Workflows are how your employees get their jobs done. If your workflows are efficient and effective, then your employees are more productive and engaged, your customers enjoy better experiences, and your business operates to its full potential.
That’s why a growing number of organizations are turning to no-code application development to optimize their workflows. With a no-code workflow builder, non-technical employees in your lines of business (LoBs) have the capabilities they need to quickly and easily create efficient, digitized workflows that turbocharge your business.
Going With the No-code Workflow
Here are five workflows you can optimize with no-code in your company, based on real-world success stories:
1. Customer and employee surveys – Electronic surveys are a great way to understand employee needs or customer demands. A no-code tool can equip you to design professional, customizable surveys to benefit your workforce or drive leads that increase sales.
A form builder supports creation of sophisticated survey forms. The workflow tool itself enables you to quickly and consistently execute the survey, saving costs and improving response rates. You can make survey execution part of an extended workflow that avoids manual errors and misplaced survey responses. In fact, at least one professional-services firm uses no-code to create marketing surveys as a service to its Fortune 500 clients.
2. New customer account creation – Setting up new customer accounts can be time-consuming and cumbersome. A no-code tool can improve the experience for employees and customers alike.
No-code lets you design a new-account workflow that requires zero training. You can enforce a standardized process for consistency and completeness. A smart form autofills relevant fields to speed the process and reduce manual errors.
The digitized workflow can capture customer information at your main location or remotely in the field. You can complete forms without an internet link and then automatically upload results when a connection is available. You can then route customer data to authorized stakeholders for review and approval, and automatically integrate data with corporate systems.
3. Employee onboarding – New-hire onboarding should follow a standardized process, and the data it captures needs to be accurate. A no-code tool can help.
You can create a workflow to cover new-hire data gathering, document collection, forms processing, compliance and more. Employees can fill out electronic forms, with the results automatically integrated with your HR database. You can even include user authentication, identity verification and digital signatures.
Workflows can be consolidated with major HR systems, with audit trails to ensure confirmation and compliance. Indeed, no-code is so effective for onboarding that professional staffing firms use it to optimize their core business of placing employees with clients.
4. Budget requests and approvals – When LoBs submit budget requests, they can’t be delayed by manual, inconsistent processes. No-code can standardize and accelerate the approval workflow, eliminate budget-request bottlenecks that slow operations, and improve business compliance.
No-code can reduce the time to process budget requests, from origination to final approval. Team members can create and modify request forms, without the need for help from IT. Authentication protocols allow only authorized personnel to submit, approve or deny requests.
The workflow can route requests to stakeholders for approval and signature capture. It can also notify requesters of workflow status. You can integrate the workflow with your financial systems and accommodate manual interventions as necessary.
5. Remote-site process integration – Many organizations maintain satellite offices close to where they go to market. Often these sites manage their own manual processes. Digitizing those workflows can benefit the local offices and your entire enterprise.
No-code empowers you to create electronic workflows that extend across remote sites and scale to support thousands of users. Multi-site, cross-LoB workflows address a wide variety of scenarios, from resource requests to incident reports. You can customize workflows to reflect local practices or enforce standardized policies, and automatically centralize request and report data in corporate systems.
No-code even includes the capability to track and measure workflow performance to validate process improvements and compliance. Most importantly, it eliminates one-off manual processes in remote sites, reducing processing times, saving costs on administrative tasks, and making your entire business run smoother.
Driving Workflow Innovation
Those are just a few examples of how no-code can transform your workflows. Organizations across industries – including healthcare, insurance, energy, retail, financial services, public sector and education – are deploying no-code to achieve similar innovations. They’re using no-code workflows across departments, including HR, finance, sales, marketing, IT, operations and customer support. They’ve proven you can achieve advantages in any situation where you need to, including:
- Replacing static paper or PDF forms
- Accelerating operations
- Integrating processes
- Ensuring compliance
- Avoiding manual errors
- Reducing costs
- Serving customers better
Ultimately, workflows created with a no-code tool empower your organization to:
- Reduce time for workflow design and deployment
- Minimize dependence on technical resources
- Improve communication and compliance
- Gain better visibility into operations
- Realize substantial cost savings
- Equip employees to do their jobs more efficiently and serve customers more effectively
No-code workflow automation can accelerate your operations and give your organization a new competitive advantage. And with an effective no-code tool, you can achieve those goals faster and more cost-effectively than you thought possible.
Forward-thinking organizations are embracing no-code application development to empower employees, reduce costs, and rapidly produce new tools and services that optimize their businesses.
