5 Ways to Optimize Process Workflows With No-Code

Friday, May 20th, 2022 by Ricardo Otero

 

Optimizing workflow automations with no-code

 

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.

How No-Code Benefits Your IT and Development Teams

Friday, May 6th, 2022 by Ricardo Otero

 

No-code’s benefits can impact IT and Development teams

Your IT department and the end users it supports can sometimes seem like they’re at odds. After all, your techies know digital – the latest devices and apps and best practices for getting the most out of them. Your business users, in contrast, don’t always have the same grasp of technology – though they certainly depend on it to do their jobs.

So what happens when you throw no-code application development into the mix?

A no-code app builder allows non-technical employees to create their own applications quickly and easily. They can build interfaces, forms and workflows simply by dragging and dropping reusable software elements onto a digital canvas. The tool then automatically assembles a functional, stable and secure application.

Make no mistake: No-code is the future of software creation. Two-thirds of application development will be achieved through no-code/low-code (NC/LC) tools by 2024, Gartner predicts. And 82% of companies say “citizen developers” are increasingly important to their business, TechRepublic reports. But are IT pros buying in?

Easing the Pressure on IT

You’d think IT departments might not like ceding some control of application creation. But the fact is, IT is embracing no-code in a big way. A whopping 92% of IT leaders are comfortable with business users taking advantage of non-code/low-code tools.

There are several reasons for this no-code enthusiasm. First and foremost is that no-code alleviates the demand for professional application developers. And expert developers are in short supply – to the point that the dearth of developers is slowing down business.

In fact, 86% of IT decision-makers say the biggest impediment to digital transformation is a lack of developers. This supply-demand gap is delaying digital transformation projects by an average 8.1 months. As a direct result, NC/LC is becoming a priority for 96% of IT decision makers.

Expert application development remains crucial to many businesses, of course. Yet traditional development processes require months of coding, reviews and testing before even the simplest software is ready for use. And while methodologies such as DevOps aim to accelerate processes, even DevOps-enabled development involves many manual, time-consuming steps.

With no-code, citizen developers alleviate development teams from less-complex, workflow-specific application creation. Line-of-business (LoB) employees using no-code follow a simple, proven process to quickly assemble their own secure and stable software. There’s no need for extensive training, technical expertise or lengthy development cycles. Pro development teams gain the time and energy to focus on coding enterprise-wide, mission-critical software.

Empowering Application Developers

But your software development team can also take advantage of no-code. Developers use no-code to quickly create robust, secure interfaces, forms and workflows that underlie more extensive applications. The reusable components of no-code have already gone through quality assurance and testing for security. They’re reliable, they integrate with popular systems, and they scale for higher performance.

Without the need to manually code entire programs from scratch, developers have more time to create sophisticated, function-specific or industry-targeted software. That can help you digitize processes and differentiates your company from the competition. 

In fact, 2.57 million developers, or 11% of the development population, are now no-code or low-code specialists. It’s no wonder even the DevOps community is embracing no-code for its ability to “enable experienced developers to accelerate deployment and reduce IT backlogs.”

Making IT More Effective

As more citizen developers experience the benefits of no-code, it’s important for your IT team to retain ownership of software governance. Your IT function should vet the no-code platforms you deploy. IT should also make sure business users understand when an LoB-created no-code workflow provides the best solution, and when enterprise-scale software developed by your professional team makes more sense.

Yet governance is another area where no-code helps IT – especially when it comes to “shadow IT.” Shadow IT occurs when LoBs circumvent corporate policies to purchase their own software. Unapproved software can result in high costs, because one-off software purchases don’t benefit from economies of scale. Shadow IT can also introduce cybersecurity vulnerabilities that IT teams don’t even know about.

No-code helps IT departments limit rogue technology spending. When business users have no-code builders to create their own software, they’re less likely to waste money on shadow IT. And IT has less trouble trying to support unapproved applications.

Use of no-code and low-code technologies will nearly triple in the next few years, growing from 25% of new applications in 2020 to 70% of new applications by 2025, according to Gartner. Now, IT teams and business users have something they can agree on: No-code is good for everybody.

Mobile Web Applications and Native Mobile Apps: What’s the Difference?

Tuesday, March 8th, 2022 by Ricardo Otero

 

Person using a mobile app on their phone

The world has gone mobile. Nearly 16 billion mobile devices are in operation today. Well over one-half of all web traffic is now conducted from a mobile device. And in the workplace, 62% of users say mobile devices play a key role in helping them be productive, while 36% report their use of mobile devices at work has increased in the past year.

These trends have big implications for how your employees access the applications they need to do their jobs. The more your workers rely on smartphones and tablets, the more they need mobile access to your organization’s business-enabling software.

But does that mean you should migrate your applications to mobile apps? Or is there another way your users can access productivity software on their mobile devices? Knowing the answer can help your organization gain the most benefit from the mobile-device juggernaut.

