Digital transformation takes many forms, but most tend to think of it in big sweeping changes. But it can also take place in small spaces, where a quick automation can save hours of work for an individual who is then freed to focus on more strategic problems.
The opportunities to leverage technology to make partners’, workers’, and customers’ lives easier are endless.
Even better: The tools that exist today from Microsoft are cutting down the time and resources needed to make those impactful changes to weeks and days and even hours – rather than months and years.
Rather than wait for a customized IT development, or for someone else to piece together data for a useful dashboard, front-line workers with little to no coding experience are doing it themselves with the help of Microsoft’s Power Platform.
What is Power Platform?
Microsoft Power Platform combines low-code application development, workflow automation, AI bot development and data analytics, all designed to work with the secure trusted Microsoft cloud services of Azure, Dynamics 365, and Microsoft 365.
The goal: helping businesses enhance workflows and streamline operations.
The Power Platform is made of four low-code applications:
- Power BI: Power BI is a business intelligence application that allows you to combine data from various sources and create interactive reports and dashboards for your team. Power BI helps you tell a story with your data. That data then can help your team make better forecasts, develop what-if scenarios and analysis, and more to better understand the current state of business and make better decisions.
- Power Apps: Power Apps allow you to build low-code and no-code applications. It features a drag-and-drop feature to build the application interface for use on your desktop or mobile devices.
- Power Automate: This is the tool to use if you want to automate menial tasks to improve workflows. This was previously known as Microsoft Flow. This is an efficiency driver for your company.
- Power Virtual Agents: This is Microsoft’s solution to creating chatbots to answer customer questions. Bots can easily answer commonly asked questions, even in different languages, on a variety of platforms.
These applications allow you to build solutions to better visualize and act on your data analytics, meet targeted business needs with low-code app development, and connect apps so that your team can access the data they need to do their jobs.
What is Low-Code Development?
These tools are all based on low-code development, which allows almost anyone to create and deliver applications without extensive knowledge of coding.
They do this through prebuilt templates, drag-and-drop functionality, and quick deployment. The idea is that anyone (IT teams, business analysts, customer-facing workers and more) can build a dashboard or develop an app to solve a challenge – big or small.
While these programs have democratized software development, they do require support by your IT team or technology partner. What’s more, policies around app development are required to ensure what’s being built works and doesn’t present security challenges. However, with the right parameters in place, the pros outweigh the cons.
Low-code platforms help businesses save time, boost productivity, reduce costs, and increase flexibility.
As streamlined and accessible as Microsoft has made the Power Platform for everyday users, it’s still important to enter into its use strategically and with a plan.
Sikich can help. Contact Sikich for more information on partnering for implementation and training today.