A no-code app builder allows subject matter experts to create sophisticated applications quickly and easily. Citizen developers, or those lacking coding expertise, can build applications simply by dragging and dropping reusable software elements onto a digital “canvas” to build a user interface, add business rules, configure workflow, and integrate with other systems. Behind the scenes, the tool assembles a functional, stable and secure application.
No-code tools also make life easier for professional developers. Developers can use no-code tools to rapidly create standardized and secure applications faster than traditional development approaches.
But is no-code a passing phase, or the future of development? A growing collection of trends, datapoints and expert analysis shows that no-code is here to stay. Here are five reasons no-code is the present—and future—of application development:
1. No-code lowers the cost of developing new applications.
Traditional development is expensive. Professional developers come with a hefty price tag. And traditional processes require time-consuming design, coding, testing and review cycles that eat into IT and line-of-business (LoB) budgets.
“Classic software delivery based on manual work, complex programming languages and … months of development will only get you so far,” notes Capgemini. “It is now easier than ever to construct applications without huge code efforts.” No-code and low-code tools “make building next-generation application services a high-productivity matter for both IT and business specialists.”
Other expert analysis agrees. “No-code and low-code can provide a close fit to business requirements, can be implemented quickly, and typically cost much less than systems developed in-house,” Harvard Business Review reports.
Ultimately, no-code “means a lower total cost of ownership, because it offers reusable building blocks,” Nuno Pedro, global head of commerce solutions for SAP, tells ZDNet.
2. No-code reduces the burden on IT and development teams.
The shortage of professional developers is a business stumbling block. In fact, 86% of IT decision-makers say the biggest impediment to digital transformation is a lack of developers, reports the Project Management Institute. The gap between application demand and developer supply is delaying transformation projects by an average of 8.1 months, according to IDC.
No-code can reduce your reliance on traditional development and ease the pressure on your IT and development teams. For starters, citizen developers can use no-code tools to create their own applications. What’s more, developers can use no-code to speed their own projects.
That’s why 2.57 million developers, or 11% of the development population, are now no-code or low-code specialists, IDC reports. It’s also why IDC says no-code and low-code will be a priority for 96% of IT decision makers.
3. No-code empowers business users to improve the way they work.
A growing number of business users are digital natives. They want digital tools that empower them to optimize their own workflows and become more engaged in their work.
No-code enables the line-of-business employees who understand your workflow processes best to build the functionality they need quickly and easily. “These tools are so powerful, yet easy to use, that they get the popular vote of both business and IT people,” Capgemini says.
It should be no surprise that “the increased demand for custom software solutions in support of digital transformation has sparked the emergence of citizen developers outside of IT,” according to Gartner. In fact, 41% of non-IT employees now customize or build data or technology solutions, the analyst firm says.
As for applications, nearly 60% are now built outside the IT department, TechRepublic reports. That’s why 82% of companies say citizen developers are increasingly important to their business, according to the publication.
The upshot? “The future of apps must include citizen development,” Gartner believes, noting that 61% of companies are implementing or have plans for citizen development initiatives. By 2024, Gartner predicts, 80% of technology will be created by people who aren’t in technology fields.
4. No-code provides the business with new functionality, faster.
A considerable 92% of IT leaders are comfortable with line-of-business employees using no-code and low-code tools, ZDNet reports. That’s because they equip non-technical users to accelerate internal processes, increase customer engagement and reduce the workload on IT resources.
Organizations are using no-code and low-code app builders with a variety of goals in mind. The tools are helping them automate workflows (17%), create new applications (15%), speed up application development (15%), automate data collection and reporting (14%), and reduce the burden on professional developers (10%), according to a TechRepublic survey.
The top payoffs? Organizations are achieving higher productivity (15%), faster application development (14%), automation of manual processes (12%), and easier workflows (10%), the study shows.
C-level executives likewise recognize the advantages, according to Accenture. In fact, 73% of business leaders anticipate no-code and low-code will drive new customer-facing applications, 55% expect them to create new process flows, and 50% foresee them resulting in new process controls and business rules.
5. No-code helps businesses gain competitive advantages.
More organizations are adopting a no-code approach. To stay ahead, businesses need the cost-saving, market-driving advantages that no-code tools offer.
Use of no-code and low-code technologies will nearly triple in the next few years, growing to 70% of new applications by 2025, according to Gartner. By that time, 65% of development will be achieved through no-code or low-code tools, a separate Gartner report predicts.
Other analysts forecast similar growth, with Forrester expecting sales of no-code solutions to reach $21.2 billion by 2022. By 2028, that number will hit $233 billion, compounding at a rate of 44% over seven years, according to Verified Market Research.
