One of the key elements of any automation platform is its citizen development capabilities. This functionality is critical if your legal department hopes to meet its most important automation objectives – to be self-supporting, and reduce IT dependency.
Unfortunately, all too many ‘workflow’ tools fall short with their citizen development claims. This is because their platforms lack the sophisticated functionality needed to easily build and compose diverse and complex use cases/workflows without IT involvement.
It is true that many of these tools enable non-developers to build simplistic applications in a fairly straightforward manner, but that is only the first part of the equation. In most cases, what appears to be a simple process of dragging and dropping your way to a new application turns out to be anything but.
As soon as the application requirements get even slightly more complex, limitations with most workflow tools take the building process out of the hands of the legal staff, and turns it over to IT to develop custom elements.
Just recently, we heard a familiar complaint: “I can’t get my people trained on the tool because it isn’t simple enough, so I am stuck building and maintaining everything the department needs.”
So, what does the ideal scenario look like? The ideal platform is simple to use, yet sophisticated enough so that non-developers can address the more complex use case scenarios on their own. Instead of being a simple tool, it is a platform that is supported by an enterprise grade processing engine, robust data storage, and has native integrations with common platforms used within the department, and across the company.
What is its impact? True citizen development provides the best path forward for the department’s automation initiative. Done right, and when built on the proper platform, the department can leverage its own resources to design, build, and maintain solutions.
The wrong platform for your automation initiative can lead to poor ROI and time-to-value measures, lackluster adoption rates, greater dependency on IT, and increased maintenance costs.
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