If you have run a few searches in the realm of digital transformation, there is a high chance you have stumbled across a lot of terms that you are not familiar with. It is often confusing to start without context and a brief understanding of these terms surrounding the latest digital transformation tools and technology.
Here is a list of terms that will fittingly welcome non-technical and technical personnel into the world of digital transformation.
No-code, shortened from no-code platforms refers to application development platforms that require zero coding. This means applications can be built on purely visual, intuitive interfaces with no need for programming experience. These platforms often offer features that are simple such as drag and drop form builders. They work the same way you get to design a collage with stickers, simply take what you need and put it where you need it most. These are typically used by citizen developers or business users to build applications without having to write any code or depend on software developers for any help.
Low-code is the shortened term for low-code platforms which are application development platforms that offer the user the ability to build applications with existing elements while being able to integrate code into them. While no-code and low code are often referenced together, they have a clear demarcation in terms of the technical understanding required to operate the different platforms. These platforms may not be accessible to total beginners but are good tor those who have a technical mindset in business backgrounds.
Agile software development refers to a software development methodologies that are based on iterative development, where requirements and solutions evolve through collaboration between self-organizing cross-functional teams. The four major principles for agile project management, with the goal of developing better software, are:
aPaaS, one of the popular low code no code terms, stands for ‘Application Platform as a Service’. This most often refers to a cloud-based software service you can use to develop, run, and manage applications for a recurring fee. A lot of no-code and low-code platforms fall under this category and make themselves available over the cloud through a subscription as an aPaaS.
Business applications are software that are used by the business to fulfill their specific needs. This could mean a leave tracking software for the human relations department, an inventory tracking software for a warehouse, or a project management timeline software for the services department. Business applications can be anything that a team requires to fulfill their functions adequately. Furthermore, these are software that are best understood by the function that utilizes them.
Business Process Automation (BPA) simplifies business processes through technical solutions that automate manual repetitive tasks. This helps the workforce to restructure time to more important issues when routine work is completed in much lesser time through automation.
Business Process Automation concentrates on decreasing the number of manual tasks. This leads to higher efficiency and productivity.
A variety of tools and applications have been developed with this purpose in mind. The risk of human error during processes such as data input is removed along with other potential obstacles.
Business Process Improvement is a focused approach that involves continuously improving specific business processes in a steady manner by reiterating the processes. Since specific processes are targeted, this is a low-risk process that won’t cause any cultural or implementation problems. It simply involves recommending changes that can streamline and improve efficiency.
Business process management (BPM) is about conducting business in the most efficient way possible. In other words, BPM is the process of designing, monitoring, managing, and executing inter-related business processes. This means that you bring various processes in your organization together and optimize them for the overall welfare of the company.
Business Process Reengineering (BPR) is the activity of drastically redesigning existing business processes and workflows to achieve huge improvements in key aspects of the business such as output, quality, reduction of costs, service, and efficiency. This also involves redesigning any peripheral systems and organizational structures related to the business processes. This phrase was first coined by Michael Hammer in 1990, in his article “Reengineering Work: Don’t Automate, Obliterate,” according to Wikipedia.
BPR affects many major components of a business such as the organization, process, technology, culture, and the overall strategy of the business. These efforts can be categorized into 3 broad phases – the analysis phase, the design phase, and the implementation phase.
Case management software is a tool that can help you manage cases that are information-centric service requests, incidents that need to be resolved, or an investigation that needs to be undertaken. This software is a digital tool that can help you take your cases from offline to online. This software can also help you organize, analyze, and share all of the information related to a certain case, without wading through tedious forms and confusing procedures. This can greatly benefit your customer service or client servicing departments in speeding up their processes, which can lead to happier customers.
Case management software can be particularly useful, as every process or workflow may not need a standard number of steps. If there’s a process that can be resolved faster with fewer steps, the user can determine and set the steps, hence assigning the perfect workflow for that specific issue or case. This ability to manipulate the workflow and process associated with a case makes case management software indispensable for organizations, or non-profits, who aim to keep their customers happy at all times.
