Why you should start using the Microsoft Power Platform in 2024
On 17 October 2023, Gartner published a report comparing Enterprise Low-Code Application Platforms. Microsoft, with its low-code Power Apps service offering, has been recognised as a leader in this report for the fifth consecutive time.
Low-code and no-code is the future of app development. Gartner predicts that by 2024, 65% of application development projects will rely on low-code development. It will surpass traditional coding as the app delivery platform of choice in the next few years.
Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Low-Code Application Platforms/ Microsoft Power Platform Source: Gartner October 2023
Are you thinking about investing in a low-code platform? We are strong Microsoft Power Platform evangelists, and we believe it’s time for you to jump on the power-bandwagon too and reap the benefits of this incredible platform. In this blog we will discuss why you should start using the Power Platform in your organisation and showcase a few examples of what it can do.
What is the Microsoft Power Platform?
The Power Platform consists of a set of ‘Low-Code/No-Code’ tools within Microsoft 365 with which you can create custom business applications, automated workflows, interactive dashboards and websites.
The Power Platform may be a fairly new concept, however, the various components that make it up are not. You have undoubtedly heard of these components and maybe even used them. We have summarised them for you below:
With Power Apps you can build custom applications quickly and easily. The data you use can come from different sources such as SharePoint, Excel, etc. Some of the advantages of Power Apps are developing apps without prior knowledge of code, building custom applications, integration with other systems and support on both your computer and mobile.
Power BI is a tool that enables you to visualise and analyse your data, in order to gain valuable insights very rapidly so you can quickly make informed decisions and implement the necessary changes within your business processes.
With Power Automate you can easily automate, integrate and accelerate business processes. Leveraging Power Automate allows you to turn time-consuming tasks into fast automated workflows, freeing up resources to concentrate on your core business. Power Automate can significantly increase productivity in your company.
In short, Power Pages is a low-code business website builder. Microsoft Power Pages is a secure, enterprise-grade, low-code software as a service platform for creating, hosting, and administering modern external-facing business websites.
What happened to Power Virtual Agents?
Power Virtual Agents capabilities and features are now part of Microsoft Copilot Studio.
Microsoft defines Copilot Studio as follows: “Copilot Studio is an end-to-end conversational AI platform that empowers you to create and customize copilots using natural language or a graphical interface. With Copilot Studio, you can easily design, test, and publish copilots that suit your specific needs for internal or external scenarios across your industry, department, or role”.
At Microsoft Ignite 2023, it was announced that Power Virtual Agents is now a feature of Copilot Studio.
It’s important to note that Copilot Studio is more than just a rebrand for Power Virtual Agents. Rather than just being a conversational application, Copilot Studio focusses on generative features too. For example, with Power Virtual Agents you could have your classic conversation with a chatbot, but you couldn’t ask the bot to transform a table in Excel into a chart to represent the data.
We are currently working on a blog to cover the transition from Power Virtual Agents to Microsoft Copilot Studio in more detail.
Why should you start using the Power Platform in 2024? – Power Platform benefits
1. Reduce IT resource dependence
The Power Platform offers your employees the opportunity to create applications, automations, or reports themselves, without being pro-developers. It used to be that employees had to rely significantly on the IT department for development, however, they are now able to build their own solutions with little technical complexity in just a few steps.
2. Mobile accessibility
All the applications of the Power Platform can be accessed from any device and can be optimised for all screens. People can use your apps, visit your dashboards and read reports with real-time data, allowing all staff (including frontline employees) to stay informed and connected at all times.
3. Simple automation of business processes
In 2024, focusing on automation will be a critical factor for a successful business. Every company must deal with necessary but repetitive business processes that waste a lot of time and energy. To increase productivity, Power Platform gives you the opportunity to automate work processes. With Power Automate you can automate repetitive tasks by building workflows, freeing up resources to focus on other work. This will save you time and increase productivity.
4. Promote a flexible work environment
The Power Platform is a cloud-based platform allowing users to access all the tools from anywhere and from any device, empowering flexible working arrangements.
5. Improved decision-making
The data that your company generates every day contains valuable insights. Tools like Power BI can help you analyse and interpret your data to make informed business decisions and implement changes in a timely manner. In fact, Power BI dashboards can provide you with real-time data, so the business decisions you make will always be based on the latest information.
6. Improved productivity and collaboration
It’s simple to improve, automate or streamline processes with Power Platform tools, which will in turn elevate productivity and improve collaboration. All the Power Platform applications are connected to each other and your Microsoft environment to ensure seamless integration and workflow.
7. Save costs
The Power Platform is a low-code platform which allows organisations to build solutions to automate business processes without having to write complex code. This will save you time and money on development costs. Furthermore, you won’t need to employ expensive IT professional to do the work for you since anyone can be a Power Platform developer with the appropriate support.
8. Reduced time to market
Power Platform’s low code/no code nature, pre-built components and templates, but also the drag and drop interface allow pro-developers and citizen-developers with minimal to no coding experience to build application and workflows faster and more easily compared to traditional programming languages. This reduces the time needed for development and can reduce time to market for new solutions.
What makes us your ideal Power Platform Service Supplier?
Intelogy is at the forefront of Microsoft 365 business applications in the UK with a track record for creating innovative enterprise applications with Power Apps, automated business processes with Power Automate and advanced analytics dashboards in Power BI. We guide organisations to implement strategies for adopting and supporting the Power Platform.
We work with clients to get them started with the Power Platform and to support them in the creation of complex solutions. It is our vision to create a framework that allows every business to be self-sufficient in supporting their investment in the Power Platform for the long-term. We will train staff to maintain the applications we have built, and we promote the use of those skills to build entirely new apps, automations, and reports to assist their organisation to drive further efficiencies and process improvements.
The true power of Power Platform doesn’t lie in the system itself, but in the connection between the components in one centralised platform. We have worked with many clients across different industries deploying multiple Power Platform solutions at once. Here are a couple of examples of Power Platform projects we worked on recently:
Intelogy engaged with AHDB to improve the efficiency and ease of the routine RAG (Red/Amber/Green) Analysis, performed every 6 months for their Research and Knowledge Exchange projects. There was an additional requirement for managing the collection of Data Quality assessments from the same projects.
Our developers have built a series of canvas Power Apps and used the Power BI Online Service to provide an accessible and secure reporting environment. It is now much easier and less time-consuming for administrators of the AHDB Project Analysis Team to view and maintain all active projects because they are available in one central location. For more details about the project, you can read the full case study here.
Another great project was delivered to London’s Air Ambulance Charity. Watch the video below to find out more about the project and provided solution.
If you are interested in more of our previous work including Power Platform development click here.
Looking for Power Apps training?
Intelogy, in partnership with Microsoft, is offering FREE one-day hands-on workshops for you and your team. We offer the following training/workshops:
App in a Day, focused on Power Apps training
Dashboard in a Day, focused on Power BI training
Automation in a Day focused on Power Automate and Power Automate Desktop
For more details and registration please head over to this page and fill out the contact form. A member of our team will be in touch to answer all your questions and check your eligibility before we set up a date for the workshop.
What’s new and planned for Power Apps in 2024?
Microsoft has provided a list of features, as part of the 2023 release wave 2 plan, that are planned to be released between October 2023 and March 2024. This plan covers hundreds of new features across all Power Platform applications, including Power Apps, Power BI, Power Automate, Power Pages, Microsoft Copilot Studio, and AI Builder, as well as Microsoft Dataverse, Power Platform capabilities for governance and administration and pro-development.