Low-Code Automation: The Future of Business Processes

Written By: Matt Lieberson
August 26, 2021
8 min read

Speed and responsiveness have become differentiating factors in today’s fast-paced business environment. This realization is compelling organizations to modernize their workflows and automate their processes. Traditionally, this would mean hours of manual, tedious, and costly tasks to digitize mission-critical workflows.

Enter low-code automation, a visual development solution that empowers non-technical business users to assist in process improvement and application development, saving time and resources. Low code delivers faster process automation and innovation, even with limited resources, to allow companies to keep up with technology disruption.

As we’re seeing, most large organizations are investing in solutions that will drive automation across their workflows, applications, and departments. Low-code provides such solutions, allowing organizations to centralize their operations, improve productivity, and streamline their core processes.

Here is what you need to know about low-code automation and its role in redefining critical business processes.

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What is low-code automation?

In a nutshell, low-code automation is a way of refining and improving key processes using low code, which enables application or software development with minimal hand-coding. It allows non-IT or business users with little or no coding knowledge to become citizen developers, reducing your organization’s reliance on expert software engineers.

With low code, you can automate manual, repetitive, and time-consuming projects and processes, allowing builders to focus on vital areas such as UX. Such automation improves productivity, time to market, collaboration, and development times, making your business innovative and competitive in the market.

Essentially, low-code automation eliminates the tediousness and complexities of traditional development to ensure quick application delivery for your digital ecosystems. It also empowers the entire business to build apps, allowing you to cut labor costs and connect disparate teams for optimal productivity and collaborative expertise.

Why is low-code valuable in the future?

It’s evident that the low-code market is growing exponentially, and it’s predicted to hit a valuation of USD 65.15 Billion by 2027. This wave is causing a significant shift in software and app development, cementing low-code’s inescapable role in developing business-grade apps.

But that doesn’t mean that low code is likely to replace traditional application development entirely. There will always be a need for skilled software engineers to develop large-scale, customized, and enterprise-class applications. As it is, low code is already becoming a standard for rapid app development, and this was quite evident when the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

For example, in response to COVID, about 300 Quickbase customers built over 750 apps for project management, remote work, contact tracing, customer service, etc. Soon, low code will definitely replace certain tasks and processes, delivering a collaborative and agile platform for ensuring continuous IT improvement and org-wide innovation.

How do I learn low code?

Low-code development targets people with little to no coding experience. So, anyone can use platforms like Quickbase to learn capabilities, such as drag-and-drop or point-and-click, to develop workflow apps and solve point problems.

These platforms also offer free trials, which are a great way to get acclimated to tools, features, and processes involved in low-code development. Online masterclasses, self-paced courses, and forums are also great resources for starters.

With Quickbase, low-code training is quite effortless with Quickbase University, which offers access to app planning, app building, app management, and data integration courses. It also provides live training and recorded events for a seamless and rich learning experience.

You can also attend our annual EMPOWER User Conferences, which take you through technical “How-Tos” and exciting use cases of Quickbase across different industries. Once you’re confident about your skills, you can take exams to earn certifications.

When can I use a low-code platform?

You can use a low-code platform at any time to build standalone web and mobile apps and portals, which you can easily integrate with other systems. Low-code platforms allow you to connect people, disparate systems, and data for seamless automation and actionable insights.

For example, Quickbase makes an excellent solution for different uses cases, including:

  • Supply chain – You can build supply chain process automation to adapt to changes and future-proof your operations. This allows you to water down the effects of unexpected disruptions, such as pandemics.
  • Process improvement and business process management– Low-code lets you improve your core processes to avoid failures and downtimes as well as make sound decisions. Whether you’re making minor upgrades or implementing org-wide initiatives, low-code offers the power you need.
  • Customer service – With low code, you gain optimal real-time visibility into customer experiences and centralize service requests for quick response times. Low code lets you leverage metrics to improve customer engagement and streamline ticket management.
  • CRM & sales– Easily integrate your CRM database with a low-code platform to create custom reports, dashboards, and charts for valuable insights. Decision-makers benefit from easy access to real-time data that act as a single source of truth.

