Andrew Kelly

Andrew Kelly

Andrew Kelly is Director of Growth at BP Logix, where helps customers maximize the usage of their workflow automation solutions.

Recent posts by Andrew Kelly

5 min read

5 Reasons to Use Low-Code Platforms in Higher Education

By Andrew Kelly on Aug 1, 2022 7:00:00 AM


COVID-19 accelerated the transition to remote learning at a pace that is impacting the quality of education at higher education institutions.

Poor student experiences can lead to enrollment decline and add to the financial burden already facing these institutions. A growing number of institutions are turning to low-code platforms like BP Logix to accelerate their transition to remote learning.

In this blog, we introduce low-code platforms and discuss some of the benefits of adopting this innovative technology in higher education institutions.

What is a low-code platform?

A low-code development platform is a software development approach that uses a graphical user interface in place of native coding.

Low-code empowers non-programmers to create applications in a visual, drag-and-drop environment while leveraging reusable components' full power. The speed of low-code development is dramatically faster (5 to 10X), while still delivering the same results as hard-coded applications. A low-code platform can also help reduce risks related to data privacy and information security.

At a time when software developers are hard to find or expensive to afford, this technology has the potential to keep the pace of digital transformation. In addition to an intuitive front end, a low-code platform comes with pre-built templates and out-of-the-box integration capabilities. Research by Gartner estimates that 65% of all applications will be delivered through low-code platforms by 2024.

Let's dive into five reasons why your institution should use low-code platforms in their software development lifecycle.

1. Cuts the cost of development

Universities and colleges have tight budgets, but they need to make critical investments to stay competitive at a time when they are competing for a shrinking pool of students. The traditional options can be both resource intensive and time consuming.

Many schools have an aging portfolio of core enterprise applications like Student Information Systems, Learning Management Systems, HR/ Payroll Systems and an ERP for Finance.

To stay competitive and introduce new programs, they need to make changes to these systems which can be challenging due to high cost and lack of availability of software developers proficient in their respective platforms.

Building custom applications from scratch and buying off the shelf SaaS solutions can be equally expensive and resource intensive. Meanwhile, a low-code platform can plug into the ERP at the back end and provide a much more intuitive front end to make the required enhancements. No coding required equals dramatically lower delivery costs.

Coupled with low maintenance and easy integration with third-party applications, low-code platforms offer modern and futuristic solutions for institutions to significantly reallocate their IT budgets.

2. Speedier delivery

Hard-coded applications lack the component reusability capabilities of low-code platforms. It can take months or sometimes years to code, test, and deploy applications using the high code development lifecycle process. On the other hand, a university IT team can deliver a flawless app or site within weeks using state-of-the-art AI-powered low-code platforms like BP Logix.

Wondering how these platforms achieve such a quick turnaround? Low-code platforms have pre-coded templates, reusable components, and click-and-drag capabilities that shorten the time that would otherwise be used to write code. Essentially, you need only to customize the templates and features, and the platform automatically generates the code for you.

3. Improved experiences for students, faculty, and staff

Most schools have built their workflow automation gradually over time using a range of options including buying off the shelf and building bespoke. As needs have changed, these applications have been fixed with patches. The typical student or faculty members touches multiple applications in the process of going through their academic and campus life. The result is a fragmented discontinuous experience in many cases requiring data reentry and logging in and out of multiple systems. This fragmented experience can result in lost productivity, data integrity issues, and an overall poor end user experience.

A low-code platform functions as the glue that seamlessly connects across different systems in the background while providing a simple unified front end to end users.

Higher ed low-code in action

Working with BP Logix, an Ivy League university implemented a first-time remote system to let 6,000 students update course and grading preferences without being on campus. Professors can efficiently meet and teach students virtually via a remote learning system developed using low-code platforms. Moreover, students can automatically get notifications from a remote e-learning system for what previously required an in-person presence on campus. 

