CIO’s are the critical link between business users focused on achieving business outcomes and the essential technologies that enable them to do so. For this reason, adopting and implementing crucial business apps is a fundamental responsibility for CIOs. However, today, simply deploying technologies to enable business value isn’t enough.
Modern CIOs need to future-proof their organizations by staying up-to-date with the latest technology advancements. A great method is through peer learning, networking and tool exploration at events like Summit North America. The intention is not only to use technology to achieve transformation outcomes; the technology itself should be driving strategies and unlocking new business processes altogether.
Any aspiring CIOs should have a tried and tested fleet of business apps at their disposal to achieve these outcomes, and Microsoft offers top-notch options. So, what are the best Microsoft business apps an aspiring CIO should explore? This piece by Acceleration Economy Analyst Kieron Allen breaks down the top Microsoft business apps aspiring technology leaders should consider.
Perhaps, the essential business app for CIOs is Dynamics 365 (D365). D365 is better described as a CRM and ERP platform than a specific app, as it enables you to access a multitude of different apps that ultimately allow you to unify your workflows. Some of the most recognizable apps are Customer Service Professional, Customer Insights, Finance, and Sales.
The technology enables you to target specific areas such as marketing, supply chain management, or customer service. Additionally, it enables you to deploy particular business apps to achieve your goals in these areas. The technology covers multiple business departments beyond Sales and Marketing, including HR, Finance, IT, and Logistics.
D365 provides the tools for CIOs to conduct predictive analysis and plan, regardless of industry or sector. The platform enables users to stay informed and engaged with business practices and customer relationships. It provides real-time analytics and alerting, and integrates with many other Microsoft applications for seamless workflows.
Microsoft’s Power Platform includes Power BI, Power Apps, Power Automate, and Power Virtual Agents. The real value of this product to CIOs is that it enables users to innovate and provide business gains independently via a self-service module. Microsft designed the platform to facilitate business innovations.
Power BI is a crucial business intelligence app. It encourages data-driven innovation in companies and provides users with clear, straightforward, and effective data analytics tools. With a platform like Power BI, CIOs can ensure that employees utilize the data in an organization as efficiently and widely as possible.
Power Apps provides business users with the tools they need to build responsive, task-specific applications fast and with minimal coding. It includes pre-built templates and drag-and-drop functionality so users with minimal IT experience can develop solutions that enhance business growth.
Power Automate, as the name suggests, is an automation app that makes critical tasks more efficient. Again, thanks to the low-code approach, users with little to no coding experience can utilize the technology to make regular processes more efficient. Power Automate is incredibly useful for CIOs because it streamlines processes for minimal investment.
Finally, Power Virtual Agents enables business users and developers to work collaboratively to create bespoke chatbots. Once again, Microsoft champions efficiency and simplicity by providing a no-code solution to an otherwise labor-intensive process.
With Power Virtual Agents, users can integrate chatbots into multiple services and products, not just the traditional website space, to streamline customers relations and service provision. This technology represents a significant leap forwards in integrated technologies that chime perfectly with the future responsibilities of the CIO.
Deciding on a solution or range of solutions for the digital workplace is a crucial concern for CIOs. Microsoft 365 is one of the most trusted and widely-used collections of business apps for this purpose.
It’s hard to find a user that hasn’t grown up with programs like Word and Excel, and today, despite stiff competition from Google, they are still at the top of the leader board. Today, the Microsoft 365 toolkit includes Teams, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote, and OneDrive, and more.
With this fleet of business apps, users can carry out all of the tasks required to achieve day-to-day success. From vital business email services to word processing and advanced presentation tools, Microsoft 365 is still hard to beat.
There are many reasons that a CIO should consider rolling out the Microsoft 365 business apps, but the core drivers are:
- Collaboration: All apps are available on and offline as well as easy to collaborate on.
- Integration: Microsft 365 integrates seamlessly with many other Microsft platforms, including D365 and Microsft Power Platform.
- Security: The platform benefits from automatic backups, email encryption, highly secure servers only accessible through biometric verification, and other top-level provisions.
- Accessibility: Microsft 365 apps are familiar and easy to operate, requiring minimal if any onboarding.
Final Thoughts on Microsoft Business Apps
Despite the ever-growing bundle of business applications available, Microsoft still reigns supreme in many critical areas. Microsoft business apps aren’t simply a business choice but a business requirement for aspiring and established CIOs.
Microsoft’s commitment to cloud technology and continued development in this area is both relevant and progressive. Cloud services support the acceleration economy, and Microsft’s increasing growth in this sector is already critical to many businesses.
If any aspiring CIO wishes to compete at an enterprise level, there is no choice but to adopt Microsoft technology. Microsoft may be one of the most established technology companies, but it remains one of the most important.