In the Forrester report Total Economic Impact of Microsoft Power Apps they surveyed sixty customers who use the technology to distill an ROI business case.
Fundamentally the shift to low code development expands the capacity for new app development, addressing the backlog of IT project requirements that build up when only highly specialized programmers are available to create them.
Organizations realize additional value with other Power Platform and other Microsoft solutions such as Dynamics CRM and Teams. Interviewees described how these solutions, being part of the Microsoft stack, enable them to build on prior investments to create more value.
- Reduced app development and costs: 74%.
- Revenue uplift linked to more and faster development efforts: 4.3%.
- Worker hours saved from streamlined and automated activities (Year 3): 132,000.
- Benefits PV $9.4 million.
- NPV $6.1 million.
- ROI 188%.
- Payback < 6 months.
Reduced App Development Costs
The average cost to develop an application is 74% less with Power Apps. For applications that can be developed using these new tools and included connectors, the internal development effort, professional services fees, and/or vendor applications purchase costs are much lower.
Additionally, the effort to maintain code and manage applications is less. Over the life of the study, the composite avoids $4.9 million in application development and management costs.
Developing additional applications in-house eliminates vendor license costs. Interviewees provided examples of external applications replaced by in-house developed applications using Power Apps. For the study, the composite replaces two applications with a total savings of $742,449.
Power Apps increase activity efficiencies. The applications that are created digitize existing, manual, and often paper-based activities. The efficiency gains can vary widely by role, and mobile workers especially benefit from these improvements.
Overall, 1,650 users save 1.6 hours per week by Year 3 of the study. Applying a 50% productivity capture, because not all productivity gains translate into additional work, the composite achieves $3.7 million in efficiencies.
Better applications enable business transformation and improved business outcomes. Interviewees described many ways that their businesses have improved. This includes happier customers, reduced time-to-market, and increased revenue (4.3% according to the survey).
Employees can make better and faster decisions from better access to information. Much of the development work completed with Power Apps enables faster collection of information from first-line workers and transferal to decision makers in a more usable format. This, in turn, means that better decisions are made based on data sets that are larger and closer to real time.
Power Apps empowers users, which increases employee satisfaction. Both IT and business users can now more efficiently and effectively create applications that deliver business value. In many cases, these applications would never have been built without these tools. This gives users more control over their work and enables them to
eliminate repetitive and annoying manual activities.
Power Apps streamlines activities and enables business transformation. Interviewees provided many examples of activities and of reworking old processes that no longer made sense in a mobile first world. This applies to Power Apps as a standalone solution, but it can be even greater when coupled with Power Automate.
Increased standardization also had a large impact. One interviewee said: “Low code is the best way to get something out quick and dirty. By far, the biggest benefit is productivity. We can digitize and try things we never
IT organizations are now more responsive to business needs. Interviewees described how utilizing Power Apps helped them to create modern IT organizations that can deliver better and faster solutions to the business. One interviewee said: “We can now build once and deploy to different places. The organization didn’t want to invest in traditional application development anymore. We can now make changes on the fly and support a very dynamic business.”