Workflow automation is a powerful approach to orchestrating business processes. In this post we discuss applications and compare platforms for getting the most out of process automation.
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Workflow automation is the method of delegating manual business processes to a specialised automation tool by breaking down these processes into well-defined tasks and stringing them together into logic flows.
Workflow automation can either make decisions based on predefined conditions, namely IF statements, or by requesting human input at specific points in the decision tree. Workflows are triggered by specific events, such as end-users completing a form with a base set of information about the task, or customers placing an online order. Another key aspect of workflow automation is the ability to orchestrate across multiple platforms to create a seamless end-to-end process. For example, workflows can gather approvals, which typically include financial, technical, and management approvals, by sending a templated email populated with task details and interactive approval buttons.
As with most automation-based improvements, workflow automation standardises processes and performs actions without human limitations such as fatigue, enabling scalability and reducing error rates. Some of the main benefits for using workflow automation are:
Compared to physical automation processes such as manufacturing with assembly lines, workflow automation software can complete activities carried out by knowledge-based workers, such as business administration, finance, human resources, etc. This is only possible because a single piece of logic can string together multiple tasks to complete a wider, high-level task. Workflow automation can, in theory, capture and execute all types of administrative processes by orchestrating across business applications such as emails, file sharing, and the like. With today’s technology, some of the best use cases for workflow automation include:
This process is typically carried out by the HR department, IT and the hiring manager. However, an automated workflow can take on all these tasks and involve relevant stakeholders only for approvals or key decisions. This larger task can be broken into actions such as:
If you need to engage with multiple stakeholders for request approvals and record their responses, workflow automation can help you to easily track multiple flows. Some of these actions can be defined as such:
Workflow automation can help the sales and growth teams track a large number of leads by ensuring consistent engagement. Some actions which can be automated include:
Whenever a customer makes a purchase in an online store, automation flows can carry out many administrative tasks such as:
Whenever assessing a workflow automation tool, we recommend using the following criteria as high-level guidelines
Using the criteria described above as a starting point, we have created a high-level comparison between leading providers of workflow automation tools.
Our platform provides for building event-driven automation with a clear and intuitive UI with a specific focus on real-time workflows. It enables users to capture and classify events to extract actionable insights, and unifies audience intelligence and automate the right actions across your business. Its comprehensive API and third party integrations make it a powerful orchestration tool.
Integrify is a reputable name in the Workflow Automation space with a mature tool that provides a no-code builder. It has comprehensive reporting capabilities and features and an open API to enable integrations with other applications. Integrify also integrated with AWS Lambda that allows users to leverage functions in their workflows. While Integrity offers a wide range of capabilities, the platform has a long learning curve, especially for non-technical users.
Boasting an impressive portfolio of customers, Comindware Tracker provides low-code builders to automate business processes. It has extensive capabilities that enable cross-business collaboration and offers a fully fleshed API. However, Comindware Tracker’s graphical user interface and reporting capabilities are less intuitive to work with compared to other similar products in this list.
Zapier has been the go-to choice for businesses looking to automated workflows across a variety of platforms. Its no-code builder has been designed specifically to facilitate cross-platform orchestration and automation. And while this is Zapier’s strong point, it is also dependent on its existing portfolio of integrations and the third party’s sfotware availability of APIs. Zapier has limited reporting capabilities, but this can be amended using third party plugins.
Kissflow is a powerful workflow automation company used by a wide variety of enterprises. It features easy-to-read reporting dashboards and real time analytics, offers an integration API and a no-code builder. While Kissflow offers an intuitive way to build workflows, the platform has challenges with migration to new versions of the software where customers have had difficulties with process continuity.
Gravity Flow provides a no-code workflow builder with excellent flexibility that simplifies the workflow creation process and lowers the amount of actions needed. It has extensive reporting capabilities that enables customers to detect inefficiencies and bottlenecks. While Gravity Flow offers an API for custom integrations, its capabilities are fairly limited and the exhaustive pre-built extensions must be purchased at an additional cost.
To learn more about how our platform uses event-driven architecture for workflow automation, you can request early access to the platform. Our no-code approach to building serverless-based workflows can enable non-technical users to process and respond to customer requests in realtime.