4 steps to get maximum value from Power Platform
- Posted on January 31, 2020
- Estimated reading time 3 minutes
This article was originally written by Avanade alum Hans Loomans.
Enterprises demand more from their IT organizations than ever before. They want innovations that sharpen their competitive edge. They want digital tools that enable operational excellence. And they want it all delivered at speed and at scale.
But no matter how innovative, proactive and agile your IT organization is, chances are it will still struggle to rapidly solve every single business problem across the enterprise. That’s where low-code and no-code tools like the Microsoft Power Platform come in.
With Power Platform, people from anywhere in the business can quickly build digital solutions to the problems they face every day, often without needing any coding experience. It gives the people closest to the business issues the power to modernize legacy apps, fix broken processes, unlock new insights, automate manual workflows and turn their own ideas into powerful applications. Tight integration with Office 365 and Dynamics 365 offers a fast, simple way to get data flowing through the organization to the people who need it, while keeping that secure and compliant.
Empowering citizen developers to build apps, wrangle data, launch chatbots and automate processes is great, but how do you ensure all these new apps add value and not just create more IT complexity?
Great power needs great governance
The best Power Platform deployments are supported by internal governance and compliance—the kind that support citizen developers and help avoid the risks of unmaintained tools, zombie apps and duplicate software that ramp up costs and data protection risks.
Lack of governance and control creates compliance and security risks and extra costs for IT. It can also create new challenges for the business. In one organization, poor data governance has led to differences in reporting on the same data from two different parts of the business, making it difficult to make data-driven decisions with any confidence. Another client found that services were being spun up, but then forgotten about. As these unused services were left up, they only created more costs for the business.
Four critical success factors
It’s our mission to help organizations avoid issues like these and get maximum value from their Power Platform services. That’s why we work so closely with our clients to help them get four key things right.
1) Design and implement your governance model
Everything from data security and compliance to ongoing maintenance and application lifecycle management needs to be planned and documented. To get your platform enterprise-ready, you need the right governance model to ensure data is being accessed appropriately, handled consistently and protected effectively. Effective governance can also create a consistent approach to user experience design that improves application usability and adoption.
2) Solve the right problems
First, you need to understand the level of demand from the business for Power Platform services. Then you can begin to select the apps that will deliver the most value. It’s important to clearly define the business problem so you can understand and quantify the value. It’s equally important to assess whether Power Platform is the right tool to solve the problem, or if there are other solutions in the business that would be a better fit. We take a design-led approach to help clients uncover the answers they need, prioritize use cases and find the right fit for Power Platform.
3) Enable your citizen developers
Be sure to give your citizen developers the right training and guidance so they can hit the ground running and work confidently and effectively with the Power Platform. They’ll also need guardrails in place to ensure they’re following your governance policies. We work with clients to internally certify their citizen developers, so we know they’re fully aware of all policies and are ready to create powerful solutions without exposing the organization to risk.
4) Track value creation over time
Having defined the business case and what each app should deliver, it’s essential to continually monitor value realization. To optimize the business impact of your platform, you must be able to understand what every part of it offers, so you know which apps to scale up, modify, move to a different platform or shut down.
The power of preparation
A fantastic example of an organization that’s implemented the Power Platform the right way is one energy corporation with whom we currently worked. After establishing a Power Apps Center of Excellence, they’ve grown their portfolio from a handful of pilot apps to hundreds of Power Apps in just one year, delivering business value at scale.
All the company’s Power Apps are underpinned by a carefully structured governance model and a solid business case, enabling them to do remarkable things on the Power Platform. For instance, they’ve consolidated dozens of shadow systems into a single Power App that now manages one of the most complex workflows in the business, cutting their design time in half and ultimately saving millions of dollars.
Set up for success
If you’d like to learn more about how we can support your Power Platform implementation and help you optimize the value of your services, get in touch with our Power Platform experts, connect with me directly on LinkedIn or email me.