Let’s take a step back to assess traditional business processes using a hypothetical enterprise company.
Companies need to keep data moving through various systems that may be a combination of custom and off-the-shelf solutions. In order to do this, they need to communicate in a variety of ways. For example, their systems may consist of remote point-of-sale setups that upload sales data to an ERP via Excel spreadsheets. Their top supplier may use traditional EDI documents to exchange order information. They may also have partners that require XML feeds every 30 minutes to relay inventory information between systems. Finally, they may also outsource to e-commerce systems that use restful web services to communicate order information and sync customer data.
As the company grows, however, so do its integration needs. With that growth, there are more systems that need to communicate with each other seamlessly. As a result, the company has to create more integrations to handle the additional load and satisfy all their integration requirements. They end up needing a rather impractical and complex fix.
In our fast-paced economy of rapidly changing market conditions and customer expectations, no business afford a tedious and complex fix. Not, at least, if they want to remain competitive. That is why Businesses need to be agile — to adapt to changes. In order to remain agile, many companies are looking at tools that help them automate processes. They want to increase efficiency as well as the quality and speed at which they can do business.
The Role of Low Code
This is where low-code platforms plays a critical role. Low-code tools are visual development solutions that empower business users (with or without technical skills) to develop business solutions. They diversify business process improvements and application development. It is a win-win situation. Businesses can leverage faster process automation and low-code innovation while keeping up with constantly changing market conditions and new entrants.
This article discusses how you can modernize and boost business processes with low code.
Learn more about how your organization can overcome challenges by securing low-code solutions in this article about IBM application portal.
How Can You Modernize and Boost Your Business Processes With Low Code?
The first step to modernizing business processes is to inventory all existing processes. Next, assess them to identify ineffective processes. Then, categorize them into two groups: Eliminate and Modernize. This will expose redundant processes — they fall under the Eliminate group. Ineffective business-critical processes where improvements would significantly affect your bottom line fall under Modernize.
The next step is to develop an approach to modernizing your ineffective processes. There are a few things you can look at when evaluating how you can improve the way you do business. First, you typically evaluate how effective you are at meeting customers’ needs. Then, you determine how efficient you are at using resources and how agile you are in adapting to change. Key drivers in achieving these goals include:
- Automation allows you to reduce points of failure. It mitigates risk and lessens resource bottlenecks by removing or reducing human intervention and effort.
- Optimization focuses on streamlining existing business processes. It improves operational efficiency while also adding capacity to absorb increases in business volume.
- Collaboration involves the interaction between people, processes, and systems to increase the accuracy, timeliness, and completeness of information. Collaboration may be required internally across business units and also externally across the supply chain.
Here are effective strategies for modernizing your business processes.
How Can You Automate Business Processes With Low-Code?
Automating data chains with a BPI solution can lower operating costs and reduce the risk of not meeting SLAs (service level agreements). Unfortunately, many companies do the opposite — they throw more manpower at the problem. In the long run, this approach negatively impacts operating margins.
LANSA Composer, a powerful Business Process Integration (BPI) solution, aims to lower operating costs, increase accuracy and improve productivity. It streamlines data chains so that you can execute repetitive business processes with the minimum amount of human intervention.
LANSA Composer is a design and execution platform that integrates business activities involving transport, data transformation, and custom business processing. It also satisfies the four key requirements of a BPI solution:
- Transportation — moving data between source and target.
- Transformation — mapping data between many different formats.
- Process Orchestration — sequential and conditional execution of process flow.
- Administration — auditing, error handling, logging, security, and system operations.
LANSA Composer is compatible with all common interfaces, like web services, EDI and FTP, as well as email. Smart processes handle unexpected events, and interrupted sequences can resume from the point of failure and run to completion without loss of data or transaction integrity.
How Can You Automate Business Processes With LANSA Composer?
LANSA Composer allows business analysts to assemble business processes to do the following:
- Exchange business information and transactions in common and agreed formats with trading partners, internal business units, and other business applications on the same or different computing platforms.
- Transform business information between XML, EDI (UN/EDIFACT and ANSI X12), HL7 (legacy EDI and XML V3.x), XBRL, JSON, Excel, text, and database formats.
- Invoke web services, whether publicly available, published by trading partners, or internal to your organization.
- Orchestrate transport, data transformation, and other activities, pass variable data between them and apply conditional and structural directives to create multi-step business processes that can be executed and managed as a single unit.
LANSA Composer also decreases development time by including a set of ready-made activities that most companies need for business process integration. You simply assemble business processes. Assembling a process is much faster than writing program code to manage the process. In addition, it supports various client platforms. These include web/mobile browsers (ChromeⓇ, FirefoxⓇ, SafariⓇ, IE 11+), native or hybrid mobile apps (iOS, Android, Windows), and Windows.
Green’s General Foods and LANSA Composer
For example, one of our clients, Green’s General Foods, based in Australia, had all their interfaces on BPCS. Their other systems were custom-developed RPG programs. Only a programmer could see the business rules embedded in the programs. Because of this limitation, they had many issues supporting their interfaces and need to change.
According to Anish Mathur, a Senior Business Analyst who joined Green’s in 2011, “We needed more than just a technical middleware tool. We were looking for a Business Process Management (BPM) solution — something that would allow a business analyst to configure our business rules and orchestrate our business process, rather than having to write programs to do that. We wanted to make better use of our BPCS ERP system by moving the modifications outside the ERP and come back to a BPCS implementation with minimal custom developments.”
Leveraging LANSA Composer, Green’s General Foods (Green’s) was able to wind back their RPG-developed ERP modifications without losing any custom functionality. They replaced over 150 RPG programs with LANSA’s Business Process Integration solution. Their custom processing is now managed by a business analyst rather than a developer.
How Do I Leverage Low-code To Build Applications Faster?
In many cases, business users know more about business solutions than the IT department. Including them in application development allows solutions to be easily be tailored to specific business needs. The result is faster and more seamless business processes. Low-code platforms empower business users to become citizen developers. That facilitates rapid application development.
LANSA understands how hard it is to keep pace with today’s demands for new applications. It understands that it’s even harder to keep applications relevant as business and technology continuously change. With solutions like Visual LANSA, the powerful low-code platform, you can digitally transform your business and increase IT efficiency while reducing risk and technical debt. This keeps your developers on schedule and responsive to demand more applications.
How Can You Build Applications Faster With Visual LANSA?
The LANSA low-code development platform accelerates application development by eliminating the need to master the multiple technical skills normally required to produce software applications. With LANSA, developers need to master only one skill to build applications across all different mobile devices, browsers, servers, and cloud platforms.
Here are more ways LANSA can help you boost productivity:
- A full-stack language, WYSIWYG designer, and one-click deployment for all form factors to accelerate your app development process.
- An application framework with live prototyping, prebuilt navigation, auto-generated search filters and detail panels and user-access security allows you to generate consistent, high-quality enterprise applications with minimal coding.
- Direct integration of existing data and assets with everything, whether objects are in the cloud, on-premises, or on a local device, server, or workstation.
Are You Ready to Modernize Your Business Processes?
Low code solutions provide businesses with the ability to keep up with constantly changing demands and regulations. In today’s world, the pace at which the IT environment changes is bewildering. The need to accelerate the development and delivery of enterprise applications cannot be overstated.
LANSA offers numerous low code solutions to help any business’ modernization processes. The LANSA composer is a low-code solution with all the features and components necessary to satisfy your various integration needs, both internally and externally.
To get started with boosting efficiencies, productivity, and speeding up the delivery of your products or services, request a demo here.