You can also deploy low code in project management, employee training, field services, and human resources. Whether you operate in the healthcare, construction, legal, real estate, or manufacturing sector, a low-code development platform allows you to create custom solutions that enable your organization to evolve and innovate at today’s pace.

Will low-code replace developers?

Short answer, no! Instead, the two solutions will coexist to meet the increasing business needs for digital transformation and org-wide innovation – what we refer to as dual-track transformation. As noted before, there will always be a need for customized solutions and internal tooling, which will require developers to implement.

All software products and apps operate at different levels of sophistication and abstraction. As such, app development will always opt for the most viable solution at that particular moment. For example, low-code is ideal for projects that want quick enterprise-grade solutions and rapid prototyping.

Ultimately, businesses can use fully-fledged developers and low-code platforms interchangeably and complementarily to deliver versatile and agile solutions to enterprises.

Low-code and DevOps

Like low code, DevOps focuses on quickly delivering applications in the enterprise. It owes its success to the cultural shift in application development, uniting software development and IT operations to streamline the lifecycle of development. However, DevOps still relies on hand-coding to develop agile applications, which impacts the speed of creating code.

On the other hand, low-code leverages pre-made tools and reusable components, significantly reducing the need for professional developers. Business users can use low code to create apps in a matter of hours or weeks in a visual environment. It offers a quick approach to building an agile ecosystem that supports future needs.

In essence, hand-coding can be the bottleneck that impacts DevOps’ ability to deliver apps quickly. As such, using low-code can help to enhance DevOps and add significant value to it. It also supplements in-house talent and refines internal processes, distilling complex operations into simpler forms. Ideally, low code and DevOps are not foes — they can always work together.

Raise your low-code expectations

In the wake of COVID-19, about 85% of organizations accelerated digitization, and they’re looking for ways to achieve that quickly and cost-effectively. Increased digital interactions and remote workspaces even amplified the need for agile solutions. Low-code platforms became the enabler for IT and business, allowing teams to transit seamlessly to the “New-Normal.”

That’s not all. Low-code is predicted to revolutionize how companies build apps, leveling the playing field for large and small enterprises. It will unite non-developers and developers to ensure collaborative expertise, improved productivity, seamless iteration, and continuous innovation. As such, it’s right to raise your low-code expectations — this technology is a gamechanger.

Low code is already a standard for quick application delivery, empowering small enterprises to make bold moves and support consistent growth. It’s turning business users into citizen developers, closing the skills gaps within the organization. It has also unified data, teams, and disparate systems to centralize operations and improve access to mission-critical data.

Common low-code automation questions

What is low code automation?

Low-code automation is basically a process of unifying key capabilities to automate workflows and reduce development times. This is possible with minimal hand-coding, and non-IT users can participate in this process for optimal productivity and performance. It involves visual development with ready-made components to build applications quickly than traditional app building.

With low-code automation, you can build solutions that are unique to your process and workflow, enabling you to ditch the one-size-fits-all approach. It allows you to extend your capability, connect disparate systems, and automate complex processes, creating a robust ecosystem of custom solutions.

What are the benefits of low-code automation?

The truth is, agile organizations can quickly adapt to changes and create flexible solutions at scale. With proper deployment, low code delivers operational agility, alongside other benefits, such as increased productivity, faster digital transformation across the organization, effective risk management, better customer experience, seamless governance, and decreased costs.

Bringing low code tools into your business gives you the ability and flexibility to shape your growth through process automation and actionable insights. For example, Quickbase lets you build custom reports and dashboards for easy access to crucial information, allowing decision-makers to use real-time insights for sound decisions. Regardless of the challenge, you can quickly create new workflows to support new working methods and adapt your business to different changes.

Matt Lieberson
Written By: Matt Lieberson

Matt Lieberson is a Content Marketing Manager at Quickbase.

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