From automation to autonomy: Streamlining processes with BPM
There are a number of distinct advantages to relying on low-code frameworks that support writing code to tailor applications. According to Hyland product marketing manager Sean Baird, such options “have code snippets or script that can run within a process, and that’s a way of having more sophisticated situations.” As an example, Huang described a use case in which an international pharmaceutical company devised a low-code application to account for the myriad regulations at local and national levels across countries, departments, and teams. In addition to the degree of customization for an application, there are other boons of low-code application development, including these:
♦ Creating No-Code Components:
BPM solutions designed for those with coding knowledge can create templates or materials that are useful for employees in no-code settings. “You can build more advanced components and guide professional developers and IT to build reusable components that& businesses can use,” Abdulla said.
♦ Increased Productivity: The time to-value gains of low-code options enable developers to boost their productivity. “Developers can deliver solutions more rapidly because they don't have to write as much code to make it work,” Baird remarked.
♦ Fostering Innovation: These options enable developers to be more creative and craft more effective solutions. “You can unlock innovation because it makes it easier to try things,” Baird pointed out.
♦ Sustainability: In addition to allowing organizations to iterate on applications more quickly, low-code capabilities are easier to maintain across time. “If a consultant or developer has left an organization, it’s easier for people to pick up something written in a low-code environment or modify it,” Baird said.
Although it’s implicit to constructing applications from diverse systems and data sources, the data integration facet of BPM is crucial to its success. These integration demands not only pertain to varying types of data, but also to the synthesis of what could very well be different workflows and weaving them into a comprehensive process. “When you think about BPM or a workflow, it’s having people working across different systems: those tying the data flow between the sources of data,” Huang explained. “And, by definition, those data will come from outside of ServiceNow. For example, a CRM system or an ERP system.”
Thus, BPM solutions perform the task of moving content and information from respective fields in a document (like a claims form, for example) into other systems as part of a workflow. According to Baird, workflow engines are not infrequently used to accomplish this objective, although he said RPA and machine learning models are useful for “extracting data” as well. In fact, the ability to specify data sources and integrate them into a streamlined process is one of the facets of low-code or codeless BPM capabilities—though implementing these integrations may involve IT. “You can define all the data sources,” Abdulla added. “Once that gets set up, you’re connected to all your internal systems, so it’s picking the ones you want to leverage.”