No-Code Platforms for Business Process Management
The no-code movement rapidly disrupts traditional enterprise software development and business process management. No-code platforms like SmartSuite empower teams to build custom solutions and automate workflows without coding, unlocking new levels of operational efficiency. This article will explore how SmartSuite and other no-code tools transform organizations by streamlining operations, incorporating AI, expanding beyond just business users, integrating with other software, and focusing on excellent user experiences. We'll cover the origins of SmartSuite and its vision for consolidating databases, documents, and projects into a unified productivity platform.
This article demonstrates how SmartSuite allows anyone to create customized solutions with configurable fields, views, and automation. Other topics include emerging no-code trends like AI/ML capabilities, ecosystem integrations, and the democratization of software development. By enabling anyone to optimize workflows and processes without coding, no-code represents the agile future of business process management. This article shows how tools like SmartSuite help organizations work smarter, faster, and more efficiently in our digital world.
This post contains affiliate links. If you click on a link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission at no additional cost to you.
Streamlining Operations with No-Code Platforms
No-code platforms for business process management as a movement are rapidly changing how businesses manage their processes and workflows. Avi Hercenberg, Partnership Director at SmartSuite, explained in our recent exclusive Software Spotlight podcast that no-code platforms like SmartSuite provide a faster, more affordable, and intuitive way to optimize business operations.
The Origins of SmartSuite
SmartSuite was founded around five years ago by entrepreneurs with previous success in the software industry. As Hercenberg shared, “Jon Darbyshire, Tara Darbyshire, and Peter Novosel all come from another company called Archer Technologies. This GRC platform managed governance, risk, and compliance in large financial institutions, government agencies, etc. Jon was the founder of that company; Peter was VP of product. They started the company in about 2000, sold it in about 2010, and took a break. Jon and Tara retired.”
After retiring, the founders saw an opportunity to leverage new advancements in no-code software technology. As Hercenberg explained, “In about 2019, Jon saw the market shifting where it was possible to build these no-code platforms with advanced technology that wasn't yet available when building Archer. And decided to return to the market and build a new work management platform.”
Our Video SmartSuite: Streamlining Toolsets
Unifying Database, Documents, and Projects
The goal was to create an all-in-one platform that unified databases, documents, and project management. As Hercenberg outlined, “Jon saw the market shifting … what he noticed in the market at the time, which is still true today, is that you have database-focused tools like Airtable [and document and project-focused tools].” The vision was to combine all these capabilities into a single, flexible platform. Initial customer reviews have been very encouraging for the SmartSuite platform.
A Robust Foundation
Rather than launch an MVP, SmartSuite invested heavily in its technology foundation before bringing it to market. As Hercenberg noted, “We spent the first three years of the company building with about a hundred engineers over 16 million dollars just building the platform without showing it or releasing it to a single customer because we wanted to be enterprise-ready at launch.”
This substantial upfront investment allowed SmartSuite to launch with a full-featured product ready to meet the needs of large organizations right out of the gate.
Empowering Business Users
One of the critical benefits of SmartSuite is how it empowers non-technical business users to build their own solutions tailored to their needs without relying on developers or IT.
As Hercenberg summarized, “SmartSuite has a lot of advanced permissions. So you can lock down objects, rows, and fields. We also have field-level encryption.”
Custom Solutions Without Coding
As Hercenberg confirmed, “You can truly build out their own custom solutions, workflows, automations, without having to shape their business to fit the mold of SmartSuite, but rather have SmartSuite as the platform fit the mold of their business.”
SmartSuite allows non-technical users to build customized solutions for their business needs without coding. The flexible platform can adapt to diverse use cases across departments and industries.
Configurable Fields and Views
Hercenberg mentioned, “Solutions, fields, views, and permissions can be configured to support diverse use cases across industries.”
SmartSuite provides over 40 field types and customizable views to manage large datasets. Users can create solutions aligned to their processes and display relevant information.
SmartSuite has built-in features for communication and notifications. As Hercenberg said in the podcast, “Features like comments, email notifications, and client portals facilitate real-time collaboration.” Client portals provide live views into workflows, enabling seamless collaboration.
