No-Code vs. Low-Code Automation: Answering the Age-Old Questions of Automation Platforms

December 14, 2022
June 23, 2023

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What are No-Code Automation Platforms?

No-code automation platforms are tools that enable users to build automated workflows and processes without the need for code. They involve the creation of software and systems to replace repetitive, manual processes. Traditionally, developing business software, applications or systems could only be achieved through coding. This meant that only highly skilled IT professionals were able to build these solutions, making it impossible for users without the technical skillset to build or maintain workflows themselves. And although IT teams have the means of developing these tools, technology needs frequently outpace delivery capacity.

No-code is the visual bridge between this language and the application builder. Not only does no-code make it easier for business users to build applications but allows IT teams to build and maintain applications faster and with significantly fewer errors. 

No-Code Technology as a Platform Solution 

No-code technology is unique as it serves as a platform solution, which is robust software that allows users to build business solutions. Unlike other point solution software on the market, no-code technology allows its users to not only solve one specific business problem, but also address several others.  

What are Low-Code Automation Platforms? 

Low-code automation platforms enable technical users to create, automate, launch and modify workflows for the business much more rapidly than traditional coding practices. Although they usually have a drag-and-drop element, low-code platforms still require coding expertise and are used by technical teams.

With low-code platforms, users have the option to enhance their workflow automation applications with coding blocks like JavaScript to enhance and modify their solutions to hyper-tailor to their unique business needs.

No-Code vs. Low-Code Automation Platforms/Software 

While both no-code and low-code automation platforms provide an alternative to traditional coding methods and offer the same fundamental benefits, there is a key difference in their utilization: low-code platforms still require basic or extensive coding knowledge while no-code requires no coding or technical knowledge at all.

Low-code automation platforms are popular amongst IT professionals who leverage basic coding - much less than traditional application development to streamline their business workflows. Developers and programmers can use low-code platforms to build or update changes more quickly and effectively, decrease time to deployment and with significantly reduced errors. Low-code platforms are not solely dedicated to IT professionals, they are also widely used by professionals across the business with existing coding knowledge to develop business applications more easily than the traditional route.

No-code automation platforms, however, enable any user to create workflow solutions without the need for code or technical knowledge. With no-code development, those that know the business processes best, the business users, are the ones building, updating, and maintaining the workflow solutions. These platforms are typically used to create workflow applications that address industry-specific functions like legal, finance, HR and more.  

No-Code Low-Code
Level of Coding Knowledge No coding or technical knowledge required Basic coding and/or technical knowledge required
Automation Limitation Specialized to a function but can be scaled across the organization Runs processes critical to an organization’s core systems
Developer Dependency None, users are citizen developers IT professionals or business users with coding knowledge needed

Do Not Get Confused with “No-Code AI”- How is it Different than No-Code? 

No-code AI is a technology that allows users to build, implement and launch AI solutions without the need for coding. Like no-code automation platforms, no-code AI provides a way to build solutions quickly but leverages machine learning.

What are some No-Code Automation Tools? 

Searching through the innumerable types of no-code automation tools is quite a feat, especially when there are so many available in the market, with different functionalities and capabilities. Here are the several types of no-code automation tools currently available in the market: 

  • No-Code Workflow Automation – Using no-code workflow automation enables business users to digitize and automate tedious, manual processes to streamline business activities between people, systems and data using predefined business rules.  
  • No-Code Document Automation - With no-code document automation tools, business users can automate documents end-to-end using information intake, conditional content, bulk processing, approvals, and e-signature. 
  • No-Code Form Builder – No-Code form builder tools enable users to capture and triage information from users or systems using dynamic, logic-driven forms all with just no-code drag and drop. 

Why enterprises are turning to no-code solutions as part of their digital transformation journey  

There is no doubt that enterprise software development has become more challenging. With increasing pressure for more compliant tools in highly regulated industries, budget cuts, lack of the appropriate staff, changing requirements and increased pressure for faster deployment, IT teams are working around the clock yet still unable to keep up with the workload. Furthermore, as modern technologies emerge, the management of legacy systems is becoming time consuming and more costly than the no-code alternative. It is important to note that traditional coding practices are not going anywhere and will be needed for more complex integrations, but with business users increasing ten-fold compared to developers, IT teams can leverage no-code to build low complexity applications in just the portion of the time, and focus on supporting innovation and mission critical projects instead. 

As part of this digital transformation journey, we are also seeing departments taking on their own initiatives and are turning to no-code solutions across various departments from legal, HR, finance and procurement. 

In-house legal teams are transforming the way they deliver their legal services through no-code legal automation to generate value for their business clients and for their lawyers. No-code truly empowers legal teams to do more with less, addressing the challenge of increased workloads from the business. Here are a few use cases of how in-house legal can use no-code:  

Human Resource teams use no-code platforms to efficiently automate their expertise into bespoke solutions, to quickly adapt to their dynamic work environments and fill in gaps where traditional HR systems are not flexible enough. Here are some ways HR uses no-code to improve their processes:  

Finance and accounting teams leverage no-code platforms to empower users to take control of their workload by providing self-serve tools to their clients or staff, creating dynamic questionnaires that streamline audit and tax processes by guiding the user through the relevant legislation or standards, whilst facilitating rule-based automated decisions to decrease the possibility of human error. Below are the three most common use cases for no-code for finance and accounting teams:  

Procurement teams have an opportunity to independently build automated procurement solutions that address multiple friction points within the supply chain by utilizing no-code platforms. By using no-code platforms to automate their expertise, they can quickly adapt to changing legal and company policies and provide an intuitive experience for business users to ensure they follow set procedures. Here are some ways procurement teams can use no-code to streamline their processes:  

Learn More 

As the leading no-code, workflow automation platform, Checkbox empowers business functions to automate their tedious, manual processes and streamline their service delivery. Because Checkbox requires no technical knowledge and is truly no-code, this empowers business teams to enable digital transformation in a matter of days, not months. 

To get started, book a call with one of our technology consultants and determine where you can get started on your no-code automation journey.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is no-code automation?

No-code automation refers to the practice of enabling users to build applications and business solutions that streamline their day-to-day workflows with more speed and with less bugs than the typical code-based approach. Without having any technical skills, any business user can create a solution without having to consult the IT department.

The difference between no-code and low code?

The key difference between no-code and low-code automation platforms is that low-code platforms still require basic coding knowledge to launch their applications while no-code requires no knowledge of coding at all. Despite this key difference, both no-code and low-code offer the same fundamental benefits as they provide an alternative to traditional coding methods for application development.

Checkbox Team

Checkbox's team comprises of passionate and creative individuals who prioritize quality work. With a strong focus on learning, we drive impactful innovations in the field of no-code.

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