The business value of Microsoft Power Platform


The business value of Microsoft Power Platform

Many organizations struggle building solutions that help their users be successful. Not only do they struggle trying to modernize their systems, but they simply don't have the resources required to meet the ever-changing needs of businesses today. With demands for targeted applications at an all-time high and labor shortages, it isn't uncommon to see application demand up to five times what departments can realistically deliver.

This is not the only challenge facing enterprises today. As the business climate changes, new factors are impacting businesses. These impacts include:

  • Changing workforce expectations: As millennials and Gen Z come to represent most of the workforce, organizations need to adapt to fit the way they work. They have grown up in a world of tailored experiences and collaborating through social media. To best apply their abilities, organizations need to be able to deliver more custom, streamlined, and collaborative digital experiences.

  • Increased costs for custom application development: Building custom applications is time consuming and expensive. Not only do you need to factor in the costs to initially custom develop an application, but you need to factor in the costs to maintain it.

  • Need to become more agile: Historically, solutions can take months to build and roll out. Once deployed, it can take weeks to implement every minor change. We no longer have that luxury. Business strategies and needs change rapidly, so organizations need to be able to quickly build solutions based on those changing needs.

  • Need to scale development efficiently: To meet ever changing needs, organizations need to change how they develop solutions. By responsibly enabling citizens developers (Power Users) as part of development processes, we can create hybrid development teams that empower the entire organization to grow.

The Power Platform makes it easy for organizations to address all the challenges mentioned above. The combination of low code tools, along with the ability to leverage enterprise level application development tools, provide a collaborative solution where citizen developers and professional developers work together to build targeted solutions based on needs of the people who will be using these applications every day.

For example, technicians in the field may encounter scenarios in which they need a part to execute a job. Ideally if that part is in inventory, they can easily request the part so they can continue to work. However, many times, there's a bottleneck in this process. They need to submit a request to the parts person first. This means that they can be potentially spending time waiting for the parts person to get back to them only to find out later that the part isn't in stock. This could be easily solved by building a dedicated Power App. By being able to check inventory levels while onsite, technicians do not have to spend time onsite waiting to determine if the part is available. Not only can they see if the part is available, but they can easily request the part as needed. Since they best understand what they would need, they can use their first-hand knowledge of what would be required, to build out a prototype of the application using Power Apps that reflects the best user interface and overall experience. This is something that would have to be done by a developer in the past. Once prototyped, the organizations' developers can be used to fill in the gaps that go beyond the technician’s ability, such as developing the APIs that will do the checking in the company’s inventory system. Once created, the APIs can be easily added to the Power App and to any Power Automate Flows that may be needed. This collaborative approach to creating solutions is often referred to as Fusion development and allows organizations to use the best resources for the required task.

The image below provides an example the Fusion development approach.

Diagram of app development cycle

Leveraging a low code/no code approach minimizes the amount of time that development resources spend working on items like screens, automations, and more. This frees them up to focus on the more advanced portions of the solution where their skills are more appropriately used. Over 600 pre-built connectors help simplify integration with both internal and external systems. These connectors mean that organizations do not need to custom build integration solutions from the ground up, which can be costly both initially and to maintain.

In addition to the cost benefits provided by using Microsoft Power Platform, the Power Platform helps to increase performance and efficiency. The flexibility of the platform lets you build applications and solutions that meet your business initiatives and goals. For example, a dedicated time management Power App could be quickly created to ensure that everyone is capturing their time on projects the same way. This means that the potential for data entry errors would be dramatically reduced. Integrated approvals built on Power Automate ensures that items like time off requests and other items are being automatically routed to the right person, so they can approve or reject items as quickly as possible.

Microsoft Power Platform helps organizations build solutions that meet their ever-changing needs. Microsoft Power Platform gives organizations the ability to increase their business agility, by allowing them to quickly build application prototypes in hours or days, as opposed to weeks or months. This ensures by the time the solutions are created, it will still be something that provides value. The business value provided by Microsoft Power Platform extends beyond the value of the platform to the value of the apps themselves that are being built. These applications typically help improve one or more value drivers, such as performance improvement, direct or indirect cost savings, risk mitigation or business transformation. This allows organizations to have a library of applications to facilitate day to day operations. These apps might include solutions for facilities management, solutions to assist with employee onboarding, solutions for streamlining process, and more.

Now that we have examined the business value that is provided by Microsoft Power Platform, let’s examine the different components in more detail.