“In other words, low-code automation will be a critical factor in enterprises’ ability to innovate processes and ultimately edge out competitors,” says Shwetha Shankar, VP of Customer Success, Tray.io, in an exclusive interview with EnterpriseTalk.
ET Bureau: How can enterprises get the most value out of low-code automation platforms?
Shwetha Shankar: Enterprises get the most value out of low-code automation when they embrace a culture of automation from the top-down. When a company’s leadership understands how low-code automation democratizes technology and processes across an organization, it can empower every team across the organization to make the most of the tools they already have and position their businesses for significant growth.
To be clear: The modern organization doesn’t lack tools or software. There are more point solution tools to perform individual tasks for marketing, sales, customer support, HR, finance, product, and IT than ever. However, very few of them offer bespoke features that fully resolve every unique challenge. As a result, organizations must alter their processes to compensate for gaps in their tech stack. Each team ends up adding stopgap steps that turn into extra hours of manual work every week, slowing down execution and hindering growth and expansion. In effect, software tools (and the gaps in those tools) dictate processes.
Before the rise of low-code automation, business users typically had to rely on their IT teams to build internal solutions. Unfortunately, IT teams tend to be occupied with more pressing strategic issues, such as security, risk management, and digital transformation (especially in recent times due to the COVID-19 pandemic). In practice, business users would submit a support ticket and wait weeks, if not months, for implementation support.
Low-code automation gives business users in any department the power to stand up; customize solutions to their unique challenges, themselves. Once they’ve built out a low-code framework that accomplishes most of their goals, teams can then supplement their processes with additional point solutions that do the rest of what they need.
In other words, low-code automation puts teams back in control of their destinies, so they can focus on their core goals and processes first, then follow with additional software tools as needed. With low-code automation, teams are no longer at the mercy of what their software can and can’t do. Instead, they can use low-code automation to set up custom triggers and cascading follow-up processes within their tools that efficiently flow data wherever needed – and make the absolute most of all the expensive software they pay for every month.
ET Bureau: How can enterprises turn their business processes into replicable and scalable workflows for their evolving business needs?
Shwetha Shankar: The best low-code automation platforms give any business user – even those without an engineering degree – the power to stand up their automated workflows in minutes. According to experts, many smart businesses look to platforms with entirely visual front ends that offer an easy-to-understand user experience, such as a drag-and-drop builder.
At the builder level, busy professionals appreciate the ability to quickly connect their various tools and data sources just by dragging and dropping them together. Business users also appreciate an easy-to-understand copy, paste, and clone features to build, test, and implement iteratively.
However, smart companies also need enterprise-grade data governance features and security to keep customer data safe and ensure full compliance with data regulations. Important governance features to look out for include user event streaming and the ability to segregate software instances by workspace with multiple access and authorization levels. Important security features to look for include enterprise-grade certifications such as SOC 2 Type 2, and compliance with data regulations such as GDPR (for Europe), CCPA (for California), and HIPAA (for healthcare).
ET Bureau: Why has process innovation emerged as a necessity for enterprises?
Shwetha Shankar: You could argue that every enterprise has the same access to essentially the same tools and technology. Organizations get a competitive edge with world-class people and processes, especially as they adapt to change.
For example, the pandemic acted as a forcing function to drive laggard companies to digital transformation. Companies that relied on legacy infrastructure, such as pricey, on-premises workstations at the office, scrambled to adapt. In contrast, companies whose tech stacks were largely cloud-ready were far better prepared to accommodate a distributed workforce and a dramatically different market.
The future will belong to enterprises that are smart and nimble enough to embrace change.
Low-code automation gives teams across the organization the power to change, optimize, and update their processes without having to wait for costly IT resources. In other words, low-code automation will be a critical factor in enterprises’ ability to innovate processes and ultimately edge out competitors.
ET Bureau: What are the ways IT teams can develop sophisticated workflow automations for streamlining their data movement across multiple applications?
Shwetha Shankar: Even IT teams appreciate the accessibility of enterprise-grade low-code automation since the best platforms are robust enough to automate anything, provide full scripting support, and offer enterprise-grade security in keeping with their compliance requirements.
In terms of specific use cases, it has been observed that IT teams utilize low-code automation for important tasks that require scale and repeatability.
Post-2016, companies have seen an increase in requests for data disposal from post-sale or churned customers due to GDPR and other subsequent privacy regulations.
Manual data disposal offers a similar challenge in that it can require manually logging into multiple accounts across multiple applications to log changes. Smart IT teams use low-code automation to expedite such processes to make them not only faster and more efficient, but also a better user experience for IT customers.
One other point worth noting: Low-code automation is exciting for business users who can now rapidly self-service their own challenges, but for IT teams, it can potentially lead to a new Wild West if internal customers use low-code tools that aren’t compliant with security standards.
As mentioned previously, the best low-code solutions both empower business users to quickly stand up for their own automated processes while also offering world-class security and enterprise-grade governance features.
Shwetha Shankar is Tray. io VP of Customer Success. Her previous work includes leading the customer success, professional services, and enablement functions at global experience management leader Medallia, where she scaled multiple functions across support, partnerships, education, and pre-sales to grow YoY revenue by double digits. Shankar brings more than a decade of experience leading and scaling SaaS services.