In today’s fast-paced technological landscape, businesses are constantly seeking ways to adapt and innovate. The traditional waterfall development model is being replaced by more agile frameworks such as Scrum, Kanban, and SAFe. However, another transformative approach has emerged, enabling businesses to develop applications more efficiently and cost-effectively: low code/no code (LCNC) platforms. Microsoft Power Platform, consisting of Power Apps, Power Automate, Power BI, and Power Virtual Agents, is at the forefront of this revolution.
The Rise of Low Code/No Code
According to a Gartner study, it is projected that by 2025, 70% of enterprise applications will be developed using low code/no code technologies, a significant increase from the 25% recorded in 2020. This surge in adoption can be attributed to the numerous benefits offered by LCNC platforms.
Pros of Low Code/No Code
Faster Time-to-Market and Enhanced Customer Service
One of the major advantages of low code/no code platforms is the accelerated development process, leading to reduced time-to-market. With traditional coding, application development can be a time-consuming and complex endeavour. However, LCNC platforms simplify the process by providing a visual and intuitive interface, allowing users to drag and drop components to build applications. This not only speeds up development but also enables businesses to deliver solutions to their customers more quickly. The faster deployment of new features and updates results in improved customer service and increased revenues.
Cost Savings and Reduced Maintenance Efforts
Another significant benefit of low code/no code platforms is the cost savings associated with application maintenance. According to a study by Forrester, the effort required to manage Power Apps solutions can be as low as 0.1 full-time equivalent (FTE). This is due to the simplified development process and the availability of pre-built components and templates. With LCNC platforms, businesses can allocate resources more efficiently, resulting in reduced operational costs.
Empowering Citizen Developers and Driving Innovation
LCNC platforms empower citizen developers, individuals within an organization who possess domain expertise but lack extensive programming knowledge. These platforms provide them with the tools and resources to create custom applications tailored to their specific business needs. By democratizing application development, LCNC platforms promote innovation and foster a culture of continuous improvement. Citizen developers can make better and faster decisions, leveraging their deep understanding of business processes and customer requirements.
Increased Employee Satisfaction
The ability for non-technical users to actively participate in application development has a positive impact on employee satisfaction. By providing employees with the opportunity to contribute to the creation of solutions that directly impact their work, LCNC platforms empower them and foster a sense of ownership. This not only boosts morale but also enhances productivity and collaboration within the organization.
Cons of Low Code/No Code
While low code/no code platforms offer numerous advantages, there are some limitations to consider before adopting this approach.
As with any emerging technology, low-code/no-code platforms are still in the early stages of maturity. Some constructs may require custom coding, limiting the flexibility of the forum. However, as these platforms continue to evolve, we can expect greater flexibility and customization options in the future.
Another challenge businesses may face when adopting low code/no code platforms is the availability of skilled resources. As this approach gains popularity, the demand for professionals proficient in LCNC development may exceed the current supply. However, with time, more individuals will acquire the necessary skills, alleviating this constraint.
Each low code/no code platform operates within its ecosystem, which may lead to vendor lock-in. Once a business invests in a specific platform and builds its applications on top of it, transitioning to a different platform can be challenging. Careful consideration should be given to selecting a platform that aligns with long-term business goals and offers portability options.
Microsoft Power Platform: Pioneering a New Frontier
Microsoft Power Platform is a comprehensive suite of low-code/no-code tools designed to empower users to create custom business applications, automate workflows, and analyze data. Comprising Power Apps, Power Automate, Power BI, and Power Virtual Agents, the platform offers a range of capabilities that cater to diverse business needs.
Power Apps: Simplifying Application Development
Power Apps is a component of Microsoft Power Platform that enables users to build custom applications without extensive coding knowledge. It offers two main approaches: model-driven applications and canvas applications.
Model-driven applications leverage pre-defined data models and business process flows, making application development faster and more efficient. These applications have a standardized look and feel, ensuring consistency across different applications. Additionally, users can customize the interface and automate business rules based on their specific requirements.
Power Automate: Streamlining Workflows
Power Automate is an automation engine that simplifies workflow creation and management. It offers a user-friendly graphical interface that allows users to define workflows triggered by various events, such as employee onboarding or button presses. Power Automate can also execute scheduled flows at specific intervals, providing businesses with the flexibility to automate repetitive tasks and improve efficiency.
