Digital transformation is no longer a buzzword in today’s world of business; it has almost become a necessity. Modern challenges require modern solutions, and digital technologies offer near endless opportunities. Embracing digital transformation is no longer simply a means to stay ahead of the curve; it is fast becoming an essential step to simply keep pace with competitors. If firms don’t adapt digital technologies into their business processes, they run the risk of being left behind.
The use of standard, readymade applications provide solutions to general business challenges in an affordable manner. For more numerous organisation-specific requirements, such applications offer little. On the other hand, custom-made applications, though bespoke and tremendously adaptable, demand high investment of both time and resources—keeping them out of reach of most small and medium businesses.
For an in-between approach, organisations can find an effective solution in Microsoft’s Power Platform tools. The suite of tools provides a low-code platform to build applications, analyse data and develop automations. Employees with little coding knowledge can work alongside IT experts to anticipate challenges and build business-critical digital solutions quickly. The Power Platform acts as glue that brings together systems and people together for enriching workflows and creates a safe space for digital innovation.
Here’s how the various tools in Power Platform can help your business’ digital transformation journey:
Business challenges can arise out of the blue, but the development cycle of the software to tackle them can be a lengthy and expensive one. Power Apps empowers everyday users to build custom applications for everyday needs quickly and without the need to code. Its intuitive drag-and-drop interface allows non-technical users to build apps from scratch when they need them, especially in regards to non-technical users.
Business experts can use their knowledge of their sector to anticipate market needs and business challenges and collaborate with IT professional to rapidly find solutions and respond to the requirements with business applications. Power Apps helps bridge the gap between IT professionals and business experts in service of improving organisational synergy and therefore its organisational agility.
The tool ensures reduction in internal app development effort as well as lesser involvement of external developers and purchase of vendor applications. Along with the overall app development time, Power Apps help cut up to 74% of the costs involved, according to a Forrester study commissioned by Microsoft.
Digitisation of paper-based, routine business processes leads to rise in overall productivity. Workflows become efficient and employees are freer to focus on more revenue-generating activities. The Forrester study also found that the use of Power Apps allowed line-of-business employees to save 3.2 hours per week by the third year. Quicker development of customised business apps in-house speeds up response time, the time to market and overall improve profitability with a payback time of less than 6 months.
Today, we have access to unprecedented amount of data. Data can provide valuable insights that can help businesses understand their own operations, their customers and the larger workings of the market. However, without processing and making sense of all the data available, it would be nothing more than sitting on a goldmine indefinitely.
Power BI offers firms with the ability to analyse data from various sources and create bespoke data-visualisation dashboards instantly. Faster analysis means quicker access to actionable insights for faster decision-making in unpredictable market conditions. It helps business identify trends, patterns and correlations so that they can improve operational efficiency, personalise customer journeys and grab new opportunities, among many others.
Innovations in technology, especially in the field of artificial intelligence and machine learning, have redefined business processes and opened a world of opportunities for process automation. According to a McKinsey global survey in 2022, most organisations reported they would be able to automate at least 25% of their tasks in the upcoming five years.
In a digital world, repetitive and monotonous tasks are better simply automated for improved accuracy, more efficiency and higher productivity. Power Automate, as the name suggests, eliminates such tasks through process automation and helps create custom workflows. It opens up possibilities of automation beyond the routine tasks such as sending email notifications. It can help create business flows to guide users through specific process so as to reduce training needs and shorten the bedding in period for new hires.
With its Robotic Process Automation (RPA) ability, it also eases interaction with outdated legacy systems for better integration. Users can record interactions such as button clicks and text typing in older systems so that they can be replicated with the use of AI and automated. For instance, it can input data from one system to another or update records in an old mainframe system without changing the existing systems themselves.
Power Virtual Agents
Chatbots are no more a novel concept for businesses. Many organisations already employee these AI-powered tools to provide round-the-clock customer service at the very least. Power Virtual Agents simplifies the process of building such chatbots and offers the ability to continuously make improvements on them over time. The tool’s drag-and-drop graphical interface lets users visually create the conversation flow by feeding in specific trigger questions and the appropriate responses. In real world use, the built-in conversational intelligence understands the intent of the user in relation to the triggers and takes the necessary action without the need for human intervention.
With quicker chatbot design and implementation, organisations can make use of chatbots for internal cases such as for employee support, team communication and feedback collection. These reduce the workload of the support teams by providing support for predictable situations and immediately improving efficiency and cost-effectiveness.
Similar to speedily designing apps, Power Pages enables professional developers as well as employees with little coding experience to create business-centric, data-powered, secure websites on the fly. The tool provides diverse customisable templates to quickly design the layout appropriate for your webpage while offering advanced capabilities with visual studio code to create more complex functionality and styling.
Running over Microsoft Azure, the websites have integrated encryption and role-based access controls for greater security. You can use the tool in tandem with the other Power Platform tools to streamline and automate business processes in a single platform. The ease of development and implementation allows businesses the freedom to create webpages for numerous purposes from basic landing pages to partner interaction portals.