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Understanding the Power of PowerApps

Lately, Microsoft has been making a lot of hay about PowerApps.  And with such a catchy name, we’ve been getting a lot of questions from our customers that all sound a lot like:

  • “Hey, what is PowerApps?"
  • “Hey, will PowerApps (insert vague descriptor)?"
  • “Hey, how can I get PowerApps?”


What is business process automation, IT automation, powerappsLet’s start with what PowerApps is, and its purpose. 

Microsoft PowerApps is a set of services and apps that enable you to build applications quickly with the skill sets you already have, and then share them across the organization.  Sometimes this is referred to as “code-free” or “code-less” programming.  The applications you build can allow users to enter data via any mobile or PC device that will then be input into your system of record.  Many times, the system of record is SharePoint, but it can be virtually any backend database system.

 

PowerApps addresses two major business considerations.

 1. Need vs. Expense

There is a need for a customizable software solution, but the business case does not justify the expense of creating a customized piece of software.  In this scenario, we often hear that “off- the-shelf”/ “boxed” solutions provide a considerable amount of functionality, but a percentage of critical business needs go unmet.   This forces businesses to “live with” inefficient processes and “workarounds” that ultimately lead to poor user acceptance, lost data, and additional expense to “clean up the mess” later.

Using PowerApps Studio, teams can develop PowerApps quickly and “code-free.”  These apps can provide all the business requirements needed to perform the tasks efficiently and securely, without the expense of custom application development. 

App Store Issues
Additionally, a common frustration is that Mobile app distribution typically happens through app stores, or through mobile device management, governed by IT; this creates inherent friction in getting the functionality you need onto a user’s phone.  Apple is notorious for denying applications with little to no feedback about why the software was declined, forcing developers to blindly iterate versions until something “sticks” and further driving up development costs.

IT can also become territorial, or fail to prioritize your deployment over the many hot irons already in their fires, creating delays that push ROI further down the road.
 
PowerApps alleviates this frustration, as the apps you develop are distributed via the web and can be run in a browser in Dynamics 365, or PowerApps Mobile for Windows, iOS, and Android.
 

2. Lack of qualified developers

In many businesses, finding a developer with the necessary skills to accomplish the task is hard enough.  Finding a qualified developer with available time to dedicate to your project can be near impossible.  The struggle is real. Gartner predicts, “by the end of 2017, the market demand for mobile app development services will grow at least five times faster than internal IT organization’ capacity to deliver them.”  In layman’s terms, there aren’t enough skilled developers to keep up with demand for business apps.

 

Microsoft has delivered PowerApps to:

  • Bridge the gap between the needs of the business versus the cost of app development.
  • Streamline the deployment of apps.
  • Put quality application development services within the reach of most business organizations.

 

As an added bonus, Microsoft has included PowerApps in select Office365 and Dynamics365 bundles, meaning, you may already own the software you need to make you more productive.  If you are unsure about whether or not you have PowerApps already, contact KiZAN to schedule a free workshop.


 


What is automation, Business process automation services, IT Automation, PowerAPPSWant to learn more about Business Process Automation? 
Check out our blog post:
"Understanding the Power of PowerApps."

 &

Download our free Getting Started with Business Process Automation Infographic

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Posted by Justin Kobel

Justin Kobel is the Practice Lead over the SharePoint practice at KiZAN Technologies and has been with KiZAN since 2005. Justin has experience as a developer, engineer and architect on all technologies surrounding SharePoint.

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Topics: Automation, Business Process, Business Productivity, PowerApps