Return to Work Solutions for Capital Markets: Why the Microsoft Power Platform Is Better Than Point Solutions
It’s an understatement to say 2020 has been a year of moving targets and the unexpected. Making plans, defining strategies, and setting budgets (not to mention staying within them) has been more challenging than ever before. For instance, when the pandemic began, we all assumed that the first priority after retooling to work from home was to get back to the office. But for many companies that found they were able to function remotely—and function well–Return to work became less of a priority.
This is especially true in capital markets, where firms found a way to keep doing business without the benefit of their employees working together in an office. It’s not perfect this way, but was doing business ever perfect? The fact is, firms found a way to maintain the status quo from home, so for now, return to work is not an issue. For now.
Where return to work point solutions fall short
Assuming the ideal is to get back into the office, you’ll need to put a return to work solution in place at some point. When you do a search for a solution, you’ll find many point solutions, whose sole purpose is returning to work. This approach might seem like the right choice, but there are other factors to consider.
What you gain in the specific functionality of an out-of-the-box return to work solution is lost in other ways; namely, that’s all you can do with it. When a vaccine for COVID-19 comes along and the pandemic is over, what will you do with your solution? My guess: Not much. That investment will essentially stop yielding any return.
Another issue: Point solutions are typically not very flexible. They have lots of functionality out of the box to accommodate the one purpose for which they were designed, but don’t expect to be able to customize or configure them to fit the way you do business, and don’t expect them to play nicely with your other applications.
But, what if there’s another way to tackle your return to work requirements—or any other business challenge, for that matter? A solution that has the flexibility and agility to do what you need and how you need it done now, the architecture to easily address future needs, and, as an added bonus, actually enable your systems to communicate and share data more effectively? Enter the Microsoft Power Platform.
The Microsoft Power Platform is like a Swiss Army Knife for business applications. Designed to make it easy to address specific business problems or specialized business processes quickly and cost-effectively without heavy development work, the Power Platform provides the tools to build apps and manage data fast—without touching or replacing other business applications.
Return to work and beyond: Tackle Any business challenge with the Power Platform
Getting back to the return to office discussion, you can choose a point solution that will take care of that need. Or you can look at returning to work as just one of many problems your firm faces every day and choose a long-term solution that can tackle any challenge your firm throws at it.
There’s no need to get into a features/benefits discussion of returning to work here because the Power Platform can be cost-effectively and very quickly (think days versus weeks) customized to fit your firm’s exact needs. For example, if you have a trading room floor, where it’s preferable for your employees to work together in close proximity so they can collaborate more effectively, your return to work solution, built on the Power Platform, can accommodate.
The key is understanding the difference between going with the Power Platform versus a point solution is that you don’t need a “hard-wired” solution for every business challenge. The ideal solution is that Swiss Army Knife—a rapid, low-code/no-code solution pre-built into the application infrastructure that integrates with your other Microsoft technologies (Office, Teams, etc.) and with connectors to point solutions so you can manage workflows. Going back to our return to work example: Once that need has passed, the Power Platform can be easily and quickly repurposed to tackle other issues.
But the benefits don’t stop there:
You can’t beat the cost—or the ROI. Once you’ve paid for the Power Platform for your return to work (or other) solution, if and when the time comes that you no longer need that solution, you can simply re-allocate those licenses. You won’t lose your investment like you would with a point solution that’s no longer needed; instead, you’ll be able to re-purpose it for another business challenge. Now, that is an investment that really keeps on delivering value. It’s also important to note that you might already have Power Platform licenses if you have other Microsoft applications.
You can improve how your business operates while tackling your challenge. The structure of the Power Platform enables you to connect applications, data, and people in a way that disparate technologies cannot. While addressing your specific business issue, the Power Platform is also tearing down silos, allowing data and processes to flow uninterrupted.
Talk to an expert partner about return to work and your other business challenges
We’ve discussed the value the Power Platform can offer, how fast your solution can be up and running, and how easy it is to re-purpose it for continuing return on your investment. The key to all this is having a partner with expertise and experience with putting the Power Platform to work for firms like yours. The example of the alternative investment firm is just one example; we have story after story about business problems solved with the Power Platform.
Interested in seeing more? Talk to us about doing a proof of concept using the Power Platform to address your challenges. Contact me or any of AKA’s financial services experts to talk about your needs.
Watch this brief video to learn more about how AKA is putting the Power Platform to work for capital markets firms: