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How to solve application voids in your business with PowerApps

Hitachi Solutions > Blog > 2019 > 07 > How to solve application voids in your business with PowerApps

No IT system is perfect, and there are always gaps where added functionality could help you gain a competitive advantage – especially when it comes to bespoke functions or collecting and managing information.

But many organisations decide against building custom applications to fill these gaps for different reasons – often due to a lack of resource, of more immediate priorities, or just because they don’t know that there are integrated tools available to make it easy.

Organizations who rely on Excel spreadsheets and Access databases risk:

  • Data duplication
  • Losing important information
  • Disconnected systems
  • Lack of access – person X has gone on leave and know one can find the data

In this blog, we examine these potential issues in more detail and explain how PowerApps can provide ordinary business users with the capabilities to build the apps they need to optimally manage data and make their businesses more productive.

Your company on Excel

Instead of building custom apps to collect and enrich functionality an organisation needs, many rely on using Excel or Access databases for storing data locally. But this can cause problems. Often, this data is business critical information that needs to be stored and maintained properly – and yet it can become locked in local spreadsheets and databases, becoming inaccessible to potential decision-makers across the organisation.

Duplication of effort

For an enterprise with thousands of employees, duplication of effort can become a significant problem. Imagine employees being asked to answer the same question repeatedly.

For instance, many people might ask: what is your employees primary office location? Both the asking and answering of this question over and over is a waste of effort. However, if the information is recorded centrally, the answer can be found, and the effort doesn’t have to be duplicated.

Keeping one version of the truth, centrally, supports data compliance and can be used to apply the necessary controls on information.

Survey your business

Here are some questions to ask yourself about your current system (whether you use Excel, Access databases or anything else):

  • Does your system allow you to extend your applications functionality?
  • Is your system flexible enough for you to change how it looks and feel to fit how your business works?
  • Does it allow you to simply change the screen layout to meet your business operation?
  • Does it allow you to create your own specific dashboards?
  • Does your system allow you to share the information you create and let you link this to core business applications?

If you answered no to the questions above and are looking for a reduction in duplication of data, effort and losing business critical data, you may need an upgrade in IT solutions—this is where PowerApps comes in. It’s important that your solution covers several areas when it comes to information management. For example, your solution should: 

  • Allow you to keep your data in one place
  • Give you the flexibility and adaptability for you to create, manage and maintain your data
  • Help you keep the IT and Data Compliance teams happy

Extend business applications with Common Data Services

Using PowerApps, you can build your own business applications and store data on a common platform, making it easy to share your data. This is what we call Common Data Services. This sits within the security model of your core system but is also protected by your IT business best practices such as data backups.

With Common Data Services you have the ability to build local applications integrated into the core system using a tailored design. You can change anything in the design, as well as the structure, the layout and the way it works - all without having to write code.

Common Data Services are valuable for several reasons:

  • You don’t need technical expertise
  • It’s fully customisable

PowerApps lets you configure (not code) the look and feel of your data, creating screens and layouts to meet your needs. You can link your information to core business information, making you more productive. And your data is automatically secure and backed up.

Going the extra mile with custom applications

Core IT systems, like Dynamics 365, can provide the platform to manage all the processes and data required to enable your organisation to thrive. But to gain a competitive edge in your field, you need to go the extra mile. Successful organisations will always search for more efficient ways of working: the best way to do this is to build custom apps, creating extra functionality for your employees. Every industry is different, and every business is unique. Building apps and filling the gaps missed by your core IT resources is key to driving success in your field.

 

To find out more about building customer apps, get in touch with us at Hitachi Solutions today.

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Martin Green

Martin Green is Head of Field Services for Hitachi Solutions Europe, with extensive experience in Facilities Management, Real Estate and Capital Projects.

Martin joined from BT where he was Head of Facilities Management Technology managing 750,000 jobs across 8,000 properties. He was responsible for contract onboarding for Carillion Facilities Services and at HSBC the design, development and implementation of a global Integrated Workplace Management System (IWMS).

Martin has managed both IT development and business teams to deliver continuous improvements. He is currently working with multiple diverse clients to deliver Field Services solutions.

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Author spotlight

Martin Green

Martin Green is Head of Field Services for Hitachi Solutions Europe, with extensive experience in Facilities Management, Real Estate and Capital Projects.

Martin joined from BT where he was Head of Facilities Management Technology managing 750,000 jobs across 8,000 properties. He was responsible for contract onboarding for Carillion Facilities Services and at HSBC the design, development and implementation of a global Integrated Workplace Management System (IWMS).

Martin has managed both IT development and business teams to deliver continuous improvements. He is currently working with multiple diverse clients to deliver Field Services solutions.

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