For years now, organizations have relied on Microsoft Excel, Google Sheets and other spreadsheet software to support essential aspects of their businesses. Smaller businesses might handle major portions of their financial accounting in spreadsheets. Even large enterprises with sophisticated ERP systems regularly turn to spreadsheets to organize data or crunch numbers.
But as organizations digitize and automate, the limitations of this software become apparent. Even though they’re easy to use for less technical employees, spreadsheets aren’t designed for managing complex data or workflows of today’s business operations.
The fact is, the time has come for organizations of all sizes to recognize – and migrate away from – the constraints of their outdated spreadsheets. That’s especially true when it comes to managing workflows.
The good news is that an alternative solution already exists – one that’s simple, cost effective, and as easy to use as a spreadsheet. A no-code application development solution can empower you to quickly and easily create customized applications that optimize workflows, span process gaps, and help automate operations – in ways no spreadsheet ever could.
Addressing Spreadsheet Shortcomings
A no-code tool enables any business user to create software without writing code. Users simply drag and drop objects on a virtual canvas to build web apps, workflow apps, web forms or reports. The no-code tool automatically assembles those elements to create stable, secure no-code software to digitize and automate forms, applications and workflows.
There are several areas where spreadsheets fall short but where no-code provides the solution:
Avoiding errors – Because spreadsheets require repetitious, manual data entry, their outputs fall victim to human error. No-code software enables the creation of digitized forms and workflows that standardize data capture and enforce consistent processes, reducing errors.
Establishing controls – Spreadsheets are inherently siloed. They don’t allow you to easily view and manage workflows across systems or lines of business (LoBs). No-code applications are designed to span departments and link processes. Internal teams and external customers can benefit from no-code apps that store data and manage workflows in a centralized location.
Achieving insights and compliance – Spreadsheets don’t tell you anything about how workflows are running or status updates. A good no-code tool not only digitizes workflows; it also lets you track the effectiveness of those workflows. It can even help you demonstrate compliance with both internal process rules and external regulations.
Improving flexibility – Spreadsheets aren’t easily adaptable to evolving business demands. No-code tools let you customize workflows to your unique requirements. And because no-code tools are simple to use, team members can quickly fine-tune workflows to meet new departmental or customer needs – whenever those needs arise.
No-code Workflow Wins
Enterprises are using no-code and low-code app builders for a range of purposes, according to a recent survey. The survey found that businesses are using no-code and low-code for automating workflows (17% of respondents), creating new applications (15%), accelerating application development (15%), automating data collection and reporting (14%), and reducing the burden on professional developers (10%).
Another survey found that the top no-code benefits organizations cited include higher productivity (15%), faster application development (14%), automation of manual processes (12%), and easier workflows (10%).
No-code equips users to digitize a portion of a workflow for an incremental improvement or encode end-to-end workflows for even greater automation. The resulting workflows can enable data capture, notifications, escalations, reporting, and more. They can even integrate with existing systems to support broader processes and ensure efficiency and compliance.
Organizations across a wide range of industries are using no-code to optimize workflows: healthcare, insurance, energy, retail, financial services, higher education, K-12 schools and so on. No-code helps these organizations:
- Reduce manual errors
- Speed up processes
- Lower costs
- Enable compliance
- Improve customer service
- Replace static paper and PDF forms
Likewise, any business function can benefit from no-code, including finance, sales and marketing, IT, HR, customer support, facilities and more. For instance:
Finance can build workflow apps to manage order-to-cash, process invoices, handle payroll and approve budgets.
Sales can build workflows to route leads, approve quotes and process orders.
IT can assemble workflows to provision user technology, manage helpdesk calls and offer employee self-services.
HR can design workflows to onboard employees, conduct performance reviews, approve travel expenses and let workers request time off.
A spreadsheet might be able to help with some aspects of some of those tasks – in a limited, manual and error-prone way. But a good no-code application development tool is clearly superior: as easy to use as a spreadsheet, but able to create no-code software with far greater functionality and business benefit.
So, the next time you reach for your spreadsheet, stop and think about how much better the outcome could be. And then turn to a no-code solution to better manage your workflows.