4. Better data and insights

Staff and faculty at higher education institutions use data to make decisions. If the application portfolio at the institution consists of a large spaghetti of disparate systems, data can get fragmented and unreliable.

Accessing actionable information can become a challenge. A robust low-code platform will capture key data and allow you to slice and dice to provide actionable insights.

BP Logix has advanced AI and ML capabilities which allow the platform to capture in process data and provide advanced predictive analytics. For example, you may be able to predict that a key process (enrollment, payroll, grants application, etc) is likely to get delayed, which can trigger an automatic email escalation to the appropriate user.

5. Reduced complexity

Traditionally, there is a tradeoff between speed and complexity. Meaning, you can get a software platform that can help you build applications quickly, but is unable to handle complexity.

With a low-code platform like BP Logix's Process Director, you get the best of both worlds. The right platform has an in-house team that understands your domain and creates pre-built components tailored to address even your most complex use cases.

Higher ed low code in action

ucf logoUniversity of Central Florida (UCF) is responsible for over 3000 international students from over 130 universities across the world. UCF Global was seeking to double their enrollment over a three-year period while enhancing the onboarding experience for its students.

UCF chose BP Logix low-code platform to automate complex processes across immigration, employment authorization, visas, and international taxation.

Read the full UCF Global case study.

Explore low-code in higher education

The number of higher education institutions seeking to use low-code platforms continues to grow. However, not all low-code platforms are tailored to the higher education sector and come built in with relevant templates.

Pursuing low-code means you get to become part of a community of collaborative higher ed colleagues that are committed to embracing the next generation of digital transformation in higher education.


Schedule a demo today to learn how BP Logix can help your higher education institution be responsive to the changing needs of the next generation of students and faculty.

Topics: higher education
3 min read

Getting Out of Technical Debt in Higher Education

By Andrew Kelly on Jun 24, 2021 12:41:25 PM

Getting out of technical debt in higher education


IT departments in colleges and universities haven't always faced the same level of pressure as businesses to keep up with the latest technology. But those expectations have rapidly changed as providing a modern student and faculty experience has become a key objective for many institutions. As time passes and systems continue to fall behind, it becomes more difficult to catch up, as entrenched systems become more difficult and costly to update or replace. 

The pandemic has stressed schools’ IT resources, as remote access has become more important than ever, adding to the pressure. Schools with outdated systems have been left in a critical situation.

Why higher education institutions have trouble keeping up

The gap between how an organization's systems are running, and where they should
be, is called "technical debt." Every organization that maintains software deals with the
issue. As with regular debt, the more an organization has, the more impossible it seems
to get out of it. Just maintaining existing systems becomes harder.

Traditional large-scale systems, like Student Information Systems or Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), are massive systems with thousands of manual processes and traditional customizations that run the risk of becoming stale and outdated. Cut off from innovation, lacking automated governance, these systems have become a burden on every department with their ever increasing requirements for effort and ongoing customizations. This presents a huge barrier to innovation and introduces serious risk into any organization. It gets worse with time like quicksand, when organizations are reliant on legacy systems that get more and more outdated but are extremely difficult to move off of.

As the number and complexity of solutions grow, their usage can become siloed, and users who should be able to benefit from things like cross-departmental applications often get increasingly further away from the data and processes they need. This not only creates a poor return on technology investment, but it also kills efficiency efforts and prevents businesses from moving rapidly to deliver solutions. 

Overcoming the technical debt challenge

How can educational institutions overcome these challenges and bring technical debt
down? It's an ongoing effort where several steps are necessary

  • Awareness of the issue. In the absence of a commitment to keep up, it's easy
    not to think about the need for improvement. Academic IT operations need to
    review what they have and how well it serves the students and faculty. Top
    administrators need to keep this in mind and devote budgets to modernization.
  • A school-wide commitment to keeping up. Fragmentation of services makes it
    hard for any office to catch up on its own. Resource sharing and elimination of
    redundancy are key steps.
  • Pooling of knowledge. When departments and offices don't communicate, they
    don't get the benefit of each other's knowledge, and they often create redundant
    solutions to the same problem, or purchase off the shelf applications that don't integrate with the rest of the ecosystem.
  • Appetite for innovation. IT operations can get so wrapped up in the old methods that they aren't aware of the advantages new software and tools offer. They need to commit part of their effort to discovering what's available to help them modernize. Low-code software like BP Logix' Process Director is a great example of a modern solution that can solve many of Technical Debt's problems.

