Guest Column | May 28, 2021

No-Code BPM Platforms: The Whys And Hows

By Ivan Kot, Itransition

No Code Programming Programmer Meeting

Learn what makes no-code BPM software a more sustainable choice for modern enterprises than traditional BPM tools.

In recent years, business process management tools have seen a considerable increase in adoption, and rightfully so. Proven to help fine-tune outdated, unreliable, and duplicate workflows and set up new ones that are automated and efficient, BPM platforms are now staples for companies wanting to keep their operations agile and up to date.

But today a fundamentally novel type of solution is breaking into the BPM market — no-code BPM platforms. Riding the wave of low-code/no-code development popularity, they have doubtlessly captured the business world’s interest. But can they truly take business process management up a notch, or are they just a passing fad? In this article, we will try to figure it out.

No-Code BPM Software At A Glance

With its work-from-home guidelines and travel restrictions, 2020 became the year when low-code technologies saw a boom in demand. For 2021, they are projected by Gartner to have an impressive 22.6% growth.

Part of this growth can be attributed to the ongoing adoption of no-code business process management software. Today, many businesses across industries need to align workflows with the shifting market environment but, having neither time nor resources to venture into traditional development, they pivot to no-code BPMS that delivers improved operational efficiency without coding.

While the functionality of traditional BPM systems is limited to modeling new workflows and analyzing the existing ones, their no-code counterparts enable users to design and roll out business processes right away. This is made possible by libraries with pre-coded workflow rules and elements, user roles and templates, and a drag-and-drop designer tool where the components can be put together.

As a rule, to properly integrate the tool into their IT infrastructure, business owners need to rely on BPM consulting, but beyond that and regular maintenance, the software does not require technical expertise to make full use of.

Why No-Code BPMS?

Empower Business Users

By implementing no-code BPM software, companies put the power to set up full-fledged workflows into the hands of non-tech employees directly involved in these operations. Working with an intuitive drag-and-drop interface, business users can collaborate to craft efficient process-based frameworks that support and facilitate their everyday duties, improve customer experience, and resolve existing bottlenecks. Moreover, with process owners in charge, no relevant requirements and their subtleties will be “lost in translation” during the cooperation with the IT team.

Make Changes On The Fly

The major downside of traditional hand coding is that it’s time-consuming, so even slight modifications in a business process could take days to develop, implement, and test. But with no-code BPM tools, companies can introduce both large and small changes into the workflows on the fly and have them deployed within hours, bypassing tedious testing, and debugging. This allows departments to be flexible, experiment, and easily keep their processes aligned with the emerging needs.

Cut Expenses

It’s no secret that automating business workflows through custom software development is costly and supporting and updating them down the line will pile up to even more expenses. No-code BPM is a great option for cutting back on spiraling IT infrastructure spending without compromising automation robustness. While no-code platforms do entail some up-front investments and monthly fees, automating business processes with them requires no software developers’ involvement and takes less time, thus proving a much more economical option in the long run.

Dispelling No-Code BPM Myths

Despite the obvious benefits and growing adoption rates of no-code BPM solutions, many businesses are still wary of these tools for various reasons. Let’s look into the most common misconceptions about the platforms and see if they ring true.

#1: No-Code BPMS Is Not For Everyone

The most popular myth is that contrary to its name and nature, no-code BPM will nonetheless require at least some coding skills to properly leverage.

In reality, any no-code BPMS worth their salt are designed to be friendly and intuitive for all kinds of users. With out-of-the-box drag-and-drop interfaces and libraries of templates, platforms allow employees with no technical background as well as power users and citizen developers to easily build workflows.

Naturally, no-code BPM solutions require some training to get a hang of, but this is the way it is with all business applications. The greater challenge for non-tech users, who used to see the business side of workflow creation only, lies in learning the developers’ way and best practices of modeling and automating processes.

#2: No-Code BPMS Is Limited

Another common concern about no-code BPM platforms is that they are unfit for building and managing anything but straightforward workflows and therefore can’t support large and growth-oriented enterprises.

But in the context of a modern burgeoning software market, everything boils down to your choice of a no-code BPM solution. There are indeed many basic and inexpensive tools that are appropriate for small companies only getting started with BPM. But there are more advanced platforms as well, with an impressive array of tools that enable owners to implement tailored workflows and modify or upscale them down the line, as your company grows and requirements evolve.

#3: No-Code BPMS Are Not Secure

On the surface, tools intended for bringing business workflows to life quickly and with standardized elements do not appear to be the strongholds of security. But no-code BPM vendors, more than anyone aware of their platforms’ weak spots and how they can make their clients vulnerable, don’t take security lightly and make sure to bake in sufficient protection measures.

For one thing, leading no-code BMP platforms are black-box applications, which means neither their owners nor malicious third parties can see what’s inside them and how they work. Other than that, vendors equip their software with data protection and role-based access controls.

Still, poor practices, mistakes, and misconfigurations when building workflows can introduce bugs and security faults, so business users need to be aware of cybersecurity risks at all times when approaching no-code BPMS.

Closing Thoughts

In the increasingly competitive environment of today, companies need to stay light on their feet and responsive to the changing market conditions. No-code BPM technology is one of those which not only allow enterprises to attain this flexibility right away but also to significantly increase the efficiency and relevance of business operations. These qualities make no-code BPM platforms a great addition to the enterprise toolbox.

About The Author

Ivan Kot is Customer Acquisition Director and IT Solution Manager at Itransition, focusing on business development in verticals such as Business Automation, and cutting-edge tools such as Blockchain of Business. He began his career as a developer, taking different positions in both web and mobile development projects, and eventually shifted focus to project management and team coordination. Ivan’s everyday motto is: if something has to be done, it has to be done right.