In the fast-paced world of modern enterprise, the demand for automation, data insights, and applications has never been higher. Microsoft’s Power Platform, a leading Low-Code Application Platform (LCAP), has emerged as a solution, empowering pro-code developers, citizen developers, and makers to build apps, automations, and reporting solutions efficiently. However, the rapid adoption of Power Platform across organizations brings with it significant risks, emphasizing the need for a robust governance strategy. In this blog post, we’ll explore the journey of a global F-100 organization and long-term Compass365 client, referred to as Company X, as they assessed the risks, leveraged the Power Platform Center of Excellence (CoE) Starter Kit, and focused on sustaining their governance program.

Recognizing Risks

Company X, with over 200,000 employees globally, experienced a surge in Power Apps, Power Automate, Power Virtual Agents, and Power BI usage, surpassing expectations. While the low barrier to entry allowed widespread adoption, IT leadership quickly recognized the security and governance risks associated with over 10,000 citizen developers creating solutions. Concerns ranged from compliance and security to operational challenges such as tracking over 30,000 assets (apps, bots, flows) managing data sources, and ensuring proper support structures. The use of confidential data in apps added another layer of sensitivity.

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The Power Platform CoE Starter Kit

To address these risks, upon the recommendation of Compass365, Company X committed to creating a Power Platform Governance Program. They started by exploring Microsoft’s Power Platform CoE Starter Kit, recognizing its role as a foundational tool for governance. While the Starter Kit provided essential components such as core setup, governance tools, nurture components, and reporting tools, it was clear that customization and additional solutions were necessary for a large enterprise. Challenges included the need for heavy customization, licensing implications, and the sheer scale of implementation with over 30,000 assets.

Company X and Compass365 identified gaps in functionality and created custom solutions to meet their unique requirements. One notable addition was the Inventory & Attestation App, designed to take inventory of existing assets, involve makers in compliance assessments, and quarantine non-compliant solutions. Despite the challenges, Company X remained committed to their governance journey, understanding that the Starter Kit was a starting point, not a finisher.

Power Platform CoE Sustainment

With foundational governance components in place, Company X entered the sustainment phase, focusing on enabling and nurturing their community of makers. Recognizing that the demand for automation exceeds developer resources, the CoE aimed to empower non-IT individuals to build low-code apps safely. This involved identifying various types of Power Apps – from productivity to enterprise-level – and encouraging a collaborative approach between makers and IT.

The nurturing phase included initiatives like building a community of makers, promoting engagement, offering support through sites and templates, providing guidelines, and organizing training events. Company X actively addressed concerns around cost, emphasizing the value of risk mitigation, security, and compliance. Continuing their partnership, Company X and Compass365 have planned further initiatives to support and sustain the CoE such as ALM Accelerator, Pipelines, Environment Request App, and ServiceNow Integration.

The journey of Company X showcases the critical need for a Power Platform CoE before widespread adoption. Acknowledging risks, leveraging the CoE Starter Kit, and sustaining efforts to nurture a community of makers are essential steps. By focusing on governance, security, and supporting their maker community, Company X exemplifies how organizations can harness the Power Platform’s potential while mitigating associated risks.

To learn more about our Power Platform CoE journey with Company X, read the full 3-part series.

Begin your Power Platform CoE Journey

If you are ready to empower your citizen developers in a safe, secure, operationally efficient way, our Power Platform Center of Excellence program is for you. If you would like to learn more about services to get your Power Platform Center of Excellence up and running, please contact us to arrange a complimentary consultation.

Compass365, a Microsoft Gold Partner, delivers SharePoint, Microsoft Teams, and Power Platform solutions that help IT and business leaders improve how their organizations operate and their employees work.