Low-Code, No Code is a term that has been discussed a lot recently and we’re seeing a few of our clients turn their hand at this with the Power Platform as a viable alternative to traditional custom development. As we work with the Microsoft suite of products and Dynamics 365 in particular, we have been keeping an eye on the progression of the Power Platform - Microsoft’s gateway into the low-code, no code revolution.
The Power platform combines PowerApps, PowerBI, and Power Automate (previously known as Flow) into one powerful business application platform. Each component can be used independently, but when used together it provides unparalleled power and data insights. They are all built on the Common Data Service.
Power Automate is a service engine that allows you to create automated workflows between apps and services. This helps with business processes in which you can determine outcomes or actions based on a certain criteria. Automation of these tasks decreases data duplication and increases productivity.
Power Apps is the service in which citizen developers within your organisation build simple apps to help with workflows or tasks. Need to run through certain criteria with a customer on site? Easy, make an app that sales teams can use to fill in information directly on their phone. Have that data trigger a workflow within Power Automate to kick off a notification for the internal office team. Then measure all of this (the time, how many enquiries you get and how many are acted upon) with Power BI.
We have now heard the latest release from Microsoft – a new product called Microsoft Dataflex – a low code integration with Microsoft Teams. You can now build, deploy, share and use PowerApps solutions from within Teams. For more information – read the release here.
We wanted to share with you some pros and cons of the low-code/no code revolution as with any great opportunity, there will be things to look out for.
· Your people know the business back to front. If they have access to these tools, then they can utilise this knowledge and apply it directly to the very problems you face
· It is easy enough for a skilled marketing executive, entry level developer, sales manager, logistics team member to pick up.
· Its more cost effective than developing custom built applications
· You can change quickly and pivot an idea if the outcome is not exactly what you were thinking
· Provide the members of the team the correct access and limit those that shouldn’t be unnecessarily tinkering.
· Your people know the business processes as they currently are. Sometimes this can lead to creation of processes that are the digitisation of what is currently the workflow. Sometimes, you need a skilled Functional Consultant that understands the limitations of the technology and of the current way of working to marry up the two.
· Without governance, you can end up with a disparate bunch of technology sitting in siloed teams that don’t speak to one another. You need to keep a holistic look at the business while not hindering creativity.
· Normally, the business executive come at the problem with their view. It can sometimes mean that other departments are left out in the cold, and are not kept up to date with internal technology Proof of Concepts or advancements. Keep this in mind.
· You can make the mistake of not keeping the developers in the loop. They are skilled at what they do and the opportunity cost of a developer hour is high. Keep them in the loop with what you are planning, and they will help with potential pitfalls. Low-code technology should free them up, so keep them in the loop.
At Magnetism, we take the view that the Power Platform is the future for our clients. Having one place for your data for your business to make decisions is imperative. We can either build PowerApps, Power BI or Power Automate combined with Dynamics 365 for you and with you. If you would like to discuss how we can help get in touch.