Microsoft PowerApps is a valuable platform for many companies. It allows you to create apps and services and access a data platform, providing rapid development for your business needs. All that said, what are the business benefits of using Microsoft PowerApps?
We picked 8 that we feel stand out.
1. Reduced IT Costs
The traditional way to put together custom business apps if you need one is to hand it to your in-house IT or hire an external specialist. You need to hire a contractor at a substantial expense in many cases.
If your in-house people have the expertise to do it, it will take time away from other duties such as providing support or onboarding new employees. At the same time, if a contractor makes the app and anything go wrong, you may need to call them back at more expense and potentially delay if they are busy.
PowerApps allows people with little or no application development experience to create high-quality custom apps that are perfect for your business, and you can adjust them at any time without further expense. You can turn to IT or a more efficient Microsoft Power App consulting service for more complicated apps.
2. Faster App Development
Hiring a developer to code an application from scratch takes time. You must find the right person, wait while they get the code done, and then go through alpha and beta testing. The latter can take significant time away from core business functions. If something goes wrong you might have substantial delays or, worse, have to start over with a different contractor.
With Microsoft PowerApps you can create and test apps quickly. The system also automates things like linking from fields, etc. Low code platforms cut 50 to 90% of development time. If an app is not working, it is easy to go back in and fix it or adjust things to better suit your specific use case.
This benefit of using Microsoft PowerApps applies whether your app is for employees or customer-facing. You can build apps during meetings or brainstorming sessions and start testing them immediately.
Everything can be dragged and dropped into place. This helps encourage people to collaborate on your apps and other things. Also, it is easy to teach non-developers what can be done quickly and what takes more work, allowing them to develop reasonable expectations.
Finally, low-code platforms eliminate most mistakes. Everyone in IT or who knows somebody in IT knows the havoc a missing comma or dollar sign can wreak. Because low-code platforms integrate pre-written code, there is no chance of making a simple typo that causes an expensive problem.
3. Useful Integrations
PowerApps is part of the Microsoft Power Platform, which automatically integrates it with things like Microsoft Power BI for business intelligence, Power Virtual Agents to save time for your customer service people and Power Pages to build your external-facing websites.
This is on top of the Power Apps integration with Azure and other Microsoft services, including the Microsoft Office suite you are likely already familiar with. It also integrates well with Salesforce.
You can store the data source your apps need and create on Azure or a Microsoft platform… or anywhere you choose to or are already using. Your team can quickly transfer business data and documentation across different Microsoft applications or share them with the right team.
You can also use integration with Teams to streamline features. For example, you can schedule meetings or calls from within an app or use one to access files. You need to dovetail them to get these benefits, but you can design apps that encourage precisely the kind of collaboration you want and reduce siloing.
4. AI Capabilities
These days, it seems like everyone is using artificial intelligence. PowerApps includes an AI builder that can add things to your apps such as optical character recognition and language detection.
You can add various prebuilt models to your business app, including a business card reader and a receipt processor. You can also build and train your own AI models for things like processing forms.
This saves the often large amount of time and money typically spent acquiring AI capabilities while allowing customization. For example, many companies sell business card reading apps.
Still, with a Microsoft Power App you can put that capability in an app designed to do everything a representative needs to add a customer to your database.
All this is in the same low code interface used for the rest of the Power Apps platform, so even untrained people can add the prebuilt AI capability. Training a model for your specific use case will take longer but can be achieved easily. It can also be integrated into both Microsoft SharePoint and Microsoft Teams.
5. Guaranteed Mobile Support
With customer-facing apps, it is now vital to work in desktop browsers and on Android and iOS mobile devices. They need to do so smoothly, being optimized for the platform and screen size.
PowerApps does this automatically, ensuring that every app designed in the system will work on all devices, reducing the risk of crashes and customer complaints. This also saves the time of needing to do extensive testing on every kind of device and potentially enlist employees to test using a mobile device. Instead, you can focus on ensuring the app does what it needs. It works like a responsive design on your website.
Employees benefit from apps that run seamlessly across devices to continue their work efficiently from home or while traveling. The desktop and mobile app access the same data set similarly but are optimized for the device being used automatically and seamlessly.
6. Secure, Reliable Infrastructure
If you use Microsoft Azure to store your data, you get access to a secure infrastructure built with compliance in mind. This includes strict compliance requirements such as finance and healthcare.
PowerApps also integrates with Microsoft Dataverse, providing role-based security and automatic GDPR compliance. You can also access data from your Microsoft Dynamics 365 applications through Microsoft Dataverse. Dataverse has replaced Microsoft’s Common Data Service.
User authentication is done using Azure Active Directory, and you can control a user’s ability to see and use a specific business application through a simple sharing process.
Azure is also solid and reliable, allowing you to count on having access to your data at all times without worrying about on-site servers. Data is backed up properly and regularly.
You can also go for a hybrid solution using both cloud and on-premises systems with the same level of security and reliability and a seamless transition between the two, making it easy for your employees and customers to access applications from anywhere.
7. Easy Automation of Tedious Processes
PowerApps also integrates with Power Automate. This means you can design an app to streamline and automate a tedious manual business process, such as data entry. This frees staff time to deal with more complicated matters requiring human attention.
You can use Microsoft Power Automate to streamline all repetitive tasks and paperless processes, auto-scale automation and enhance workflows with AI. This can then be put into an easy-to-use app to allow people to initiate, monitor, and check automated processes.
8. Elegant, Intuitive User Interfaces
PowerApps are designed to be easy to use, and the basic modules provide user interfaces that are already elegant and intuitive. There is no need to hire a UI/UX expert to do your apps.
Your internal and external users will get a streamlined and good-looking interface that will make them want to keep using the app instead of hating it. When employees hate the apps and software they use, it lowers productivity and morale and increases the occurrence of risky “shadow IT,” where employees install their solutions instead of using those provided by the company. Customers who don’t like the interface they have to deal with are likely to go elsewhere.
Reaping the Benefits of Using Microsoft PowerApps
Using Microsoft PowerApps is easy. If you have a Microsoft 365 subscription, you may already have it, or it will be a relatively inexpensive upgrade. You can even pay as you go. If you need help understanding and learning how to build apps or want to do something complex your team might not have the skills for, then you need IncWorx.
We offer Power Apps and Power Platform consulting services to companies of all sizes, helping you further reduce development time and costs. We can also provide training to help your team learn how to use the platform effectively so you can move forward on your own.
To find out more, check out our blog or contact us to ask how we can help you leverage PowerApps to grow your company.