Power BI: Harnessing the Power of Data
Power BI is a powerful business intelligence tool that enables users to transform raw data into meaningful insights. With over 200 data connectors, Power BI can source data from various sources and create visually appealing reports, charts, and dashboards. This empowers businesses to make data-driven decisions and gain a competitive edge in the market.
Power Virtual Agents: Building Intelligent Chatbots
Power Virtual Agents allows businesses to create intelligent chatbots without the need for extensive coding skills. Using a graphical interface and a no-code approach, users can configure chatbots to interact with customers on websites, mobile apps, and various communication platforms. These chatbots can handle basic queries, provide information, and even initiate sales processes, enhancing customer experience and reducing manual workload.
The Power of Microsoft Power Platform: Real-World Benefits
The real-world benefits of Microsoft Power Platform are evident in numerous success stories and studies. For example, a Forrester Total Economic ImpactTM study on Power Apps revealed significant outcomes for businesses that adopted the platform.
Reduced Development Costs and Increased Revenue
The study found that app development and maintenance costs were reduced by 74% with Power Apps. This reduction in costs allowed businesses to allocate resources more efficiently and invest in other areas of growth. Additionally, the study linked more and faster development efforts to a 4.3% uplift in revenue, showcasing the positive impact of low-code development on business performance.
Streamlined Workflows and Time Savings
Power Apps and Power Automate helped streamline and automate activities, resulting in significant time savings. For example, the study estimated that streamlined and automated activities saved worker hours worth $132,000 in the third year of implementation. These time savings can be redirected towards more strategic tasks and initiatives, improving overall productivity and efficiency.
Harnessing the Full Potential of Microsoft Power Platform
Microsoft Power Platform offers a comprehensive set of tools and services that empower businesses to develop custom applications, automate workflows, and gain valuable insights from their data. However, it is crucial to leverage the platform effectively to maximize its potential.
Data Management with Dataverse
Dataverse, the standardized data model within Microsoft Power Platform, plays a crucial role in data management. It provides a base schema with pre-built core entities, such as Accounts, Contacts, and Currency. These entities are both standardized and extensible, allowing businesses to tailor them to their specific needs. Dataverse also offers robust security features, including role-based access control, row-level security, and column-level security, ensuring the integrity and confidentiality of data.
Model-Driven and Canvas Applications
Streamlining Workflows with Power Automate
Power Automate is a powerful tool for automating workflows and reducing manual effort. By leveraging its intuitive graphical interface, businesses can streamline processes and eliminate repetitive tasks. From onboarding new employees to generating reports and sending email reminders, Power Automate offers a range of use cases that can unlock significant time savings and increase operational efficiency.
Data Visualization and Insights with Power BI
Power BI empowers businesses to tap into the full potential of their data by creating visually appealing and interactive reports, charts, and dashboards. With its extensive data connectivity options and powerful data transformation capabilities, Power BI can source data from multiple sources and provide valuable insights. By harnessing the power of data visualization, businesses can make informed decisions, identify trends, and uncover hidden opportunities.
Intelligent Chatbots with Power Virtual Agents
Power Virtual Agents enables businesses to build intelligent chatbots that can engage with customers and provide support. By leveraging its graphical interface and no-code approach, businesses can create chatbots that handle basic queries, deliver product information, and even initiate sales processes. These chatbots improve customer experience, reduce manual workload, and allow businesses to provide round-the-clock support.
Partnering with Xoriant for Low Code/No Code Success
As a trusted technology service partner, Xoriant has extensive experience working with leading organizations in leveraging low code/no code development for their digital transformation journey. With a deep understanding of Microsoft Power Platform and its capabilities, Xoriant can guide businesses in harnessing the full potential of low code development. By leveraging Xoriant’s expertise, businesses can ensure their IT systems keep up with evolving business needs, stay competitive, and respond quickly to changes in the market.
The rise of low code/no code platforms, exemplified by Microsoft Power Platform, is transforming the way businesses develop applications. With the ability to accelerate development, reduce costs, empower citizen developers, and drive innovation, these platforms offer a myriad of benefits. Microsoft Power Platform, with its suite of tools and services, empowers businesses to create custom applications, automate workflows, and gain valuable insights from their data. By harnessing the full potential of low code development, businesses can stay ahead in the competitive digital landscape and achieve their strategic goals. Partnering with an experienced technology service provider like Xoriant can further enhance the success of low code/no code initiatives, ensuring businesses can adapt and thrive in the ever-evolving technological landscape.