The Microsoft Power Platform, including the cornerstones PowerApps, Power BI and Microsoft Flow, has come together as a great option for organisations to handle electronic forms, automate business processes, enable mobility and deal with data.
Each of the tools in the platform address different aspects of enabling users and modernising the workplace. The tools have been available since 2016 (2013 in the case of Power BI), however many Office 365 and Dynamics 365 subscribers are only just discovering their potential. These tools may have begun life as simplistic releases however they have matured very quickly to a point they are able to tackle a wide array of needs and complexity.
Here are 7 reasons we believe organisations should take a serious look at the Microsoft Power Platform today.
1 – You Probably Already Have the Microsoft Power Platform
As organisations assess the value they’ve gained by adopting Office 365 or Dynamics 365 over the last few years it makes good business sense to ensure they are squeezing as much from those investments as possible. At the same time, they want to avoid introducing new software vendors and titles into the IT mix. Most Office 365 and Dynamics 365 subscriptions already include access to each of the Microsoft Power Platform tools. Organisations therefore already possess a hearty toolset to digitise forms, integrate systems, automate processes and visualise data.
2 – Proven Return on Investment and Efficiency Gains
Microsoft has recently released a Forrester Total Economic Impact™ Study examining the benefits of using PowerApps and Microsoft Flow within four primary industries. Their findings include an overall ROI of 362% within the study scope, up to 70% reduction in application development costs and effort and a 38% reduction in ongoing application management and maintenance effort.
3 – Microsoft Does the Heavy Lifting
Traditional custom development involves heavy effort and complexity dealing with user and content security, connectivity and data management. The Power Platform tools exist inside the confines of Microsoft’s established cloud infrastructure, including the Azure AD user and content security features, and scalable defence-grade infrastructure. Also, all three Power tools leverage a common set of over 230 Connectors for making data connections to on-premises and cloud-based data sources; and these can be secured by policy. These features give the app developer a head start so they can focus more on the business process and user experience.
4 – Reduce Dependency on 3rd Party Tools
As organisations seek to consolidate their software landscapes to minimise licencing and maintenance costs it makes sense to utilise tools that are already available in their core service subscriptions. Forms and workflow have for years been under-addressed gap areas in the landscape of available software, and these gaps have had to be filled using expensive and complicated platforms or extensions. The Microsoft Power Platform tools have matured to a point where they can be used as a viable alternative in most cases.
5 – Work Across Devices
PowerApps, Microsoft Flow and Power BI can be used individually or together to bring processes and data to life on desktop, tablet and handheld devices. Field staff can connect to and contribute to organisational data while away from the office and leverage native device capabilities such as GPS, touch screen and camera. PowerApps can be configured to operate offline and synchronise when connectivity is restored. Native mobile host apps ensure user authentication and usage conform to your organisation’s policy and practices.
6 – Enable All Kinds of Users
The Microsoft Power Platform tools have been created to simplify design and development tasks. They are effectively code-free solution enablers until you want them to be otherwise. As such they can be used to empower motivated users to solve problems that sit outside of line-of-business systems in ways similar to how they may have tried to use MS Access and Excel in the past. At the same time, the platform can also be used by IT and applications teams in a centralised, governed way to streamline production of business apps, extend core systems and build out system integration.
7 – Become Data-driven
Manual, paper-driven processes cannot rapidly or cost effectively provide organisations the data they need to understand how they are performing or where they should direct their resources. They also do not enable workers with the information they need when they need it. The Microsoft Power Platform represents a genuine opportunity to embrace the digital workplace in a highly scalable, supportable, connected and cost-effective manner. It does this without heavy investment in 3rd party technologies or laborious system integration and data management programmes.
Configatek has been excited for a while now about the Microsoft Power Platform. For all the reasons listed above and more, we believe it holds tremendous potential to positively impact business. We believe any organisation using or thinking about using Office 365 or Dynamics 365 should learn more about the tools today.