Power Apps is one of the most popular products in the Microsoft 365 suite. Businesses use the program to solve everyday process challenges from service requests to building entire defect management systems (like we did with CalMac Ferries). It can be used to streamline almost any process, from simple to complex. Its current features, paired with Microsoft’s recent upgrades, enable further capabilities and customisation for businesses.
With the solution requiring little to no coding or application building experience, it really empowers people across the business to start tackling business problems on their own with no need for IT intervention or supervision. In this respect, it is having a tremendous impact on the speed at which businesses can embrace digital transformation. After exploring it (albeit, in a high-level way, for a deeper dive check out this article), this article will explore the fundamentals of building a business case for Microsoft Power Apps.
A good business case starts with the same six fundamental components:
- Identify the Challenge
- Provide a Solution
- Outline Costs
- Outline the Benefits
- Provide Timeline
- Utilise Change Management
Within this article, we will explore how you can build a business case for Microsoft Power Apps around the above principles.
1. Identify the challenge
Now, this can be a tough first step as there are so many challenges that can be solved by Power Apps. For some, they may be looking to improve the employee onboarding process, for others, they may be looking to capture relevant information and assign tasks during meetings, or sales may require a streamlined way to process new customer information and agreements in the field. The only limit to the challenges you can solve is your imagination.
Now for some decision-makers, the identification of one, or a number of the above may be enough, but for others, they will want to understand the effect Power Apps will have on the bottom line. If you have identified the manual process you want to automate with Power Apps, build an app, we recommend showcasing how much this challenge is currently costing the business. How much time is required to do the task currently? How many times is it completed each day? What other effects is this having on the business? If the information has to be manually entered, how is this affecting accurate decision-making?
Whatever the challenge, tailor it to your audience. If, for example, your audience’s primary concern is savings, focus on how the problem(s) you’re facing cost the organisation money due to operational inefficiencies, loss of customers, etc. Cost reduction has and always will be a fantastic motivator.
2. Provide a Solution
When presenting the solution, outline how you’ll use Microsoft Power Apps to address your pain points (e.g., applications you need, where to deploy it first, how each team can use it themselves, without IT supervision ), and also, why an investment in this software, specifically, is critical to overcoming the issues you’re facing (e.g., what does it offer that another tool does not).
Microsoft Power Apps can be used across the company, by anyone with a challenge. It can solve process issues for HR, sales, marketing, and finance, actively increasing agility across your organisation. It empowers each and every function to rapidly build low-code apps that modernise their outdated processes and solve tough challenges, all whilst reducing spend on function-specific technology.
3. Outline Costs
When outlining the costs, be sure to address both the costs of the software itself, such as the number and price of licenses, as well as costs that are harder to quantify, such as the downtime required for training and reduced productivity as users learn a new system.
Power Apps licenses are available in two categories, per app, and per user. Per app, comes in at £10 per user, per month, and per user, is £40 per user, per month. The main difference being per app, limits each user to one app, though it does have the flexibility to be stacked. The per user plan allows for the creation of unlimited applications. However, updates to the pricing of Power Apps, have just been announced and as of October 1st these costs will be effectively halved, you can read more about that here.
In terms of unseen costs, downtime to allow training will be minimal. The solution was designed to empower your team to build and launch apps right away, utilising prebuilt templates, with drag-and-drop simplicity, and simple deployment. However, if you are a little worried about disruption, we offer training sessions designed to boost adoption, and product knowledge ranging from several days to a couple of hours (you can contact us here to learn more).
4. Outline the Benefits
Be sure to list both the tangible benefits (e.g., money and resource savings) as well as the intangible benefits that, that whilst harder to identify will play a critical part in your ROI (e.g., streamline manual processes, free up resources, increased employee engagement and problem-solving skills). Emphasise the benefits that are unique to Power Apps that another tool simply would not provide.
5. Provide a Timeline
It is vital to set expectations with your stakeholders on how long you’ll spend evaluating software and then finally implementing a new tool. Make sure all parties are aligned on how long it will be before you start to see returns on your investment.
When it comes to implementing Power Apps, picking the right Microsoft Partner will play a vital part in how quickly the solution can be implemented. Once a decision-maker has signed off on the product the right partner can have the solution up and running in a couple of days. Meaning you can start using the tool right away, and your team can be helping customers and building better relationships near instantaneously.
6. Utilise Change Management
When completing your business case, outline how you will leverage change management best practices to increase the chances of effective implementation. By showing that you are aware of how common change failures are and that you have planned to take pre-emptive actions to avoid making those mistakes, will help you gain executive buy-in and support for your proposal.
By offering training and support throughout the initial days of implementation you can work to overcome any potential barriers to adoption. From actually engaging with your employees you can build an understanding of their concerns and put actions in place to overcome them. They have already been forced to adapt to so much, so work to ensure this change isn’t too difficult. When implementing any new piece of technology we recommend utilising the ADKAR approach to change management, you can find out more about the ADKAR model here.
If you are looking to speed up the process of digital transformation, without increase the strain on your IT team, then Microsoft Power Apps could make a real positive difference within your business.
We hope the above aids you in building a successful business case for the implementation of Power Apps. If you are ready to move forward with a partner we would be happy to help, or if you are in the initial stages of selecting a new unified communications solution we would be happy to help you explore your options. You can call us today to talk to one of our experts or you can contact us here.