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Modernize your Workplace with Microsoft’s Power Platform

For decades, organizations have recognized that digital solutions are an essential part of doing business.   Historically organizations have needed custom-developed solutions to solve and provide services to customers for their specific business domain – these are often referred to as “high code” solutions. High code solutions continue to be valuable today for complex business solutions where flexibility and high performance are required. Solutions that leverage existing infrastructure and investments made in technology are well suited to custom developed solutions. Custom “high code” solutions normally have a longer development and testing time associated to building the solution which means a larger investment up front. In today’s digital transformation era, there is an ever-growing need for alternate, cost-effective solutions that may not require such an investment. 

There are new technologies which are becoming very popular in the industry that allow for new types of solutions that need to be delivered quickly and effectively. These solution are helping organizations modernize their workplace in meaningful and productive ways.  “Low code” solutions, such as Microsoft Power Apps, have these capabilities to address that need. Microsoft is a leader and at the forefront in low code solutions through their Power Platform as part of their Modern Workplace concept. Microsoft is a leader and at the forefront in low code solutions through their Power Platform as part of their Modern Workplace concept.

Modern Workplace concept

Microsoft Power Apps named a Leader in the Gartner Low Code Application Platform (LCAP) Magic Quadrant in 2020, for the second year in a row.

A low-code approach through the Microsoft Power Platform enables decision makers with more choices, providing the ability to create a business case for a “right-sized” solution.

Today, I’m sharing key strategy and cost factors to consider as you think about whether a low-code solution is an option for your business challenges.  

Strategic considerations

We are starting to see a new trend in the market: organizations are looking to adopt and invest in low code platforms to augment their traditional application development practices. With more and more organizations identifying this need, important new approaches and options need to be considered around choices they make with the direction of their IT solutions. Do low-code solutions like Power Platform have a long future that is worth investing in? Are low code solutions designed to operate in an enterprise setting such as your business? We can confidently say yes because of the following factors:

  • Development Revolution A low-code development approach is a new evolution in the industry and for some organizations it could be considered a revolution in how they approach development, offering many new development options and opportunities they never had before.
  • Governance and Application Lifecycle Organizations need a way to manage the governance and application lifecycle of building new solutions and many of the low code development platforms, such as the Microsoft Power Platform, are being developed with these requirements in mind. This allows organizations to manage all aspects of their low code solutions similar to how they managed their custom high code solutions.
  • Key industry players are on board Key industry players are investing heavily into this as a key growth area with momentum only picking up. For example, Microsoft’s CEO, Satya Nadella, has stated it has been a “dream of mine” for 15 years to have a development platform for any industry that have many varied, changing and different business needs that is extensible and flexible.

Cost considerations

A fundamental consideration for any decision maker is to make choices concerning cost and budget needs. They need to go in with “eyes wide open” concerning all aspects of where their costs may come from, including resources and licensing.  Below are a few key points identifying value and opportunities that a Power Platform low-code solution may bring.

  • Delivering Value Faster Simply put, the time to initiate and deliver in a short amount of time is a core differentiator with low code. The time effort and duration can be dramatically reduced compared to traditional development projects.
  • Enterprise vs Personal Applications Of course, resourcing and skill sets are an important aspect when considering low-code solutions. However, when using Power Platform to meet long-term enterprise solutions that require any IT governance and process needs, choosing skilled resources remains a necessary aspect. When using Power Platform to create simple, personal driven solutions to automate small aspects of the business, Citizen Developers (a term referring to people who are semi-technical) can provide quick value gains if the solution is relatively small and personal.
  • Leverage Existing Investments Most companies who have already invested in or migrated to Office 365 are already licensed for the Microsoft Power Platform. As a cloud service, companies have the ability to develop and have applications hosted in the cloud with under their existing licensing models. There is a per user cost and if additional, more complicated, integrations are required for other systems such as SAP or ServiceNow there are custom connectors which can be included at additional costs.
  • Provide a Rich and Modern Workplace When having the Power Platform available by using existing licenses, many organizations might not be aware of all the additional capabilities it brings by making the most of all the tools and products across the Microsoft 365 platform. The Microsoft 365 platform includes Office 365 but also includes technologies such as Teams, SharePoint, OneDrive, Enterprise Mobility - all of which can be utilized in any solution.
  • DevOps Built In In an environment where needs and requirements change often, the Power Platform offers a built-in agile and DevOps environment to quickly adapt to these changing needs. This allows delivery planners and business value to be optimized on an on-going basis.

Solution considerations

You may be asking yourself - how does the Microsoft Power Platform manage to generate such high value on a low code platform? In an upcoming blog, our Modern Workplace team will deep-dive into the technical wonders of the Power Platform Apps.

Many of our western-Canadian clients have engaged our team to help come up with solutions that leverage their existing investment in Microsoft 365. We’ve seen their organizations rapidly adopt the Power Platform as they realize the potential and benefit of low-code solutions.  Globally, both Gartner and Forrester have released studies and testimonials on this topic, demonstrating how many organizations have generated value through low-code solutions in ways that weren’t possible before.

As a Microsoft Gold Partner, Solvera’s Modern Workplace experts can help you understand how you can use the power of your existing Microsoft 365 platform to address your modern workplace needs. 

Learn more about Solvera's Modern Workplace Solutions

About the author:

Warren Shivak is a senior consultant with Solvera who has made a career for over 20 years as a Developer, Analyst, Technical Team Lead and Solution Architect across many industries and organizations within Canada, both public and private. Warren has experience in many technical domains such as Cloud, Microsoft .Net, Power Platform, SAP / ERP solutions and Java.

To chat with Warren about this blog or Solvera's Modern Workplace Solutions, contact us.

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