Implementing Business Process Management in your organization - How does the selection of a low-code or no-code BPMS impact your organization?

May 19, 2022
by Pedro Robledo

Once an organization decides on the technological implementation of the Business Process Management (BPM) discipline, it faces a strategic decision that must consider the present and future of the organization and the business. Therefore, the BPMS software must be chosen using an appropriate methodology that considers all the necessary evaluation criteria, both for current and future needs. Based on experience applying my methodology for the selection of BPM software, in drawing up a list of possible available vendors (currently +375), the first filtering of vendors is done based on Java or .NET software. However, more and more companies are shifting their focus to low-code or no-code BPMS platforms. Which leads us to ask – How does the selection of a low-code or no-code BPMS impact the implementation of a workflow platform for process orchestration?

Process-oriented Low-Code

Unfortunately, some BPMS vendors create confusion through excessive marketing as to what a business professional or IT professional can perform on BPM projects, both of which (low-code and no-code) are needed for successful cross-functional process orchestration. Low-Code Development Platforms (LCDP) are software for developing fully operational applications using intuitive graphical user interfaces with no code or very little code without resorting to traditional programming (Pro-Code). The focus lies on so-called citizen development, which is developed without IT intervention. According to Forrester, the low-code platforms have the potential to make the software development process up to 10 times faster than the traditional development methods.

Origin of Low-code and No-code platforms

No-code and low-code platforms date back to at least 1982 when author James Martin published his book Application Development Without Programmers. He wrote that “the number of programmers available per computer is shrinking so fast that most computers in the future will have to function, at least in part, without programmers.”

In 2014, Forrester introduced the concept of process-oriented low-code (process-focused low-code platforms). With this concept, he opened up the vision of application development that relies on a BPMS (automating business processes and workflows), minimizing the need for costly custom manual coding by using point-and-click or drag-and-drop to configure business process executables and with a minimal upfront investment in configuration, training, and deployment. Ultimately this enables faster time-to-market because developers work with configurable functions, tools, and components, rather than having to do traditional coding from scratch.

By 2021, after analyzing revenues from low-code development technologies in 2019, 2020, and 2021, Gartner was able to show in a differentiated way the growth of LCAP platforms (Low-Code Application Platforms) and iBPMS platforms (Intelligent Business Process Management Suites). Looking ahead to 2024, Gartner forecasts that low-code application development will account for more than 65% of application development activity and that 75% of large enterprises will use at least four low-code development tools for both IT application development and citizen development initiatives. In fact, regarding this point, Gartner forecasts that by 2023 active citizen developers in large companies will outnumber professional developers by at least four to one

One level of “code” or automation for every case

To the already known terms ‘no-code’, ‘low-code’, and ‘pro-code’, Flowable introduces a new one: ‘right-code’. With the concept of right-code, Flowable refers to the reality that the best solution is automation at the level needed at the time it is needed since sometimes there can also be a particularly complex automation and integration project that will require professional code (pro-code), and therefore intervention by the IT staff.

Low-code and no-code BPMS make it easy to build applications and processes with little or no code in the shortest possible time and help the citizen developers to build their process models and even some implementations on a BPMS engine. In addition, the IT department can also benefit from implementing overarching processes using low-code / no-code because time-consuming manual programming tasks are eliminated. This allows IT professionals to focus on more valuable and complex non-business tasks. At the same time, a more productive cross-functional collaboration between business and IT teams is fostered.

Three great benefits for your organization

In summary, and returning to the title of this article: what is the impact of choosing a BPMS low-code or no-code concept? The following are the three main benefits for an organization:

  • Cross-functional collaboration, of maximum productivity, between the business and IT teams. Citizen developers will be able to build process models, and the IT team will be able to optimize its resources.
  • Faster time-to-market, thanks to greater ease and agility in developing applications.
  • Resolution of complex cross-cutting processes through pro-code and custom code creation and implementation using BPMS such as Flowable.

Ultimately, choosing the right platform for each organization depends on what needs to be done and who will be responsible for doing it. And it has to be understood that organizations will have to scale and advance their cross-process digitization initiatives as they mature in their process management.

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The author
Pedro Robledo
Pedro Robledo
BPM Expert
As Chairman and co-founder of the Spanish Chapter of ABPMP International, he is one of the most influential representatives in the field of process management using BPM (Business Process Management) and has been dedicated to promoting knowledge of Business Process Management in Spain and Latin America for more than 20 years. As a BPM consultant, he supports companies in their BPM and digital transformation initiatives. He is the director of the University Master's Degree in BPM for Digital Transformation and the University Master's Degree in Strategic Process Management at the International University of La Rioja (UNIR). Since 2013, he has participated as a jury member in the international WfMC Awards for Excellence in BPM and Workflow.
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