‘Citizen Developer’, a very popular low code no code terms, is a relatively new term that has been coined by a research firm called Gartner, which specializes in technological research. By their definition, “A citizen developer is a user who creates new business applications for consumption by others using development and runtime environments sanctioned by corporate IT.”
In essence for no-code and low-code platforms, citizen developers are those who use the software to create new and improved applications for their business units.
Cloud computing is the on-demand availability of computer system resources, especially data storage (cloud storage) and computing power, without direct active management by the user. The data is stored on cloud (public, private, or hybrid) and the vendor takes care of the security and uptime. Businesses do not need to spend on additional infrastructure, resources, or data privacy within their own premises. It is a service that takes care of it all in one shot. You also do not need physical space because everything is on the cloud.
One of the highlights here is that you can get cloud computing solutions specific to your business needs. You won’t be paying extra for space or services that you do not use.
Another popular one from the list of low code no code terms, Democratization of technology is the process and the innovation through which advanced technology is being made available to larger numbers of people. Today with increased accessibility to resources, it has become significantly easier to reach technology to people. The average person today no-longer has any barrier holding them back from learning to use or experience new technology in some form or the other. In terms of no-code and low-code platforms, this democratization is highly apparent as now everyone has the power to create applications.
Digital dexterity is the ability of employees to adapt and adopt existing and emerging technologies in their field to produce better results for their company. As the digital world is constantly changing, the desire to adapt and innovate using new technologies is important for employees. The level of digital dexterity can affect both the employees and the organization. Digital change needs to be welcomed and this shift in mindset needs to be seen in each individual employee as well on an organizational level. An agile and flexible team can make all the difference when implementing a digital transformation and this is where digital dexterity comes in.
Digital innovation on the other hand is the creation and/or development of new technology that will help a business or a group of people. Digital Innovation looks at taking existing technological tools and making the most from them, almost as a precursor to digital transformation. Accelerating digital innovation means setting the foundation to accelerate digital transformation.
Digital modernization, in simple language, is the process of upgrading existing processes and adopting new technology systems to meet the needs of the industry. This is often under the CIO’s purview and is mainly undertaken to better the operations and infrastructure in the business. This modernization can help a business with increasing efficiency, improving existing processes, and reducing costs.
Digital Process Automation is the process of automating business processes for the better. When we say better, we mean efficiency-wise and in terms of overall effectiveness. In other words, it helps you optimize processes through digitization. Digital workflow is created, which improves the focus of all team members.
While Gartner did not coin the term digital transformation, their heavy influence in the space of no-code and low-code software has greatly influenced its meaning. According to the glossary at Gartner, digital transformation is “the process of exploiting digital technologies and supporting capabilities to create a robust new digital business model.” Overall it references any organization that is using technology as a tool of growth in their business strategy.
Digital transformation runs anywhere from the corner shop using mobile payment methods to a new website for an organization that tracks the usage of the customers. It doesn’t need to be of a certain standard, but it is the process in which the focus is turned towards making the customer’s journey easier and how value can be delivered more efficiently. There is space for digital transformation in each business unit of an enterprise and each step of a supply chain, all to make collaboration and efficiency of an organization better. No-code and low-code platforms help encourage making these changes as they make the shift easier, faster, and more affordable.
Digitalization in most cases in business refers to improving business processes, business functions, business operations, and more by leveraging the new technology the digital space provides. It allows new systems to be set up in the context of digitalization to make business easier and achieve any/ all benefits the business may have in mind.
Digitalized businesses can lead to digital businesses and increased scope for business growth. On average, digitalization in this sense of the word is seen as the middle step towards digital transformation and the creation of digital revenue streams.
Digitization is a conceptual term that holds many associations across a variety of literature. Digitization is the term for creating a digital version of analog things. It is converting physical matter into digital format. For example paper documents, microfilm images, photographs, and more into bits and bytes that define them.
All in all, digitization is the simple process of re-representing non-digital data in a digital format that can then be used by the computing system in a variety of ways and for different functions. Thus, in this whole process, nothing of the original document is lost. While in many cases the original item is destroyed to clear up space, but in any case, it lives on in digital forms.
