The next normal: Automation and software as an expression of us.
A few months ago, we used “good enough” manual systems to manage critical business processes. Today, these systems aren’t only an inconvenience, they’re completely broken.
COVID-19 has forced us to adopt many new tools and practices that support us in the new normal, but no one knows what the next normal will be. It is critical that we prepare for uncertainty by creating a foundation of faster, more agile process automation. To survive and succeed, we need the ability to rapidly adapt as changes come. We need workflows that are automated and digitized via apps that support employees.
In the next normal, software should express us
Modern enterprises should be automated with apps that work the way humans work rather than forcing users to fumble with one-size-fits-all stock apps and manual processes. We need apps that support us and that maximize our productivity. We need apps that better match the way we actually work and that express who we are, what we do, and how we do it.
The answer is not crystal clear, but it for sure isn’t more spreadsheets, workarounds, and manual processes. Two best practices that Forrester has observed are:
Implementing policies into software so that they are automated
This ensures that when the unexpected happens (such as COVID-19), operating policies can continue without depending on people and paper.
Preparing for uncertainty by ensuring that processes and systems are ready to scale
The companies with newer software technologies that allow cloud access, low-code development, DevOps tools, and collaborative work management have been better able to rapidly adapt.
The next normal is always evolving while the future remains uncertain. To prepare for any eventuality, Forrester recommends:
- Adding a low-code solution to your software portfolio
- Using that solution to prioritize an adaptable, digital-first approach to business
- Temporarily shifting away from innovation and focusing on effectiveness and efficiency of operations
- Enlisting business people as developers
- Engaging CEOs for budgets and support
Low-code development platforms to the rescue
These types of solutions offer a low barrier to entry in terms of cost and increase only as the business value increases. Pay for what you need, and scale up as your needs change. In the face of COVID-19, low-code platforms have delivered novel solutions such as:
- Apps for coordinating volunteers
- Employee tracking to monitor exposure
- Hospital supply management
- Loan eligibility apps
- Apps to enhance efficiency for remote teams
- Delivery management for retailers
- Fleet management solutions
Notably, many of these solutions were developed in a matter of days, which wouldn’t be possible with traditional development. Some of the general ways low-code platforms can contribute to automation include:
- Business record management: Financials, inventory, HR records, and customer information
- Shared services: Billing, pricing, scheduling, on-boarding, and IT management
- Business operations: Banking, distribution, supply chain, and merchandising
The deeper low-code platforms can integrate into the DNA of a company, the more adaptable they will be in the face of uncertainty.
Salesforce solutions with Skuid
Businesses that are already using Salesforce are in a perfect position to automate. With Skuid, it is easy to accelerate custom Salesforce app design, development, and adoption. Developers can combine the power of Salesforce (Lightning or Classic) and Skuid to create a user experience that matches the way people work, whether they are employees, customers, or partners—all with little to no code.
Modern organizations use Skuid to accelerate delivery of process- and context-specific custom Salesforce applications that drive higher adoption, engagement, and productivity. This means faster delivery (50%) with less code debt, which means even faster iteration (73%) as needs change. Admins and developers now have the tools and speed to deliver more to your business for less.
Go into each next normal with Skuid and Salesforce
When things get crazy, focus on what you can control. For broken processes, this means reducing or eliminating manual steps, refactoring code, and resetting expectations. However, the unfortunate reality for many businesses today is that technical resources are constrained. Skuid can help with an affordable low-code solution for extending Salesforce (and Lightning) value.
Using Salesforce with Skuid leads to fuller adoption, faster innovation, and frequent adaptation—all of which are necessary in our current situation. To learn more about how other organizations are using Skuid and Salesforce to automate processes and adapt to the next normal, check out the recent webinar we did with Forrester about getting more done with less.