A Blog about business process management, ERP and Novacura Flow

The Novacura Flow blog

Are BPM and low code the same thing?

Are "BPM" and "low-code" the same thing?

There's a controversial debate going on in BPM circles: is a low code platform the same thing as a business process management platform?

We wanted to clarify this - Are they the same? Are they different? And which one should be used when talking about Novacura Flow? 

What's the difference? 

We posed the question to some people at Novacura. Here’s what they said:

Person 1:

"BPM = business process management concept has been around a while and is simply the idea of managing business through the thinking of processes. BPM is not strictly connected to an enabling technology. It can just be the “managing/structuring” of processes.

Low code = just as “no code,” this is a newer mindset where some tools let you practice development in a different way. It is all about moving the development closer to the business/users and switching away from the deeper technical ”programming” or “coding” to be the starting point. The technical part is needed BUT it is driven from the opposite angle thanks to the focus on users. Note that disruption and digital transformation is buzzwords tightly connected to this and how organizations should adapt to this digital chaos we live in. :)"  

Person 2:

"...I’d say that BPM simply refers to ways of managing your business processes and low code means that you can program things without using a lot of code. So for me, “low-code BPM” means a way of managing your business process with not a lot of code. :P"

Person 3:

“Low code” (or “low code platform”) is just one tool or method to manage your business processes. There may be methods or tools used that involve no code at all, or tools that comprise of much more complex code than your typical Novacura Flow, to manage business processes as well.

This is why I like to use the conjunction of the two terms when describing Novacura Flow to people as “A low code BPM-platform”.

Person 4:

"BPM and low code is like Mars and a space rocket. Two totally different things but the space rocket can take you to Mars. And without having any place to go a space rocket is pretty useless... Summary: Stick to BPM. Go there with low code.

(No-code is of course a cooler space rocket. But too complicated to do in order to get to Mars.)"

Person 5:

"In general I would support the point that these two points should be considered completely separate, and which one you should focus on when discussing Novacura Flow depends on who you’re talking to:

  • Talking to a technical stakeholder? Focus on low-code platform and how quickly we can implement solutions based on customer requirements.
  • Talking to a business stakeholder? Focus on the way we can streamline their processes and enable them to move through their processes more smoothly than before.

(As a side-note, my favorite example of this is how we can enable users to report/authorize/interact anywhere, even while sitting on the toilet 😊)."

Person 6:

"If you call something a BPM Platform, it means that the platform gives you a lot of features to graphically model your processes and document flows, monitor it and optimize using KPIs, etc. Which means you will “click" rather than write a code. So it means that there must also be a “low code” philosophy beneath the BPM solution. Otherwise it couldn’t be called a BPM, but rather a “workflow engine”

Low code is relatively new idea - a more general concept - which means that you don’t have to code your program, but you draw it by clicking. But don’t focus only on app drawing: low code also means that you “generate” your app using wizards, you use “high level” operations (like PrintPDF(object)) rather than low level magic instructions. You don’t worry about memory management and all the technical stuff. And also, with low code platforms, the deployment process should be easy to do.

The difference is: low code can be used not only for modeling processes (or process-driven applications). You can use low code engines to generate stand-alone tools or even simple mobile applications (i.e. you can develop a “MyTodoList” app for you iPhone using a low code platform, but it doesn’t mean that it's a “process oriented” application)."

👉 What do you think: is there a difference between "BPM" and "low code"? 

Do you have a question? 

Posted by: Novacura