How to implement pre-built Power Apps to automate your business operations without paying thousands for an Engineering team
There was a time where dealing with complex and expensive business process management software was the ‘norm’, yet the rise of business process automation (BPA) has changed the game for many organisations across multiple departments and business functions.
Time consuming finance processes like expense claims, timesheeting and capex approvals; and HR processes like leave requests and OHS procedures – are now being automated in such a way where human resource and paper forms are completely minimised.
If you can think of a better way to do something, chances are – it’s possible with business process automation backed by Microsoft Power Apps.
We recognised a common challenge that many businesses were facing – simple, repetitive and business-critical processes were creating bottlenecks in their business – yet the ‘solutions’ were being over-engineered and over-scoped.
Typically, this is down to the use of legacy systems and SaaS platforms that are handling business-critical processes with outdated technology.
Department heads across HR, Finance, Ops and IT find themselves looking into outsourcing business process automation to a specialised engineering team for a hefty fee due to the complexities of the legacy software and a lack of time, energy or experience in trying to solve the problem themselves - with good reason.
We saw too many businesses wasting time, money and resources on attempting to implement business process automation in an inefficient, overly complex and expensive way.
The truth is you don’t need to pay an engineering team an exorbitant amount to automate your HR, Finance or Manufacturing processes (to name a few). It can be done swiftly and painlessly with the right type of business process automation strategy - introducing pre-built power apps.
We’ve been delivering business process automation through our low cost/low-code Power Apps practice (and pre-built App store) for over two years now, with excellent results across a variety of industries. Our clients are looking to automate business processes to draw tangible business value from their teams and technologies - they expect that in 2022, things should be easier - and they’re right.
Business value looks like (and is not limited to):
- Reduced operational complexity;
- Immediate cost savings;
- Improved user experience;
- Increased scalability;
- Removed reliance on legacy technology;
- Enhanced data availability
So how do you implement pre-built power apps, to start benefiting from business process automation as soon as possible?
Firstly, what are pre-built Power Apps and how do you implement them?
Power Apps is a Platform as a Service that enables business process automation by providing apps that connect to your data stored in an underlying data platform or via other data sources like SharePoint, Microsoft 365, Dynamics 365 or SQL Server.
Once there is an understanding of the process you’re looking to automate, you can choose from a template of pre-built power apps to suit your business requirement. Pre-built power apps can also be customised if there are nuances within your organisation that need to be factored in. It really is that simple.
Pre-built power apps, as the name suggests, essentially means that the legwork has been done for you, and for many of the most common business processes, you have drag and drop power apps available to you that can be installed and ready to use within a two-day turnaround.
Given the legwork has been done up front, you’ll avoid making more work for yourself and won’t need to outsource a big engineering delivery - costing you tens of thousands. You simply choose the process that needs automating and plug in the appropriate power app.
Pre-built power apps can be branded with your company logos and colours and will allow you to upload your entire Office365 environment - with minimal fuss and cost.
What are some of the common pre-built Power Apps available?
Here are some of the common, repetitive processes that can leverage plug and play pre-built power apps:
- Expense claims
- Leave requests
- Document management systems
- Capex approvals
- Accounts receivable
- Remote work requests
- COVID-19 case management
- Attendance trackers
- Web Order/Pick & Ship
What’s the business case? Why implement pre-built Power Apps?
Gartner has predicted that 65% of application development will be delivered by Low Code/No Code by 2023 whilst IDC referenced that 80% of IT budgets reported a requirement to support legacy applications. This reliance on legacy is slowing businesses down and many are looking for ways to modernize without breaking the bank. Pre-built and customisable power apps can support you to slowly transition away from being reliant on legacy software-based processes that are no longer working, allowing you to reduce license costs and digitally transform - as your business transforms.
In a 2019 study done by Forrester, the average cost to develop an application with Microsoft Power Apps (and Power Automate) was 70% less than traditional development methods. This included internal development effort, use of Professional Services, license costs and connectors and the ability to use pre-existing templates and low code tools.
The simple truth is - it will save you significantly, both in the short and long term.
Not only that, pre-built Power Apps deliver business transformation and improved outcomes by automating and streamlining manual and paper-based workflows, meaning, you’ll reduce time (and paper) significantly.
Legacy applications typically don’t support broad web and mobile applications, yet, to accommodate for a remote working environment, this is a must. Power Apps natively support most web and all iOS and Android platforms out of the box.
Cloud Solutions Group offers a library of pre-built Power Apps for many of the most-common day to day business processes across Finance, HR and Operations, with templates ready to be installed quickly and easily.
Our expert Power Apps engineers have designed drag and drop Power Apps with the ability to customise as your business requires. Cloud Solutions Group makes the implementation process easy, so you can get up and running as quickly as possible (in days, rather than months).