The Defining Qualities of Mobile Applications

Before identifying the mobile strategy that’s right for your organization, it’s important to understand the difference between a native mobile app and a mobile web application.

A native mobile app is a program designed exclusively to run on a mobile device like a smartphone or tablet. It’s called “native” because it’s coded specifically for a particular mobile operating system (OS) such as Apple iOS or Google Android. These are the familiar consumer apps that you can download from an app store and that are used for everything from gaming to chatting to fitness.

Native mobile apps are popular because they offer specialized functionality in a self-contained format. But for business purposes, they have limitations. For starters, they don’t necessarily dovetail with other applications and processes in your enterprise.

But there’s a bigger issue when it comes to the custom applications you need to run your operations. Native mobile apps must be individually coded for different mobile platforms. So, you need to either limit your users to a specific mobile operating system – or spend the time and resources to have your development team essentially create separate apps for each mobile OS.

A mobile web application, in contrast, is an application that requires only a web browser to be installed on a mobile device. Mobile web applications are typically built with popular technologies such as CSS, HTML5 and JavaScript, so they don’t need to be coded specifically for each device’s OS.

Mobile web applications are well-suited for business use. They enable your employees to use the mobile devices they already have to quickly and easily access the business functionality they need to do their jobs – whenever and wherever they need it. And there’s no need to create multiple versions for multiple mobile platforms.

No-Code Tools for Mobile Web Applications

In the past, organizations relied on their application development teams to design and create their mobile web applications. Today, your organization can take advantage of a no-code app builder to allow nontechnical teams to quickly and easily create applications for use on their mobile devices.

These citizen developers leverage a no-code software development tool to create, deploy and continually improve applications. When using a no-code tool, the organization benefits from insights and innovation already embedded in the workforce. In fact, Gartner says “the future of apps must include citizen development” and reports that 61% of companies are implementing or have plans for this approach.

How does it work? Customizable templates make building mobile web applications fast and easy. A drag-and-drop visual designer lets users simply select design objects for the application and drag them to a canvas. Behind the scenes, the tool automatically creates the application code. Departments from HR to finance to sales and service can digitize and automate workflows and processes for higher productivity and more effective customer service.

A no-code tool can also allow professional development teams to work more efficiently and cost-effectively. Developers can use no-code to speedily create robust, secure interfaces, forms and workflows that underlie mobile web applications. That way, they can focus on the more complex aspects of digitizing end-to-end processes.

Organizations across a wide range of industries – from energy to healthcare to higher education – are embracing no-code app builders to deploy the mobile web applications they need. By speeding up customized, business-enabling functionality to every employee’s mobile device, they can automate workflows, empower workers, save money and serve customers better.

Posted in On-Demand, on-premise, SaaS | Comments Off on Mobile Web Applications and Native Mobile Apps: What’s the Difference?

Customizing an Online Form is a Breeze with Help from PerfectForms’ Online Tutorials

Monday, December 10th, 2012 by

PerfectForms business process management software requires no programming or coding experience to update the forms and customize them for your business. In fact, if you can drag-and-drop on a computer, you can change our forms to fit your company.

For those that would like a little bit more help, we have many resources available online for you. One place where you can get help on setting up your PerfectForms templates is in the online tutorials section. With the online tutorials, you can walk through several aspects of the form designer, as well is the report designer.

The form designer is the application that takes you through setting up a new form. The tutorials are broken into four parts: layout, behaviors, workflow, and stage and field state. Each of these has multiple steps, and screen shots you exactly what is going on every step of the way.

In addition to the tutorials, there are also guides on planning your workflow and your form. Once you have your workflow in your form mastered, you can do anything with perfect form software. Check out the online demo, or register for your free 30 day trial today.

 

As Accurate as a Weatherman from 1950

Tuesday, August 17th, 2010 by aanzelc@perfectforms.com

Jon Brodkin recently wrote a thought-provoking, if controversial, piece in Network World highlighting the common misconceptions surrounding cloud computing. Even though it seems like cloud computing and cloud applications affect every aspect of our business lives (which I don’t feel is a bad thing), there appears to be a lot of confusion out there amongst business users as to what the cloud actually provides. And oddly enough, I wouldn’t be surprised to find some IT users that are stumped as well – not by what the cloud can do, per se, but by what it can’t do…which according to Brodkin includes: replacing MS Office, pre-determining legal ownership of IP, and always being cheap.

Jon’s article is less of a celebration of cloud computing and more of a myth-busting “gotcha” segment. I agree that the more information we can share about the intricacies of the cloud and how it compares to traditional on-premise deployments the better, but there is one point in particular with which I take issue, and one point with which I totally agree.

