RPA & No-Code – Business Process Automation

Studies conducted by Automation Anywhere have revealed that data entry tops the list of the most hated tech jobs in the UK. This finding is not unique since similar sentiments have been noted around the world. It’s quite easy to see why this is the case; millions of workers around the world waste more than 40% of their day performing such tasks.

There have been arguments against digitizing such tasks, with the proponents observing that the process would increase unemployment. With workers acquiring newer skills faster than ever due to the benefits of widespread internet access, these sentiments are no longer popular among employees- for example, 80% of all workers in the UK have expressed a desire to have their routine tasks automated.

Similar investigations conducted by organizations such as OnePoll have found that people’s attitudes toward digitizing boring and repetitive tasks have largely shifted. The study discovered that 73% of all UK workers would like digital administrative tasks automated since they are a poor use of their computer skills. They observed that such jobs get in the way of handling their main work leading to reduced productivity.

RPA (Robotic Process Automation) presents a solution to employees and organizations interested in reclaiming such productivity. RPA is commonly referred to as “bots” since it involves the use of automated software robotics. Over the past few years, thousands of bots have been developed and deployed to perform digital admin tasks that organizations and workers want to avoid. On the other hand, no-code services provide similar solutions in that they allow the employees to avoid digital admin tasks such as repetitive data entry. However, they don’t require the company to integrate any software robotics. Instead, no-code seeks to replace the traditional process of developing software by empowering non-tech professionals with the tools they need to quickly create robust software to handle their duties.

You may be wondering why RPA and no-code haven’t received the traction they deserve if what they deliver is the exact thing that businesses need. The reality of the matter is that the initial cost of integrating no-code or RPA in an organization has always been an obstacle. Hiring RPA developers can quickly generate thousands of dollars in costs that the company needs to pay in a few months.

Nonetheless, the world has undergone some restructuring that makes no-code and low-code software deployment more attractive than ever.

No-Code and Low-Code Solutions to the Rescue

When the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic started, millions of businesses around the world were forced to cut back on daily operations. This meant that employees could no longer report to work at 9 am and leave at 5 pm without exposing themselves to the risk of contracting the virus. Most businesses chose to offer remote working options for their workers with only the most essential players such as managers reporting to the office daily.

While many companies were comfortable with the transition, others weren’t ready for such a drastic change, as they didn’t have the necessary processes or systems in place to allow employees to work remotely. This disconnect called for urgent solutions to transform traditional work structures into digital-friendly processes and notably, nearly every company needed a platform on which workers would connect remotely. The demand for both front- and back-end developers shot through the roof. Soon it became clear that there weren’t enough developers to offset the demand, and to make matters worse, companies had to part with thousands or millions of dollars to hire such professionals due to their high demand. Organizations started looking into alternative digitization solutions such as low code and no code.

Companies that had ready RPA systems also realized that they had to tap into low code and no-code solutions due to fast marketing changes. It became apparent that RPA was not enough to adapt to the shifts seen in most industries. For instance, RPA-compliant businesses realized that the software solutions they had were quite specific.

If the business environment shifted, the RPA solutions were no longer useful since they had been hard coded for specific needs. Every business needed a way to adapt to changes quickly from a software perspective. Low code and no-code services allowed businesses to develop the software that they needed without incurring excessive costs hiring the necessary professionals.

In early 2021, various countries around the world started opening up their economies by easing the Covid-19 restrictions. Following this development, the question of whether low code and no-code solutions would continue to thrive became apparent. However, Gartner made a forecast revealing that most companies that had adopted this change weren’t looking to revert to the older software development solutions.

Some of the benefits that such organizations noted include more remote development and faster software implementation cycles. The study observed that the technologies powering low code and no code development have grown by 23% between 2020 and 2021. That’s quite impressive given that the solution has been embraced by tens of industries worldwide.

It’s important to investigate the appeal that low code and no code have presented to both employees and their organizations.

With low code and no code, professional software developers don’t have to spend their time creating custom solutions to commonplace problems. For example, nearly every company that has to process reports from multiple departments require a way to consolidate the input. Low code and no code solutions ensure that program developers don’t have to spend their time creating solutions that’ve been implemented over and over across the industry. They would rather focus on newer problems facing their companies. By extension, they are better off working on challenges that are specific to their organizations as well. Lower-level software challenges can easily be handled using no code solutions. On the other hand, higher-level development problems need fresh solutions which may take months or years to create.