The automation center in SmartSuite allows users to set up triggers and actions to automate repetitive tasks. As Hercenberg indicated, “Workflows can be automated based on triggers and rules to streamline processes.” This eliminates manual work and ensures consistent execution of processes.
The intuitive drag-and-drop interface, templates, and no-code automation allow non-technical employees to handle many build tasks. This saves time and money compared to relying on developers for every business need.
As no-code platforms like SmartSuite continue maturing, they can potentially democratize software development within organizations. When employees can create solutions tailored to their requirements, it unlocks innovation, agility, and new working methods.
The Future of No-Code BPM
SmartSuite represents the next evolution of no-code platforms for business process management. By combining the key capabilities companies need into one intuitive solution, SmartSuite empowers teams to work smarter, faster, and more efficiently. The no-code approach makes process optimization accessible to business users without technical skills. As no-code platforms like SmartSuite continue maturing, they are poised to transform operational efficiency across organizations and industries.
Current No-Code Trends
The no-code movement is still in its early stages, but we are already seeing some exciting trends emerge that will shape the future of these platforms. As Avi Hercenberg explained, one area of innovation is integrating AI capabilities:
“We're also working on multiple other projects, including AI and the automation center to help you configure automations easier and understand what you're going to do with automations. An AI assistant that will help you understand and, and kind of draw insights from your data. So you'll be able to ask the AI assistant right within SmartSuite to give you some insights about your data.”
Using AI and machine learning, no-code platforms like SmartSuite can provide insights, suggestions, and automation for building solutions and workflows. Rather than just facilitating development, these tools may begin optimizing and enhancing processes intelligently.
Another trend is the expansion of no-code beyond business users to other roles like lawyers, accountants, etc. As Hercenberg noted:
“We just got back from the No Code Summit in Paris, and we had a whole bunch of really informative sessions. One of the sessions was our CEO, Jon, on stage with one of our customers who's the VP of Security and Risk at Apple Bank. And Jonathan, who's the VP over there, shared how his marketing team was the first team to adapt Smart Suite and they were using it to streamline marketing. But since they're in a regulated space, their attorneys and compliance people had to review the marketing materials before they went out.”
No-code is empowering non-technical professionals across many fields to optimize their workflows. As these platforms mature, we'll likely see increased adoption in legal, healthcare, accounting, government, and other industries.
The integration ecosystem around no-code tools is also expanding rapidly. As Hercenberg explained:
“We have integrations for a very wide range of things. And so, first of all, within our automation center, we have direct, these are integrations, you can access them through our automation center and this is part of our platform, you can automate anything within the platform or outside the platform.”
With robust APIs and integrations, no-code platforms can connect virtually any other system. This allows them to ingest data, trigger actions, and build consolidated workflows across tools.
Finally, Hercenberg predicts that no-code will transform how enterprises develop software:
“As no-code platforms like SmartSuite continue maturing, they are poised to transform operational efficiency across organizations and industries. The no-code approach makes process optimization accessible to business users without technical skills.”
Rather than relying solely on professional developers, enterprises empower business users to build solutions tailored to their requirements. This democratization of development unlocks new sources of innovation and productivity.
The no-code revolution is just getting started. As these platforms leverage trends like AI, expansive integration, and citizen development, they can fundamentally transform how businesses operate, collaborate, and serve customers in the digital age. No-code provides a more agile, customizable, and human-centric approach to software that will shape the future of organizations and industries.
Emerging Trends in No-Code Platforms
The no-code movement has transformed how businesses build software and automate processes. As these intuitive visual platforms continue maturing, exciting innovations and trends shape their future.
Incorporating AI/ML Capabilities
One major trend is no-code platforms leveraging artificial intelligence and machine learning within their tools. SmartSuite continues to expand its AI capabilities, with features in development like meeting note summaries, task prioritization based on usage patterns, and workflow recommendations.
No-code tools incorporate AI in various ways – chatbots to guide configuration, recommender systems to suggest next steps, natural language processing to parse instructions, and more. These AI capabilities will enable no-code platforms to provide intelligent assistance, surface insights, and even automate the building of solutions. Rather than just facilitating development, they may begin optimizing and enhancing processes themselves.
