Many business processes can involve long, laborious tasks requiring multiple e-mails to be sent manually, documents printed, signed, then scanned back to digital form and forwarded to relevant people. There are only so many hours in the day and these processes can eat into time which could be spent focussing on more business vital, non-administrative tasks.
Key challenges many businesses face include supporting mobile workers efficiently in contexts where these business processes are frequently manual, paper-based tasks, and where there is limited budget to effect any form of digital transformation.
Introducing Microsoft Power Apps
Power Apps allow tools to be created which run on almost all web browsers, as well as Android and iOS devices. When it comes to deploying on Mobile devices, individual Power Apps run through the downloaded parent component – meaning multiple instances need not be created for different operating systems.This containment allows businesses to deploy Power Apps to their workforce at speed with minimal concern – if an individual has a relatively modern mobile device and the Power App has been shared with them, they can use it. Simple.
Along with making things more straightforward, Power Apps can save businesses money when compared to traditional development methods which require a development team to create a responsive web app capable of running acceptably across the various browsers, alongside separate apps for Android and iOS devices. Development resources and costs required would likely be triple or quadruple that associated with developing and provisioning a Power App.
Support costs are also significantly reduced as maintenance is only required for a single app – meaning issues are less likely to arise in the first place, and if they do, are more likely to be resolved promptly due to the removal of concern with respect to operating system versioning and device hardware. Cost-effective.
Microsoft Power Platform
As a core part of the Microsoft Power Platform, Power Apps connects and integrates seamlessly with just about everything in the Microsoft stack, the Common Data Service, and hundreds of other data sources. Due to the nature of these connectors, an app which brings all data together into a ‘single source of truth’ with a modern, configurable interface can be created and deployed. Efficient.
The ‘single source of truth’ approach simplifies processes considerably – imagine being able to open an app containing all the data required for a process, making changes which update your data source seamlessly, clicking a button to send an e-mail to relevant people, create a backlog item in Azure DevOps, then creating a Power BI dashboard as a visual representation of relevant data without opening any other apps or webpages. With Power Apps this can be a reality.
Workflow automation using Power Automate with Power Apps allows a high level of productivity with a lower level of resource input. Multistep flows within Power Automate allow businesses to complete multiple repetitive tasks through a single action within a Power App – saving time and massively increasing efficiency.
Integrating Power BI with a Power App allows key business members and stakeholders to view customisable, visual, real time data dashboards based on a data source. This removes the requirement of collating and searching massive amounts of data, enabling you to make informed decisions based on immediate business intelligence.
In conclusion, a business making use of the Microsoft stack can benefit massively by streamlining and automating processes using Microsoft Power Apps and the Power Platform meaning more time can be spent by people on planning the next stage of business transformation.
Graduate Developer Gary graduated from Glasgow Caledonian University in 2019 with a degree in Software Development. He is particularly interested in server side and front end web development. Having worked at Glasgow Airport as a student, Gary is fluent in all known Glaswegian dialects.