Low-code automation: Why and how it benefits your organization

A woman works on a low-code automation program on her laptop, in front of a colorful, jungle-print mural wall.

In this piece:

Most organizations understand the urgency to automate processes for smart, strategic growth.

Yet with many legacy systems dependent on code-heavy development platforms, organizations are watching their automation initiatives get stalled by IT backlogs or strained budgets.

We’ve discussed the buy vs. build dilemma extensively in the past, and the shift in enterprise preference is becoming clear.

By 2025, 70% of new applications developed by enterprises will use or embed low-code or no-code technologies (versus just 20% in 2020), according to the recent Gartner® report, Follow the buying journey for enterprise low-code application platforms1.

Combine this adoption of low-code development with the increasing need for business process automation (BPA) (not to mention hyperautomation trends), and low-code automation comes into focus as the next great change-maker.

Let’s explore the benefits of low-code automation and how it can be used to maximize cost-efficiency, streamline processes and improve user experiences.

By 2025, 70% of new applications developed by enterprises will use or embed low-code or no-code technologies (versus just 20% in 2020).


What is low-code process automation?

Low-code process automation is automation enabled by low-code application development.

A low-code automation platform empowers users with a configurable system that requires little- to no-coding to conceive, create and execute business process automations.

> Learn more | What is low-code app development? We break it down for you

How does low-code help automation initiatives?

With low-code application development, citizen developers (employees with some coding knowledge who aren’t part of IT teams) can spearhead BPA initiatives from conception to launch. The two concepts — low-code and BPA — can work together to streamline repetitive, manual and often time-consuming tasks without relying heavily on developers or software engineers.

Leveraging low-code for automation eliminates two core challenges that arise when organizations launch automation initiatives with traditional coding systems:

Challenge #1: The “I don’t know if we can do that” knowledge gap: Even when teams agree on the need to automate processes in their workflows, it can be challenging for nontechnical line-of-business (LOB) users to accurately conceptualize what can be done; the uncertainty around the limitations of their core applications obstructs progress, and initiatives can stall based on too high, or too low, of expectations.

Low-code development platforms ease the entire ideation-to-automation lifecycle, starting with the LOB users themselves. Low-code automation platforms utilize simplistic visual modules in place of complex custom coding, allowing LOB users to deploy in a fraction of the time it would take IT teams to work through their backlogs and start ideating on your requested business process automation.

Challenge #2: The IT waiting list: Traditionally, department leaders have relied on IT to get automation projects moving. This kicks off elaborate processes of brainstorming, proof-of-concepting, testing, delivering and further refining, which often means months of waiting for an application (or even just an update to an application) to go live.

Creating automations with a low-code platform frees up your IT teams to work on more complex development projects. This shift in priorities allows teams to:

  • Maximize ROI
  • Enhance agility
  • Scale faster
  • Innovate custom solutions

Two hands type on a keyboard; they belong to a nondeveloper working on a low-code automation project.

Benefits of using a low-code platform for automation

Here are three reasons why a low-code platform could be the solution that organizations need to quickly and effectively automate their processes:

Speed: Low-code platforms can build automated business applications quickly

The traditional way of building applications (lots of code, with IT bearing the development burden) is not fast enough to cope with the speed at which your business needs change and your customers’ expect service. Continuing along this path could result in missed opportunites as LOB users wait for their requests to be completed. This adds to the already heavy burden on IT.

A low-code platform accelerates the entire development lifecycle so process automation can be deployed faster than before.

How low-code achieves speed: The user-friendliness of low-code systems enable coding through visual components like:

  • Drag-and-drop interfaces
  • Drop-down menus
  • Radio boxes
  • Checkboxes

The simple, low-code system gives more flexibility back to LOB users to automate end-to-end processes as business needs evolve and change.

Value: Low-code platforms help maximize your resources and ROI

Low-code process automation can create significant impacts on an organization’s bottom line by lowering the barrier to technology entry and thus reducing the costs associated with software development.

How low-code drives value: With the help of malleable and open-access low-code software, teams can introduce automation into the system without heavy involvement from the IT department. This helps drive value and ROI by:

  • Letting the IT team prioritize complex, custom-coding projects
  • Creating targeted, department-directed applications that solve on-the-ground pain points precisely, such as much-needed automations
  • Speeding development, both because of the ease of low-coding a solution and by bipassing the IT team’s project waitlist
  • Reducing overhead costs by building all applications on the same platform and user interface across the department and/or enterprise
  • Empowering LOB users and IT staff to focus on projects that further business goals and customer relationships

Agility: Accelerate and grow to meet business needs across your organization

Rethink, reinvirogorate, react and reinvent — that’s what Bill Gates says it takes to succeed in our modern business environment.

Low-code platforms enable LOB leaders to do just that, especially when it comes to automation efforts. Anyone who’s used a workflow knows they need to change every once in a while, but if your system requires custom coding, even small changes can seem like a big ask.

With a low-code platform helping to automate your business proceses, your LOB personnel can make changes themselves — skipping the IT request — and taking the update live, instantly.

How low-code enhances agility: When you’re able to automate manual processes with low-code, you unlock the ability to:

  • Scale your business
  • Empower your employees to create the exact business solutions they need
  • Provide exceptional, timely service to customers
  • Create resiliency and robust processes for your organization

Success today requires the agility and drive to constantly rethink, reinvigorate, react and reinvent.

$Bill Gates$

Leverage a low-code platform to automate for digital transformation

Implementing low-code process automation for your team can be a major difference-maker for your digital transformation journey.

By empowering your LOB team to eliminate manual work and streamline customer and user experiences, you’re opening the door for not just process improvements, but also:

  • Reduced operating expenses
  • Increased productivity
  • Enhanced team morale and sense of employee value
  • Rapid responses to customers and market changes

Start now: Low-code your automation initiative

Hyland, a leading content services provider, offers a low-code platform that allows users to build whatever application they want, with little to no coding. From case management and onboarding to essentially anything an organization could need it to do, Hyland’s low-code platform can help your team kick off its automation efforts.

Learn more about how you can automate with low-code development by leveraging a content services platform.

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1Gartner, Follow the Buying Journey for Enterprise Low-Code Application Platforms, Paul Vincent, 29 June 2022

GARTNER is a registered trademark and service mark of Gartner, Inc. and/or its affiliates in the U.S. and internationally and is used herein with permission. All rights reserved.

Sara Zenner is a senior marketing professional with over 15 years of experience in the software technology space, specializing in complex B2B solutions. The majority of her career has been dedicated to campaign strategy and product marketing, where she creates compelling messaging, positioning and go-to-market plans. As a member of the product marketing team, Sara provides coverage for Hyland’s low-code and developer-focused technologies.

Sara Zenner

Sara Zenner

Sara Zenner is a senior marketing professional with over 15 years of experience in the software technology space, specializing in complex B2B solutions. The majority of her career has been... read more about: Sara Zenner