Citizen developers comprise of any employees who have non-tech duties in an organization but still need to use specialized software to accomplish their tasks. These are some of the greatest beneficiaries of low code and no code solutions. Traditionally, individuals form HR, finance, accounting, and similar departments had to rely on the IT team to develop every piece of software needed to perform their tasks. In other cases, they had to liaise with outsourced RPA teams to access new software. Low code and no code solutions are ideal since they empower citizen developers to create the software solutions they need with little or no technical skills in IT. Notably, such problems are low-level challenges that can easily be handled using a specialized low code platform. As an illustration, your accountants can easily develop a platform that allows them to capture handwritten financial statements using a platform such as DocDigitizer.

One major concern that managers have with respect to low code and no code is the challenges associated with control. Citizen developers aren’t trained in the software development lifecycle (SDLC) paradigm. They may go outside the organization as they seek solutions for various challenges. This is where enterprise architects are needed. Such professionals are tasked with ensuring that low code and no code development is well governed.

IT managers will also benefit greatly from low code and no code solutions. With traditional and modern RPA, IT managers are required to review and approve all new software solutions which can easily lead to bottlenecks due to the heavy demands. With low code and no code development, the approval process is less rigorous since the solutions are lower level compared to traditional software. IT managers don’t have to worry about reviewing tens of tasks every week and can focus on the few complicated projects the IT team can’t delegate to citizen developers. The greatest benefit of low code and no code has been realized in an unlikely corner of the industry—SMEs. One of the hallmarks of small and medium enterprises is the inherent demand to bootstrap as many operations as possible. In some cases, a company may not have the resources needed to put together an IT department. Low code and no code solutions are applicable since they help such organizations to develop custom software solutions without worrying about the development costs.

In such cases, companies lacking full-fledged IT teams can enjoy the benefits of digitization including improved agility, decreased operational costs, higher productivity, better customer experience, effective risk management, easy change, and faster transformation. In regard to the latter point, the citizen developers in your small company can quickly create and recreate software to handle industry changes.

When to Deploy a Hybridized RPA and No-Code Solution

Both RPA and no code solutions have advantages and disadvantages making them ideal for different kinds of workers and organizations. The question of whether a company should use RPA or low code is loaded, as there’s no simple answer. In a nutshell, RPA is perfect for any organizational setup where the tasks are simple and repetitive.

Conversely, you want to consider low code or no code services if the problems you need to address require new solutions, enterprise-wide business process automation, and third-party system integration. It should be noted that low code and no code can also be used to automate simple repetitive tasks in small organizations.

Despite these obvious use cases, you may want to consider a hybrid solution whereby RPA is used to complement low code and no code. For instance, it’s quite difficult to come up with an RPA solution that automates tasks in an outdated legacy system. This is because it would require thorough knowledge of any legacy systems, a task that may be too expensive in a big organization.

Problems arise if the data that needs to be harmonized with the new RPA system is unstructured. Software bots work best in environments where data is well-structured since they most AI based functions rely on what-if analysis and forecasting. Additionally, recruiting a software developer that is competent in an archaic system that was custom developed for your organization is not easy or cheap.

With a low code or no code implementation, it’s easy to work with legacy systems especially if the older structure is well-documented. The hybrid approach ensures that RPA methodologies can be used to develop no-code solutions that integrate seamlessly with any existing frameworks.

The hybrid method is excellent for companies that need business process automation and robustness. For instance, RPA could be used to filter a list consisting of thousands of millions or records. However, it may not be efficient or practical to use the same solution to integrate the shortlist into the existing system. For such tasks, low code and no code process automation may be a better option since it allows citizen developers to introduce functionalities that are unique to the organization.

Most companies that’ve been in operation for more than a few decades are better off with a hybrid approach. This is because the method allows them to introduce business process automation via RPA without losing the integration benefits of low code and no code services. Some AI-based no-code solutions such as DocDigitizer are built with such considerations in mind.

The DocDigitizer Promise

DocDigitizer is a no-code business solution that excels in data capture and extraction freeing up employee’s time that would’ve been spent manually feeding such information to computers. Unlike other data scanning solutions that are based on RPA methods, you aren’t limited in customization.

The DocDigitizer solution allows organizations to empower their workers by turning them into citizen developers, freed from the constraints of costly engineering teams and processes. Consequently, robust data capture and extraction is one of the benefits offered by DocDigitizer’s human-blended approach to data capture. The solution allows an organization to expand the range of applications that can be integrated to work with the processed documents. You’ll realize that most third-party software will easily accommodate input from DocDigitizer—a major strength associated with no-code systems.

DocDigitizer excels in its ability to work with a range of data records. You don’t have to worry about the structure of the information that your business is tasked with processing. The platform’s Intelligent Document Processing (IDP) capabilities are used to process both unstructured and semi-structured data into usable information that can be processed by a range of custom and third-party software.

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