7 features all workflow automation software should have

How do you control your team tasks? By email? Spreadsheets?

Definitely one of those, right?

Unfortunately, these are not the most appropriate tools.

Have you heard about workflow process automation?

It’s a technological tool that can provide several advantages for your company, and the most important of them are undoubtedly greater task control and the possibility of accessing data through management panels.

But to achieve these results, other benefits must also be present. See more details in this post about these and other features of workflow automation software.

7 features of workflow automation software that you shouldn’t omit

Controlling processes for efficiency and effectiveness requires certain workflow automation software minimum functionalities.

Check out 7 of the most important:

1- Use an international standard notation

There is no doubt that workflow automation software should employ BPMN notation, the best known and most used in the market.

This way, everyone involved will be able to communicate more easily and, in case of new members joining the team, or even when it comes to making presentations and giving explanations to external clients, everyone will know which references to use to understand the process diagrams more easily.

This will allow your customer to have a greater perception of the value of the product or service provided by your organization.

Here’s an example of a BPMN modeler:

BPMN Editor cloud

2- Easily create rules and integrations

The period of complex platforms that demanded the mastery of coding and advanced programming by users has already passed.

Today’s state-of-the-art workflow automation software uses Low Code BPM , with intuitive, drag-and-drop interfaces that let you configure rules and forms intuitively.

In addition, workflow software must allow integrations via web services and plug-in applications such as Zapier and IFTTT. The following are examples:

  • By completing a form in TypeForm initiate a process in HEFLO.
  • When you finish a task in HEFLO send a message through Slack.
  • When inserting a line into a Google Docs spreadsheet start a process in HEFLO.
  • Here are some examples of applications that you can integrate using Zapier:

Here are some examples of applications that you can integrate using Zapier:


3- Remote access and real-time sharing

Digital transformation is a reality that has changed work habits, and the way companies operate their businesses.

Today, regardless of where employees are, it’s very common for them to have access to data and cloud-based work tools both because they are working in transit and because they’re home office workers.

In this context, workflow automation software must have mobility and collaboration resources that make it possible to make the most of this new culture.


A cloud-based process automation solution promotes much more collaboration across teams, enables processes to be monitored in real time, and triggers actions and corrections quickly.

4- Deadlines and alerts

Your process automation software should allow you to set deadlines in your workflow.

In my opinion, it’s one of the main features of workflow automation software.

It should also allow for the creation of “triggers,” which will alert staff and managers to the progress of this deadline, facilitating prioritization and promoting engagement.

Here’s an example:

  • For a travel request process, the reservation must be made in a maximum of 4 hours.
  • In the same process above, after 50% of the deadline send an email to the responsible coordinator.
  • Still in the same process, if 70% of the deadline is reached, automatically escalate it to the coordinator.

In addition to the resources that assist the team in meeting the deadline, workflow automation software also offers the registration of the deadlines met and not met, serving as a database for financial compensation actions or merit evaluation of the team involved.

A good set of deadlines will allow managers to delegate a higher amount of tasks, only being triggered only in exceptional cases.

Also see: how the HEFLO deadlines feature works.

If you really want to grow as an entrepreneur, you’ve got to learn to delegate. - Richard Branson Click To Tweet

5- On your desktop computer, smartphone, or tablet

It doesn’t matter what device. Your automation software should provide an interface for any screen size. This is an attribute called “responsiveness.”

In this way, team and managers will be more agile, as they’ll be able to perform their tasks anytime, anywhere.

As an example, see how HEFLO present the same information in a desktop and mobile version respectively:

Task Form

This is one of the greatest features of workflow automation software, but they don’t stop there.

6- Cloud Infrastructure

Cloud workflow software frees the user from various IT maintenance and infrastructure tasks such as server maintenance, expensive Internet link acquisition and maintenance, database and file backup, personnel costs for environment management, and many others.

The traditional acquisition cost is just the tip of the iceberg. There is a very high cost behind maintenance and support, which is often overlooked in the acquisition.

Cloud computing has come to change this scenario. Before the cloud, systems are kept in data centers with very high availability, security and competitive costs.

In the cloud model, maintenance costs are divided among all customers, and the final value is a fraction of the classic model.

See below for a study on Total Cost of Ownership comparing “software as a service” (cloud) with the “on-premise” (traditional) model:

TCO Cloud computing vs On-premises

Source: Software Advice.

Want to calculate your TCO? Use this online calculator: Total Cost of Ownership Calculator.

But stay alert! Not everything is a “bed of ​​roses”.

It’s not enough for the vendor to say that everything is in the cloud and you don’t have to worry.


  • What is the data center provider used?
  • In which countries are the application and the database hosted?
  • How does backup work?
  • Is there data replication?
  • Who are the companies that use this same data center?

At HEFLO we’re looking to give details about how our architecture works and you can check out everything on the page about infrastructure.

Has your organization been adopting cloud computing technology?


7- Automation and management of your business

Besides allowing greater control of process activities, workflow automation will facilitate management, eliminating to a large extent the email flow and the use of spreadsheets.

Finally, it will be possible to analyze KPIs in real time and make decisions with much more agility and assertiveness with the use of management dashboards. Here’s how it’s done in HEFLO:

How to Create Management Dashboards on HEFLO

What do you think of these features?

Do you know another feature that’s essential in workflow software?

Leave your comment and share your knowledge with our readers.

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