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What Does the Future Hold for Workflow Automation Tools?

They say you need to have your ‘finger on the pulse’ of enterprise trends. But better than that is the ability to predict what is around the corner. It’s why analysts like Gartner and Forrester are so renowned; their industry predictions much sought after.

The latest Forrester Wave report on Digital Process Automation Software is a good example of how far workflow automation tools have come. So, we wanted to gauge where workflow automation tools are likely to go in the coming years, given the current state of the industry and the technology at our disposal.

Let’s explore three expanding areas in the current business landscape—the cloud, data analytics, and mobile working—looking at the current and future impact they have on workflow automation tools.

The Future of Workflow Automation Tools

Cloud-based and mobile working are already cornerstones of the ‘modern’ business, with data analytics close behind. But will these areas affect workflow automation in the coming years?

Cloud-Based Workflows

The cloud’s prevalence is only set to rise: the future of cloud computing is likely to be multi-cloud. A recent study from Microsoft found that nearly one-third of organizations work with four or more cloud vendors, with more set to join.

Cloud-based workflow automation is still in its infancy. But applying the ‘common’ benefits of the cloud—improved platform flexibility through software integration—to workflow automation can transform how your business operates. Cloud-based workflows are able to connect your processes between business applications. By connecting business processes, you are connecting the right content to the right people no matter where that content is stored—on-premises, in legacy systems, or in SaaS applications.

  • Nintex Workflow Cloud

Nintex Workflow Cloud takes your automated workflows to the cloud, allowing users to easily extend and connect their forms, applications and content with decision-makers across the business. The flexibility of a cloud-based platform provides you with the ability to build business processes independent of any platform, meaning your workflows can be triggered whether you’re in SharePoint, Dropbox, Salesforce or wherever else you work.

Workflow Analytics

Such large volumes of data have allowed analytics to become accessible and affordable to businesses of all sizes. And now, business analytics is becoming more advanced—predictive and customer-facing analytics are improving and streamlining the customer experience.

Because workflow automation is already designed around making the working lives of end-users easier, analytics can provide deeper insight into the effectiveness of these workflows.

Workflow analytics allow you to see the scope, effectiveness and business impact of your workflows. Business intelligence lets you see which workflows are being used by employees after you’ve published them, giving you greater insight into your workflows. It can provide you with a strategy for your workflows: removing workflows that are no longer being used, avoiding workflows that could take up too much company bandwidth, and capitalizing on workflows in which workers find the most value.

  • Nintex Analytics

Nintex Analytics takes the focus away from just automating workflows to considering how optimized your workflows really are. Analytics grants you visibility into how your workflows are performing and calculates return on investment. It’s easy to create dashboards, meaning anyone in the business can quickly visualize data, measure impact, and implement change.

Mobile Workflows

With the number of worldwide smartphone users expected to hit 2.5 billion next year, it’s amazing to think that only 10 years ago smartphones were an altogether new phenomenon. Today’s workforce is near fully mobile, meaning you need to allow them to be productive on the go if you want to get the most out of them.

Mobile workflows can allow users to check tasks the same way you would a WhatsApp message, submit requests, start processes, complete tasks and approve documents from within a native app or in your mobile web browser. And real-time synchronization ensures that any changes to workflows and forms are uploaded immediately, so users can capture data directly from their mobile device.

  • Nintex Mobile & App Studio

Nintex is dedicated to mobile workflows. Users can download Mobile Workflows and Forms free for iOS, Android and Windows devices to connect to their on-premise SharePoint or Office 365 environment. From there, users can access any mobile forms that were built with the Nintex Forms Designer, and have the option for offline work so their productivity isn’t bound to a Wi-Fi connection.

How Close are we to the Future of Automation? 

Workflows have come a long way. At Nintex, we’re taking inspiration from the current success of the cloud, data analytics, and mobile working in our approach to modern workflow automation. We’re constantly investing in research and development to make our automated workflows even more useful to you in the future. We update the Nintex Workflow Cloud every couple of weeks to give users the latest features and functionality, enabling them to continually improve their business processes.


For more information about the Nintex Platform, don’t hesitate to get in touch with Nintex today.  

Zoe Clelland

Zoe Clelland works as VP of Product & Experience, where she leads product management efforts across the Nintex Workflow Platform. She brings more than 15 years of defining every aspect of amazing digital user experiences to her role. Zoe holds a Ph.D. in Human Factors, Experimental Psychology from Texas Tech University.

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