Ultimately, the emergence of no-code and low-code solutions is nothing short of a “revolution,” Accenture says, one that will drive an “explosion of user-generated innovation.” It has become abundantly clear: no-code is here to stay.
Two organizational trends emerged over the past couple of years that will continue in 2022 and beyond. One is remote work environments. The other is no-code application development. These trends were initially unrelated. But as it happens, each supports the other. And going forward, each will make the other more effective.
Remote work, of course, was initially driven by the Covid-19 pandemic. The good news is that organizations forced to embrace remote work found that with the right technologies, they could complete many workflows from any location. In fact, a large portion of those processes are now more efficient and cost-effective.
As a result, a remote or hybrid workforce is here to stay. By September 2021, 45% of full-time employees were working remotely either all or part of the time, according to Gallup. Nine in 10 remote workers expected to continue that arrangement going forward. And because 30% of employees say they’d change jobs if their organization stopped allowing remote work, a hybrid work environment is likely to be permanent.
No-code application development, for its part, solves several emerging organizational issues. One is a growing shortage of trained application developers. Another is a heightened need for faster, more cost-effective development cycles. And third is the desire among an increasing number of employees to quickly build their own workflows to optimize processes.
It’s no wonder the use of no-code and low-code app builders will nearly triple in the next few years, producing 70% of new applications by 2025, according to Gartner. Already, nearly 60% of applications are built outside the IT department, and 82% of companies say “citizen developers” are increasingly important to their business, TechRepublic reports.
Remote Work Demands No-Code. And No-Code Amplifies Remote Work.
Your remote workforce has heightened the need for no-code platforms. At the same time, no-code tools can make your remote workers progressively more efficient and effective. To optimize this mutually beneficial relationship, take these five steps:
1. Pivot to automation – Your company needs to maintain workflows that suddenly must be completed by dispersed teams from a variety of locations. In the past, most business operations were structured around the idea that all employees had access to a central office. Today, remote workers need new ways to remain connected with your office and with one another. Their workflows have to be automated to replace the manual interactions that once occurred face-to-face.
No-code apps are an effective way to enable remote workers and optimize remote work. No-code tools deliver robust interfaces that make web applications easier to use. They provide secure forms for fast data capture, sharing and reporting. And they assemble sophisticated workflows that automate and accelerate both internal and customer-facing processes.
2. Empower your employees – Projects managed by your development team have most likely been slowed by the shift to remote work. That leaves your business users waiting for the software functionality they need.
But those business users have firsthand knowledge of how their processes must be carried out. They’re the people best suited to building the interfaces, forms and workflows that enable their work.
No-code app builders allow your non-technical remote employees to quickly design and produce those capabilities. There’s no longer a need to go through the time-consuming, costly design and review cycles of traditional application development. Nor is there a need to wade through procurement processes and the aggravation of bringing in an external development vendor. With no-code, your business users get the workflows they need, when they need them.
3. Ease the burden on your developers – No-code application development isn’t just for citizen developers. Your development pros also face new challenges in working remotely and with impacts of staffing shortages. With fewer team members collaborating face-to-face and onsite, developers need new tools to simplify and accelerate development.
No-code platforms offer an elegant solution. They allow developers to rapidly create standardized and secure interfaces, forms, and workflow steps they can incorporate into their larger applications. Developers can speed up their development processes – and gain time to focus on complex and strategic applications.
4. Optimize customer experiences – Today’s customers demand new ways of engaging with your company. Increasingly, they want contactless experiences. At the same time, they might no longer be able to interact with your employees at a central access point.
No-code can deliver digitized, contactless processes for serving both internal and external customers from any location. Your business users can easily create user-friendly online forms and web apps that allow customers to submit information or request services. They can quickly implement new automated workflows that improve customer experiences and strengthen customer relationships. And they can accomplish those tasks while working remotely.
5. Innovate and succeed – Finally, the shift to remote work has shaken up old ways of doing business and released a new wave of innovation. Organizations like yours are finding new ways to improve operations, optimize customer service and gain competitive advantage.
No-code can build on your momentum. The no-code approach is an effective way to recruit the brainpower of a larger portion of your workforce to address new challenges, improve internal processes, and enhance customer experiences. You can enable your remote employees to ideate and collaborate on getting the job done faster and improve customer satisfaction.
Many organizations initially adopted no-code tools to augment their application development. Today, they’re discovering that no-code not only can enable their remote workforce but it can also continuously improve the effectiveness of remote work.