way to deal with a monster of their own: the unresolved tension between the need for agility and the need for security. Put another way, businesses have — up until now — lacked a tool that could satisfy both the business team’s need for speed and adaptability and the IT team’s objectives of enforcing security and compliance requirements. 

Low-code automation changes this dynamic so that the needs of business units and IT teams are no longer mutually exclusive.

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What is low-code automation?

Low-code automation refers to software that lets business teams automate and optimize their processes without coding. Users access the software features through a visual, drag-and-drop interface. 

A low-code automation platform enhances existing stacks by augmenting systems, apps, and databases. It helps dissolve data silos and improves user experiences for employees and customers. Also, it helps standardize processes, a feature that makes it easier to control, modify, and secure processes throughout the enterprise. (Learn more about how to use low-code automation software.)

Low-code automation for business

The primary benefits of low-code automation for business teams are straightforward: easily build and improve processes without any coding experience. A platform with this approach provides a visual user interface that makes creating automation, optimizing processes, and generating reports as simple as clicking a drag-and-drop menu.

This ease of use is critically important for business teams because it means that they can automate their workflows and make adjustments to their processes as they need them — not when a developer or someone from IT has time.

Since they aren’t having to wait, they avoid costly delays that could negatively impact revenue or customer satisfaction. So it lets business teams respond to customer feedback, competitor activity, and market changes with precision and speed. 

This degree of agility can make the difference between businesses that become leaders and those that fall behind their competitors. Low-code software also empowers business teams by giving those who best understand the problems (and opportunities) a more active role in the optimization process.

IT case for low-code automation

Business teams that lack access to low-code automation may struggle to keep pace with their competitors, but there are also consequences for IT teams.

When business teams can’t make changes to their processes or automations on their own, each request is likely to add to the IT backlog. Depending on IT bandwidth and the size of the backlog, this could mean lengthy delays.

In the meantime, business units may turn to unapproved workarounds to help them meet their goals. These rogue solutions, sometimes referred to as “shadow IT,” lead to process inconsistency. When processes aren’t standardized, IT teams have a hard time enforcing security and compliance measures. 

IT bandwidth is one of a company’s most precious resources. The more time they spend managing shadow IT and implementing minor process changes, the less time they have to innovate, add value, and safeguard the business from internal and external threats.

The low-code magic bullet

Prior to the emergence of low-code automation, enterprises had two choices. They could either stay agile and tolerate a certain amount of shadow IT and process fragmentation, or they could stay secure and delegate every change — even minor ones — to the IT team. In the latter scenario, process optimizations could take weeks or even months.

With a low-code automation platform, enterprises no longer have to make this choice. Low-code keeps business units agile without overburdening the IT team or adding to the backlog. By combining a visual, drag-and-drop interface with baked-in security and governance features, these types of platforms provide a solution that’s easy enough for the business to use and secure enough for the IT team to approve.

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Written by
Benjamin Babb
Senior Writer at Pipefy, where I focus on helping businesses manage workflows, optimize processes, and deploy automation. I'm also a ghost story aficionado who listens to more Enya than anyone should.

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