woman with a facemask scanning her phone on card readerAs businesses prepare themselves for what lies ahead in uncertain times of a long pandemic, small and mid-sized businesses, in particular, are walking a thin line between ensuring the financial health of their company and the literal health of their workers. The spikes in COVID-19 during this last quarter of 2020 emphasize just how diligently business owners and decision makers must work to do right by their customers and employees. It’s a precarious place, balancing the future to maintain the present, but one we’ve become all too comfortable with.

For many of us, that search for safety and business continuity has forced an accelerated period of transformation. Companies that can afford to have their employees work from home have readily embraced this new normal, while other service providers have found a new niche under the current circumstances. Whether in-person or remote, we’re all doing the best we can to adapt to the situation and, ideally, rise to the occasion. The challenge, then, becomes identifying how to make core and structural changes without compromising business continuity.

Empowering users of all technical skills

2020’s new challenges demand that businesses adapt their processes and operations. While every industry and organization have their unique experience, success or failure in these moments tends to rely on how quickly companies can adapt and respond to the opportunity at hand. Thanks to its low-code, high-scale app creation capabilities, Microsoft Power Apps can equip today’s businesses with a dynamic solution for rapid business process adaptation.

In recent weeks, our Microsoft Partners have worked eagerly to create Power App templates for many common coronavirus-related challenges. Tools for contact tracing, curbside pickup, encouraging socially distant shopping experiences, and more, have been designed to help businesses take these new challenges in stride. By offering a low-code solution for resolving today’s challenges, Power Apps can help small business owners eliminate repetitive tasks, amplify their data capabilities, and deliver more engaging customer experiences.

Right now, organizations across the country are empowering teams of citizen developers—non-specialist Power App creators—to create solutions for their unique situation. A college in the Midwest built and rolled out their own custom contract tracing solution in less than ten days. A consumer-goods provider rolled out a health department-compliant wellness check solution in 18 days. These organizations’ ability to develop a solution to their needs allows stakeholders to optimize the process and ensure the solution performs precisely as intended.

Be limitless

While our current environment has created its share of new challenges, many of the issues businesses struggle with today are far from new. Empowering remote workforces, optimizing business processes on mobile devices, and maintaining organizational consistency have been key talking points that COVID-19 has pulled into the forefront as businesses continue to adapt. Power Apps not only adds value on its own, but also works with your existing technology to augment and amplify your existing processes and create new business opportunities. Organizations can make tasks managed through their EPR more efficient, make customer engagement through CRM more personalized, or securely share data across devices, all without months and months of implementation and onboarding.

Another strength of Power Apps and the Microsoft Power Platform is their ability to equip small and mid-sized business with enterprise-grade solutions when they need them the most. By delivering advanced analytics, enhanced agility, and accessible automation capabilities, Microsoft provides today’s businesses with the tools they need to set the pace in a rapidly changing environment and even discover new opportunities to serve their customers.

Around the world, businesses of all sizes and industries are using this season to experiment with new solutions. Whether you’re managing a remote workforce or enforcing social distance standards, Power Apps can help you accelerate your new operating model and create solutions for whatever comes your way. Visit our Power Apps hub to learn more. If you are a Service Provider or a Microsoft Partner, learn about four ways to grow your practice with Power Apps explained in our Microsoft Partner Blog.