In the not-so-distant past, enterprises relied solely on IT professionals to write the scripts needed to keep operations running smoothly. However, issues inevitably arose, particularly when the staffing shortage began to broaden, leaving many organizations with broken or malfunctioning processes due to lack of proprietary knowledge and adequate resources.
The introduction of low-code/no-code automation resolves these issues, breaking down barriers and empowering teams of any skill level to manage IT operations seamlessly.
What Is Low-Code/No-Code?
In simplest of terms, low-code or no-code automation platforms are software programs that require little to no coding knowledge. Unlike the back-end computer programming of the past, low-code/no-code automation takes more of a visual approach by offering predesigned workflow templates and a user-friendly drag-and-drop interface for customizing workflows.
Why Is Low-Code/No-Code So Critical Today?
The concept of low-code/no-code automation is rapidly gaining traction across just about every industry. In fact, Gartner forecasts that 75% of large enterprises will be using not just one but at least four low-code development tools by as early as 2024. This is completely understandable, particularly when you consider the many business benefits this type of automation has to offer. In particular, low-code/no-code automation solutions offer:
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• Advanced artificial intelligence.
• Data-driven decision support.
• Decreased dependency on IT.
• Greater agility.
• Higher ROI.
What Should You Look For In A Low-Code/No-Code Automation Platform?
Knowing what to look for in a low-code/no-code automation platform is pivotal to an organization’s success. As with any innovative technology, the market is quickly becoming saturated, and not all solutions are created equal. Some will promise the world but fall short on delivering. Others offer countless bells and whistles, many of which add up to unnecessary expenses.
Decision-makers weighing automation solutions would be wise to look specifically for products that offer the following key, fundamental features:
• Rapid time to market: One of the primary benefits of low-code/no-code automation is its ease of use. The goal should be to get up and running with advanced automation as quickly as possible, with little to no learning curve. If a platform seems too complex or confusing right off the bat, it’s probably not worth the investment.
• Prebuilt workflows: Again, the key here is ease of use. While you may want to use your automation platform to customize workflows that are unique to your organization, there is no need to reinvent the wheel. The more prebuilt, plug-and-play templates, the better. This will contribute to rapid deployment and quick returns.
• Seamless integration: The purpose of low-code/no-code should be to complement and elevate your existing infrastructure. It shouldn’t be a silo. As such, you should seek a platform that offers seamless integration with other tools and platforms. This will enable you to orchestrate complex workflows that involve multiple systems, including triggering automated remediation from AI-powered tools.
• Scalability: Most organizations list growth as a long-term goal. There’s no point in investing in an automation platform if it’s not capable of supporting your needs as your company expands. Look for a solution that can comfortably handle a significantly high volume of incidents, workflows and activities on demand — even if you’re not at that volume just yet.
• Self-service capability: Not only can low-code/no-code help bridge the talent gap by making automation accessible to varying skill levels, but it can also help free up the IT team by empowering end users to fulfill IT requests independently, without requiring the involvement of the service desk.
Getting Started With Low-Code/No-Code
As mentioned, getting started with low-code/no-code automation should be a relatively quick and simple task. In fact, with the right platform, you could be up and running in literally seconds. That being said, here are a few tips for maximizing the value of your automation initiative:
• Start with the low-hanging fruit: Identify tasks and workflows that can provide “quick wins” when automated, such as password resets and service restarts. This will provide a solid foundation upon which to build and also help gain buy-in from stakeholders.
• Scale with a plan: Once you’ve successfully automated some of the basic tasks and workflows and you’ve gained some traction in terms of ROI, start focusing on next steps. In particular, identify processes that will produce the highest value when automated. Then, map out a plan for how and when you’ll roll out an automation strategy for each.
• Use what’s available to you: Reiterating the importance of selecting an automation platform that can be easily and seamlessly integrated, you’ll want to take advantage of this capability as much as possible. For instance, you should leverage your automation solution to enhance and optimize your existing ITSM and ITOM tools, monitoring solutions, applications and cloud infrastructure.
In conclusion, low-code/no-code technology enables organizations of any size to overcome the developer shortage and harness the power of intelligent automation, regardless of available resources. This will essentially level the playing field and create a much more diverse and inclusive market for all. The key to success will ultimately lie in selecting the right tool and moving forward with a solid plan.