Disagree: Brodkin says cloud computing isn’t as affordable as people think. He uses the example of some cloud apps offering attractive subscription prices and then requiring Internet bandwidth upgrades or bizarre contracts. While it’s up to a customer to read through the contracts they sign (and as a cloud provider I can tell you that no one I know puts out shady EULAs), the Internet bandwidth argument is a little questionable. While bandwidth upgrades can cost upwards of $10,000, it isn’t difficult to find out how much you’ll need for any given cloud app. That’s part of due diligence, and there are thousands upon thousands of cloud applications that will not hog your bandwidth.

Agree: The article’s first contention is that cloud computing will not put IT professionals out of a job and/or make them obsolete. I wish that more IT staffers would absorb this reality and stop worrying that the cloud above their heads is planning to rain all over their careers. “Moving to the cloud” does not need to be followed by IT losing their jobs, and very rarely is. While companies that have been forced to lay off workers due to tough economic times can work more efficiently with collaborative cloud-based BPM solutions (increase productivity, decrease cost) – there will always be a need for management, supervision and technical liaison with cloud vendors. As Brodkin notes, certain skill sets might eventually become less relevant, but employing people with technical knowledge will never fall out of fashion.

360 Degrees of Business Interaction

Friday, March 19th, 2010 by aanzelc@perfectforms.com

Numerous articles have been written over the past several months on the critical role that collaboration and “social” elements will play in helping companies move forward post-recession. The idea that rendering a process or even an entire organization accessible via a public or private network is taking the enterprise community by storm. The premise of bringing people together – especially those who would otherwise not communicate closely with another group – is long overdue. In essence, we’ve gone full circle in how we view collaboration as a business productivity tool.

The very earliest forms of structured organization for the purpose of financial profit consisted of simple business processes – producing a commodity, trading or bartering for another item or service, and a close-knit network of relationships built over years of trust and routine reliability. This is not to say that the earliest forms of incorporation were joyous and peaceful, as the oldest group activity was battle, but each transaction followed a process that was constantly being refined. Business took place face-to-face.

In the Industrial Revolution of the early 19th century, we saw the proliferation of technology, specifically for manufacturing and mass production, and the propensity for individuals with a common goal and a variety of skills to pool their resources for potential fame and fortune. It was during this time that businesses began a gradual type of disassociation with collaborative thinking; workers were separate from management, plants were separate from executive offices. International travel was becoming less prohibitive and more efficient, and global operations grew stronger, interpersonal communication got weaker.

Now we’ve voluntarily reversed what seemed to be a permanent fact of business life. We’re talking again. Business and IT departments are starting to collaborate (even if it’s not quite mainstream yet) on business process management initiatives, and solutions like workflow automation are making it possible for employees, who would otherwise be preoccupied with mundane tasks, to join the real human conversation. The communication tools we now have at our disposal – from videoconferencing to social networks to instant messaging – can help us facilitate person-to-person interaction no matter where we are and what we’re doing.

I often hear people express reserve at the idea that our daily activities are becoming so driven by technology that society might eventually feel almost robotic. On the contrary, modern technological solutions are helping us communicate more frequently and more genuinely than ever before. If anything, technology is succeeding in making us more human.

Fortune 500s Find Survey Success Through PerfectForms

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2009 by aanzelc@perfectforms.com

PerfectForms is pleased to announce our release of the Affinity Management Group Success Story.

Through directing sales and creating surveys for numerous Fortune 500 companies, The Affinity Management Group has positioned itself as an industry leader in business consulting and survey services. Affinity’s clients include technology firms, telephony networks, human resources specialists, health care institutions and other professional businesses.

Last year, Affinity reported over 10-15 million dollars in sales for clients, which were primarily driven by client survey solutions. PerfectForms software as a service solution has provided Affinity Management Group with an essential survey framework, which has streamlined workflow – delivering an impressive one-year return on investment – and transformed the way Affinity employees do their jobs.

“Jeff has been a godsend! Whenever I need help with anything, I send Jeff an email and within 10 minutes Jeff is personally on the phone with me to explain how to do it.“

“The service level has been phenomenal!”
-Adrina Patterson, Owner of Affinity Management Group

Other notable case study highlights include:

• Affinity survey response rates have been reported as 4 to 5 times better with PerfectForms than industry norms. The sector typically has a 4 – 8% typical response rate for surveys, but Affinity reports that with PerfectForms their norm for 2008 was a 37% response rate.

• Reduced maintenance costs. All technical problems are easily solved with the assistance of PerfectForms on-demand solutions management staff.

• Reduced loss leads due streamlined workflow. Affinity reports that the workflow management system has prevented items from being misplaced or mismanaged, which has increased productivity and simplified process management.

• Expanded business opportunities. Affinity cites that PerfectForms flexibility allows itself to be adapted to new business processes solutions, reducing costs for deployed software. They are looking at transitioning other existing processes to PerfectForms to create new business divisions.

For the full customer case study, click here