We believe that no-code platforms are revolutionizing how organizations manage business processes and workflows. These intuitive, visual platforms empower teams to optimize operations and build automated solutions tailored to their needs - all without coding. knack has a similar view.
Expanding Beyond Business Users
Another major trend is no-code expanding beyond business users to empower other professional roles. Hercenberg noted, “SmartSuite has a lot of governance capabilities. So, anytime a record is deleted or edited, it stores a full audit log, showing exactly who made the change when they made it. You can revert back.”
Whereas no-code originated as a tool for business teams, increased adoption occurs across legal, healthcare, accounting, government, and more. No-code democratizes software development by enabling professionals to build solutions tailored to their industry's needs. Expect no-code tools specialized for domains like law, medicine, finance, etc.
No-code platforms are increasingly open and extensible thanks to robust integrations and APIs. Hercenberg noted, “Aside from that, we also have many other integrations not directly accessed from the automation center. We have integrations like Zapier and Make that tie things into over 5,000 different apps. And then we have this integration page that will show you many of our other more niche-based integrations.”
With bi-directional connectivity to thousands of apps via APIs and services like Zapier, no-code tools plug into best-of-breed SaaS solutions. This allows them to ingest data, trigger actions, and build workflows across platforms. The integration ecosystem around no-code tools will continue expanding enterprise functionality.
Transforming Software Development
No-code has the potential to transform enterprise software development fundamentally. Hercenberg predicted, “As no-code platforms like SmartSuite continue maturing, they are poised to transform operational efficiency across organizations and industries. The no-code approach makes process optimization accessible to business users without technical skills.”
Rather than relying solely on professional developers, enterprises empower business users to build the solutions they need tailored to their requirements. This democratization unlocks new sources of innovation, productivity, and agility. Expect no-code to become a standard part of enterprise technology stacks alongside traditional coding.
User Experience Focus
Ease of use and intuitive interfaces have been vital to no-code adoption. Maintaining a positive user experience is critical as these platforms expand in sophistication. As Hercenberg explained, “Jon, our CEO, is very product-focused. And so he spends most of his day with the product and design teams. Literally every detail goes through him.”
Expect leading no-code vendors to double down on UX research, usability testing, and ensuring their products remain accessible to non-technical users. The no-code tools with the best UX will drive greater adoption.
Consolidating Disparate Tools
Many no-code platforms initially solved point challenges like databases, documents, or task management. However, there is a growing demand to consolidate these capabilities into unified solutions. As Hercenberg outlined, “Jon saw the market shifting where it was possible to build these no-code platforms with advanced technology that wasn't yet available when he was building Archer. And decided to return to the market and build a new work management platform.”
Vendors are expanding their no-code platforms into end-to-end solutions that combine the capabilities of multiple-point solutions. This consolidation into unified productivity hubs will reduce tool sprawl. The no-code revolution has only just begun. As platforms leverage trends like expansive integrations, AI assistance, and improved UX, no-code will transform enterprises' operations, collaboration, and customer service. These emerging innovations ensure no code is poised to shape the next generation of business software.
The no-code revolution has transformed business process management by empowering users without technical skills to build solutions tailored to their needs. As platforms like SmartSuite continue maturing, they integrate capabilities like AI, expansive integrations, and excellent UX that unlock new levels of operational efficiency and business agility. No-code started as a niche tool but is rapidly becoming essential enterprise software as it consolidates the capabilities of disparate point solutions into unified productivity hubs.
This democratization unlocks innovation, saves time and money, and connects workflows across teams and tools. To learn more about streamlining your operations with no code, sign up for a free trial of SmartSuite below. The intuitive platform allows anyone to optimize processes and build automated workflows that boost productivity. Unlock the benefits of no-code for your business today.
Watch our podcast featuring SmartSuite: In this Software Spotlight podcast, host Michael Bernzweig interviewed Avi Hercenberg, partnership director at SmartSuite, an intuitive no-code work management platform combining databases, spreadsheets, documents, projects, and automation founded five years ago by former Archer Technologies executives.