Automating educational operations

Institutions of higher education need to make the best use of limited resources. Systems
that require little or no custom coding help accomplish this. BP Logix Process Director,
Higher Education Edition, is designed to help educational institutions simplify their
business processes. They can reduce the use of paper forms and simplify workflow
designs. Developers can define rules to ensure that processes comply with campus
policies. Process Director's low-code approach lets non-programmers do much of the

Overcoming technical debt isn't easy, but with committed support, the modernization of
campus IT resources is within reach.

Topics: higher education
2 min read

How to Prioritize Process Automation Projects

By Andrew Kelly on Mar 17, 2020 8:57:58 AM

How to Prioritize Process Automation Projects

Automating processes is easier to do today than ever before. Most workers have an understanding of how automation impacts their work, and IT teams are automating increasing numbers of business-critical tasks. Ultimately, automation reduces operational costs and improves productivity, so it is a no-brainer as a top priority for almost any company. You can find more on how to stand up an automation initiative here.

In order to actually deliver on the automation promise, however, IT teams need to be selective about what processes they automate, and how they reconcile their automation efforts with company goals. Without a plan based on specific goals, time, money, and resources are misspent and it prevents more important processes from getting priority. That’s frustrating for the internal team members who rely on process improvement, but the real impact is felt when companies see their growth slowed while they waste time trying to implement the wrong things.

With that in mind, consider that automation works best for repetitive tasks that typically suck a lot of time from humans. Also, think about how machine learning and artificial intelligence can deliver advantages in some things that humans might typically complicate.

Your team does not have unlimited time, and the business cannot stop while you figure out your priorities. So, it’s best to start your list of automation projects where you can get the biggest potential impact, along with the highest probability of success.

Identifying which processes need automation requires focus on the part of IT and business team leaders. It’s challenging to agree on how to move forward, but with a well-formed plan, teams can create an effective priority-based list of automation projects. The first step will require exploration and discovery, which can be built with a standardized methodology for evaluating and prioritizing the right processes, and in the order, they should be automated. This approach will enable a defined set of criteria to determine which processes are good candidates for process automation.

The team tasked with this needs to explore these issues and questions:

  • What are the current pain points our company faces that could be potentially solved through process automation?
  • Does automation of these processes align with company goals?
  • If we automate, do we get ROI, and will the cost to automate be absorbed through these savings?
  • Do we have the expertise and resources available to perform the necessary tasks to automate a given process?

The answers you get from the above list is a starting point, but armed with a set of potential processes, your team now needs to get into “brass tacks” and determine if you can actually take the necessary steps to automate. When looking at your project candidates, see if they meet these criteria:

  • Are prone to human error
  • Operate with frequency
  • Have repetitive elements
  • Can be integrated with other processes or applications
  • Use a structured format for data
  • Can be performed in a continuous fashion (e.g., are not dependent on specific hours of the day when they run)

With these questions answered, you should be able to prioritize your list of automation projects. The next step is to create general requirements for these projects. This list of requirements should include the following:

  • Executive sponsor
  • Key stakeholders
  • Goals
  • Project milestones
  • Document requirements and needs; e.g. when a document is needed, where can it be accessed from, and where will it be stored?

Your team should now be comfortable with a list of projects, prioritized in such a way that they can be achieved, and that they can show impact quickly. This strategic approach will ensure you can deliver value and save costs. These things will demonstrate true transformational change that will create a better operating model for your organization.

Topics: application development automation digital transformation