‍There are many low-code automation platforms available in the market today. However, to ensure that you don’t fall victim to a scam, it is advisable to do your due diligence before choosing one. 

The process of choosing the right platform for your business can be challenging especially if you are not aware of the different factors that need to be considered. Here we discuss some of the key considerations before choosing a low code automation platform for your business:

Know the Different Types of Platforms 

There are many different types of platforms available in the market today. To ensure that you don’t end up wasting your time and money, it is advisable to familiarize yourself with the different types of platforms available in the market today. Here are some of the key types of platforms available in the market:

API-first platforms

API-first platforms are very flexible and enable you to create almost any type of automation. The API provided by the platform enables you to connect with other systems and databases. Although API-first platforms are great for creating customizations, business logic, and integrations, they are not the best for maintaining long-term relationships with customers. 

API-first platforms are great for new businesses that want to build a relationship with their customers quickly. However, they don’t have the best mechanisms in place to scale a business.

GUI-first platforms

GUI-first platforms offer a user interface that makes it very convenient for end users to create customizations and integrations. The user interface provides step-by-step instructions and visual feedback to ensure that the end user can complete the task successfully. Although the user interface is very user-friendly, it is not ideal for maintaining a long-term relationship with customers. 

On a GUI-first platform, every customization has to be made through the platform’s user interface. For example, you have to create a new product or change the color of a product to make the automation work. 

This is the case even though most automation platforms let you create new products and modify the appearance of products without having to create a new line of products. This is because the automation platform’s job is only to automate the process of creating products, not the process of creating specific items.

OPC-first platforms

On OPC-first platforms, the business logic is stored in the platform itself. This makes the platform your business’s ERP/MRP system. Integrations between the platform and other systems, like CRM systems, are handled through APIs. 

OPC-first platforms make use of API management software, which can be very time-consuming and cumbersome. OPC-first platforms are ideal for businesses with a limited number of systems to integrate. However, they are not suitable for large organizations with many vendors and systems.

Enterprise-class platforms

Enterprise-class platforms offer enterprise-class capabilities and are only available to enterprises. These platforms are capable of handling a large number of systems and databases. They integrate easily with business logic and allow you to create some pretty impressive integrations. 

These types of platforms are great for large organizations with thousands of systems to integrate. Additionally, they provide an excellent ROI as they cost quite a lot. On these types of platforms, every customization has to be authorized by the platform owners and the customizations have to be tested by the end user before being integrated into the system.

Try Free Trials 

It is always a good idea to try out a low-code automation platform before you sign up for a full version. The free trials feature of most platforms lets you try out the platform for at least three days before you make any real money with the platform. During this time, you can test out the platform and make sure that it works as expected. 

You can also try out different features and see what works best for your business. These types of trial periods are meant to give you a sense of how the platform works before you commit to a larger subscription.

Learn More About the Platform

After you’ve tried out the platform and made sure that everything works as expected, it is time to read up on the platform and its offerings. Make sure that you know everything about the platform’s concept, history, and features. 

In particular, read through the platform’s FAQs and reviews to get a general idea of how customers feel about the platform.

Assess Scalability

The scalability of software is the ability of the software to scale up or down depending on the requirements of the business. For example, ERP software may be able to handle a large number of transactions but could struggle when the business grows very quickly. There are different scalability models available such as single-user, single-node, and multi-node. 

Any software that claims to be able to scale up or down, even a little, is probably too limited in its ability to meet the requirements of the business. Choosing a platform that promises high scalability is dangerous because it means you may not be able to scale down as necessary as well.

Assess the Cost

Just as with any job, the price of hiring a particular person is not the same as the price of hiring the same person in a different role. Before you choose a low code automation platform, take some time to carefully examine how much each feature costs. In some cases, features may become available exclusively with a specific platform, but in other cases, the cost may vary depending on the needs of the business. 

You will also want to carefully examine the cost of ongoing support. The cost of ongoing support may vary depending on whether you are using an included support contract or purchasing support from a third party.

Assess Ease of Use

The ease of use of the software will be reflected in how easy it is to integrate with your existing software and whether or not you have to learn new software skills. For example, if you are already comfortable with the functionality of an ERP system, you may prefer to use it instead of learning a new software language. 

Make sure to examine the user interface of the low code automation platform and make sure it is as straightforward as possible to use.

Monitor the Effectiveness of Your Existing Tools

After you’ve read up on the platform and its offerings, it is time to assess the effectiveness of your existing automation tools. This is the process of elimination in which you eliminate any automation tools that do not work for your business. To save you time and money, it is advisable to hire a qualified automation tool lifecycle management (ATLM) consultant to review your current setup. 

The lifecycle management aspect of automation tools helps you determine how long each tool should be used. Ideally, you want to extend the life of your current tools by at least one more purchase cycle. By doing this, you save yourself a lot of trouble and heartache in the long run.

Identify Your Core Competencies

After you’ve assessed the effectiveness of your existing automation tools, it is time to identify your core competencies. This is the process of mapping out your business’s major functions and identifying what tools, functions, and technologies would allow you to adequately perform these functions. 

To do this, think about your customers, products, and services. At the end of the day, you need to find a combination of tools, functions, and technologies that best meets the needs and requirements of your business.

Invest in Training and Support

After you’ve identified your core competencies, it is time to invest in training and support. This is the process of improving your existing skills. Ideally, you want to make yourself more efficient and increase your profits through automation. To make yourself efficient, you need to be mindful of your time. 

For example, if you have a standard process for making sure all orders are placed on the right track, you need to make sure that this process is followed correctly every time. This will help you avoid making mistakes and will save you time and effort in the long run.

Bottom line

The choice of the right platform is crucial for your business. To make the most of the right platform, you need to do your research and try out different versions of the platform to get a feel for the various tradeoffs and benefits associated with each platform. In particular, you should consider the following aspects before choosing a low-code automation platform for your business: 

(1) Try out the platform for at least 3 days (2) Read about the platform and its offerings (3) Assess the effectiveness of your existing automation tools, (4) Identify your core competencies, and (5) Invest in training and support.

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