According to Satya Nadella, Microsoft’s Power Platform is vital to their mission: “to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.” The Power Platform consists of three main components: PowerBI, PowerApps, and Power Automate (previously called Flow). Microsoft has been relentlessly baking the Power Platform into Office 365, Dynamics 365 and Azure. Leading tech analyst firm Gartner ranked the Power Platform as a leader in their 2019 Q2 Magic Quadrant for “low code application platforms” and predict that “by 2024 low-code application development will be responsible for more than 65% of application development activity”.
Microsoft is ushering in a new age of “citizen development” to empower businesses to tackle the huge backlog of business applications that are waiting to be taken from idea to application. Here are the three main ways the Power Platform is empowering customers to transform:
1. Data-driven businesses will outperform others
It is widely accepted that businesses should use data to influence business decisions. You have lots of infrastructure to capture the data that drives your business (the Microsoft ecosystem, line of business systems, cloud storage). But to make this data work for you a layer on top of this data is needed that allows you to easily connect to it and build custom user interfaces, regardless of where the data lives. This is what the Power Platform is technically enabling: an easy, low-code way to connect to data within your business and make it work for you more efficiently; this ability is enabling teams to easily analyse business data (PowerBI), take action through a user interface (PowerApps), and automate as much work as possible (Power Automate). The result is a more data-driven business.
2. Front line staff are in the best place to identify transformative applications
Front line staff always feel the pain of manual, labour-intensive, error-prone business processes more than anyone else - they live and breathe their processes and unquestionably have the ability to figure out how to improve it. But until recently the vast majority have only really had Excel spreadsheets to help them. What if they could use their unique insights to build small, simple applications that would help them analyse, act and automate around their business data and achieve huge efficiency gains? Previously this would have required an expensive exercise involving their IT department, Procurement team, business analysts, project managers, an external supplier, a business case, requirements documents, and much more. But what if they could mostly do it themselves? This is the promised-land the Power Platform is leading front-line staff into; by targeting the technology at “citizen developers”, instead of professional developers, it means front line staff can access and innovatively work with technology they never had access to before - it is a game-changer.
3. Building applications in-house generates confidence and ownership internally
A working culture where staff take ownership of problems and have the confidence to take the initiative to continuously improve is a dream for managers. A shift towards this type of culture has been reported amongst customers using low code application platforms such as Microsoft’s Power Platform. Realising they can build smart applications to solve their own problems has been a pivotal moment for front line staff, and immensely rewarding. It has built internal momentum that has led to more and more applications being built, solving a multitude of small problems.
Your business needs a strategy to select and implement a low code application platform to leverage this technology to further empower you to transform. This blog post is part of a series: ‘How best to position the Power Platform for your organisation’. To get notified on the next blog post please subscribe below: