As part of Digital Greenhouse’s Future Rewired event last week, we gave a workshop which allowed participants to understand the power of apps. We used the analogy of David & Goliath – cloud based digital transformation apps are the Davids of the cyber world, allowing small to medium sized business to successfully compete against the Goliath enterprises.
Their affordable emergence has allowed businesses to become more flexible, move at a more agile pace, be more adaptable and completely accessible for all users.
We used just three of the 20+ apps available with Microsoft 365, a cloud-based solution platform. Built on the Azure platform, it’s cloud based so aspiring developers don’t need to buy expensive equipment and can set up free trials for both Azure and Office 365 if they want to try before they buy. Azure epitomises the modern way of working, enabling secure collaborative communication on any device from anywhere.
We started with PowerApps. It takes a very simple approach to app design with low code knowledge required, with a range of templates to choose from which allow you to connect to your data sources. As an example, we decided to build a fitness app which would track our workouts and (hopefully) chart progress!
Our immediate concern was the data we needed to feed into our app. We drew out a data plan, worked out the format we’d require the data to be in and then worked out how we would link it all together. We then used the Common Data Service to house all the data we used.
Finally, we used PowerBI which takes the data sources you have connected to your app and turns them into insightful, interactive and easy to understand dashboards. These dashboards become more valuable over time as more and more data is drawn in to the app. You’ll start to see trends and patterns appearing which tell a visual story of the app’s intended function.
Obviously, we had just one hour to build an app and had a very small-scale aim. On a much larger scale, we’ve created all manner of apps for our clients from a property inspection app which speeds up the whole administrative process and made a mobile to a tablet app for carers visiting patients; an invoice approval app, as well as a number of paperless checklist apps.
With all of these we started from the same point; what do we need the app to achieve. The beauty and flexibility of these cloud apps is that you have the flexibility and creativity to make the journey your own.
If you need a gentle nudge getting started on your app journey, let us know and we’ll be more than happy to show you how it’s done.