Document generation software allows the design of document templates with placeholders that can be automatically populated with information from various data sources to generate a range of documents, such as purchase orders, invoices, contract agreements, proposals, quotes, and reports without the need to create and share any of them manually.
A hpaPaaS stands for ‘High-Performing Application Platform as a Service’. These platforms are an evolved version of aPaaS platforms that are focused on developer productivity and speed. HpaPaaS platforms provide rapid application development (RAD) features for development, deployment, and execution — in the cloud.
As per Gartner, Hyperautomation deals with the application of advanced technologies, including intelligent business management software (iBPMS), artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), to increasingly automate processes and augment humans. Hyperautomation extends across a range of tools that can be automated, but also refers to the sophistication of the automation (i.e., discover, analyze, design, automate, measure, monitor, reassess.)
Also read: Hyperautomation – What, Why, and How?
Low-code no-code development has tools to solve all the problems that were stated above. While they are not the same as traditional app development, they help solve the problems the original app development systems create. While there are lots of tools that help in many different ways, LCNC at the core of it is software that helps create and enable new applications to help a business grow.
These are software solutions that offer WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) or only a low amount of code to create fully-functional business automation applications. While not all LCNC automation enables app development, some only help infrastructure, source management, data management, and more. But we’re not here to talk about the other benefits of LCNC, we are here to talk about how LCNC is the here and now of app development.
Also read: LCNC: Is it completely worth the hype?
Omni-channel application development refers to finding ways to unify the creation of an application across platforms. This means if you are creating a corporate expense management system, and you want it to work the same on desktop and mobile, it can be created all at once. This means that the code from the no-code or low-code system is created to remain compatible and malleable regardless of the platform.
The name says it all! On-premise software is literally present on a company’s premises. It is installed within the office and uses the business’ servers. Everything related to this software right from installation to maintenance and everything in between is in the hands of the office. It requires quite a lot of infrastructure and additional resources. Complete ownership is the biggest attraction in this case despite the inflated cost.
Process Automation is a brilliant way to aid collaboration and coordination throughout the organization. It may even be said that it is the key to attaining digital transformation.
Process mining is a set of approaches that discovers real processes through the use of event logs, monitors them, and work towards improving them. It is an analytical approach through which knowledge is extracted from the organization’s systems.
Through this process, organizations can detect errors and bottlenecks based on the facts instead of relying on conjectures. Overall, it covers the following:
Also read: What is Process Mining? All You Need to Know
Rapid Application Development (RAD) is a form of agile software development methodology that prioritizes rapid prototype iteration and releases, the use of software, and user feedback over strict planning and requirements recording as in the case of the Waterfall method. Most low-code and no-code platforms are built based on RAD principles.
RPA is an application that automates business processes through structured inputs and logic. It takes care of the routine and repetitive tasks that are usually time-consuming and monotonous e.g. generating insurance premium receipts every time an insurance premium is paid against an insurance policy. With RPA in place, you will be able to focus on other important tasks in the business process.
However, RPA is not a deep-rooted answer. It is a basic fix for repetitive tasks and low-level events that require the use of a mouse or keyboard functions. It only works to get things done faster and save human effort.
Shadow IT is the use of information technology systems, devices, software, applications, and services without explicit IT department approval.
Workflow automation is the automation of steps involved in the workflow to execute your tasks efficiently with consistent and accurate results every time the workflow is executed. In other words, workflow automation is a series of automated actions created for the steps in a business workflow process.
The digital curve is inevitable in any business. Every organization is feeling the need to up their efficiency and shift to the digital way of life. No-code and low-code platforms allow business users in these functions to unlock the hidden potential, automate processes, and build applications without overburdening the IT department.
Be sure to check out some of the other blogs on Quixy if you want to learn more about what you can accomplish using no-code and low-code platforms. If you are ready to take the next step forward in digitization, feel free to take a free trial of Quixy’s services here. We have a multitude of features and an ample support system that will help you through the process.
Quixy Ranked #1 No-Code Platform in G2's Fall 2021 Momentum Report