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PowerApps: Innovation for all

Developer working at desk

Automation is a thriving part of every job, data is driving more decisions than ever before, and thus the pressure for modernizing an organization is growing rapidly. But transformation isn’t always easy. Who will create the solutions? Who will inform them? How will solutions be connected with the data that makes them relevant?

If built in a silo, top-down solutions can miss their mark and frustrate the users they’re meant to support. They can also be expensive and difficult to implement. With that in mind, the Microsoft Power Platform was designed to provide a way to create bottom-up solutions that hit targets and empower workforces.

Samit Saini’s journey at Heathrow Airport exemplifies how an employee with a learning mindset and a drive to make a difference can leverage PowerApps to create solutions. Samit left school at age 16 and took an opportunity to work at Heathrow Airport as a security officer, a position he held for 13 years. In his spare time, he enjoyed tinkering with technology like Excel and Visual Basic for Applications. When he got access to PowerApps, he used it to quickly build and deploy an application that addressed an operational problem at Heathrow.

Samit wanted to digitize time- and resource-intensive processes that had been done on paper. His app was useful for providing translations for questions from international passengers, customer experience audits, and assisting passengers with reduced mobility. This was just the beginning: a community of PowerApps users grew around Samit, creating 17 more apps. The outcomes of quantitative benefits and cost-savings are significant, but Samit’s story also shows the potential for technology to empower a more engaged, proactive workforce with higher morale.

The Power Platform is a collection of three cloud-based services that allow users to Analyze, Act, and Automate. Power BI enables analysis and visualization of data from different sources. These dashboards or reports can then be included during the creation of mobile and web apps in PowerApps. The apps and dashboards are integrated into business processes to increase automation and efficiency with Flow. The combination of this set of tools empowers a new generation of digital inclusion for anyone in an organization to build rich web and mobile applications.

Most importantly, PowerApps has low coding requirement—making it easy for anyone in an organization to quickly come up with a solution. Removing the technical talent barrier also helps lower costs, as a vastly larger group of people will be able to create impactful apps to solve their own problems, without extra hiring or consulting. These factors help reduce the burden on information technology departments, meaning less backlogs and more efficiency.

The Power Platform is engineered with enterprise-grade security and scalability. Extensive governance and data-loss policies means that compliance and regulatory concerns are covered. Security and privacy are also safeguarded by using the same Azure services you know and trust. Together, the PowerApps environment minimizes potential vulnerability issues.

There are vast benefits to be gained from including the frontline into the digital transformation process as active participants. The low-code, feature-rich environment of PowerApps, combined with the data and automation possibilities of the Power Platform, means that operational inefficiencies can be erased. Empowering users to digitize processes brings with it an environment where fruitful collaboration becomes the new norm, as entire teams gain the ability to share work and ideas. Once the basic solution is created, professional developers can then add advanced functionality.

PowerApps can be a powerful opportunity for change and evolution in any organization. Being more inclusive in the process of business digitization means that problems can be solved with first-hand insights and experience by those that live and breathe it everyday. When any person in an organization can be an innovator, there is no limit to what can be achieved.

Learn more and start empowering your organization with the Microsoft Power Platform today.