The combination of uncertainty in today’s market paired with the current talent shortage and the need to provide enhanced customer experiences, to remain relevant within the market, have contributed to the increased need for businesses to focus on digital transformation. Such factors are forcing a shift of priorities, pushing businesses to alter their business models in attempt to maintain their growth during such challenging times. Investing in digital opportunities is directly tied to business growth with 70 per cent of CEOs stating that they need to shift their focus to digital opportunities in order to overcome the challenges they are faced with on a daily basis.
In today’s day and age, it has become vital for any business to invest in the automation and digitisation of their business processes to allow them to remain competitive in this ever-evolving market. Studies show that such disruptive technologies pose the greatest risk to organisational growth over the next 3 years. In light of this, 72 per cent of businesses have specific digital investment strategies set out to enable them to remain ahead of the curve. The rapid advances in technology brought about the era of digital disruption – an era where automation is no longer considered to be a “nice-to-have” but rather a “must-have” to avoid becoming obsolete.
In the past, the digitisation and automation of processes has often been associated with large-scale technology projects which are costly and difficult to achieve in a short timeframe. This traditional notion has become redundant with the introduction of Low-Code software platforms which enable businesses to build fully customisable automated applications in a fraction of the time.
With the advent of Microsoft Power Platform, businesses can speed up their digital transformation journey by enabling one to analyse data, automate processes and deliver custom applications all under one Low-Code platform.
At KPMG Digital Solutions the Business Process Automation team has been leveraging such Low-Code technology, through the application of Microsoft Power Platform, to deliver value to local and international clients.
Microsoft Power Platform consists of several core components including Power BI, Power Apps and Power Automate.
Power BI enables the visualisation of data through the formulation of reports and dashboards to support instant and informed decision-making.
Power Apps is a low-code tool which is used to transform manual, paper-based processes into streamlined, digital processes using pre-built features, business logic and workflow capabilities. Such digitised processes, in the form of apps, can be built within days or weeks as opposed to traditional application development which requires months to develop.
Power Automate, focuses on automating repetitive, mundane tasks through an easy-to-use drag-and-drop interface. This is commonly known as Robotic Process Automation (RPA) which results in an automated solution mimicking the actions of a human user in terms of mouse clicks, keystrokes and other actions. Power Automate permits interaction directly with any application. This is considered to be one of the key advantages of RPA since it allows simple and non-invasive integrations, bridging the gap between modern and legacy applications.
While such Microsoft Power Platform components may be used individually, there is also the option to integrate different components into one holistic solution. The main objective of the Microsoft Power Platform is to simplify the effort required to develop digitised and automated solutions, to generate greater value and allow businesses to thrive in the age of digitalisation.
The impact of Low-Code solutions extends well beyond the technology department. Factors such as rapid solution development contributes to increased productivity and efficiency which, in turn, affects the customer experience and has the ability to also improve employee engagement. With the adoption of Low-Code, businesses are in a better position to swiftly adapt to the unpredictable business conditions we are witnessing today.
Alexia Anastasi, Low-Code Project Lead at KPMG Malta, leads the company’s Business Process Automation (BPA) team within Digital Solutions, specialising in Business Process Re-Engineering and Process Automation. The BPA team is made up of a number of certified analysts and developers who focus on designing and developing automated solutions to optimise their clients’ internal operations. As a team, they have delivered various automation projects in several industries, both locally and internationally.
The team works closely with different departments and process owners guiding them through their automation journey, from the preliminary process analysis stage to the final deployment of the automated solution. Their main objective is to digitally transform the way a business operates by optimising, digitising and automating existing business processes in order to improve their clients’ overall process execution and to ultimately enhance internal efficiency within the business.
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