Power Platform Centre of Enablement to replace The Centre of Excellence: What does it actually mean for businesses?

May 31, 2023

The wave of change

Significant changes and advancements are taking place in the No Code World as everyday business users witness the benefits of incorporating the best of technology into their daily tasks and responsibilities. Organisations are benefitting from encouraging an independent problem-solving culture amongst employees to autonomously address their day-to-day challenges, and thus alleviating the backlog from over-burdened software development teams. 

With this in mind, No Code technologies in the world of automation, AI, analytics, digital, app development (and lots more functionalities) are experiencing exponential growth. Alongside this, the access Microsoft are providing through the Office 365 suite usage is growing fast and Central IT in organisations are now needing to respond to implement sensible guardrails for long-term success. 

 

What is a Centre of Excellence? 

A Power Platform Centre of Excellence (CoE) establishes a standardisation for Power Platform as enterprises scale up their use and derive further value from the platform. Typically, this begins with a definition of expected outcomes, before establishing a framework for administration, governance and security, and finishing up with overall best practice. A classic CoE implementation would typically focus on:

  • Overall best practice for Power Platform development
  • Governance and compliance procedure
  • Security and data privacy
  • Establishing a community of best practice and knowledge sharing

 It is important to highlight the stricter governance resulting from this top-down approach - which can hamper a culture of innovation and creativity with the platform. This approach in the past has created friction and too strict a rein on protocol which has held back the potential of the platform from unlocking its full business value. Microsoft have shared a full COE starter kit for Power Platform to help lay the initial foundations with an overview below. 

What is a Centre of Enablement?

A Power Platform Centre of Enablement (CoEn) is focused on empowering individuals and teams to use Power Platform to its full potential. It typically interchanges with The CoE but differs through less focus on stringency and more so on adoption and usage. A CoEn implementation typically focuses on:

  • Training and resources to enable employees to develop their Power Platform skill levels with certifications rolled out
  • Cross functional collaboration and knowledge sharing
  • Promotion of success stories, use cases and challenges solved with the platform
  • Culture of encouraging innovation, higher risk and creativity with the platform with the consequence of higher usage and breaking into new use cases
  • Coaching, mentoring and a super-user infrastructure in place

 

Whilst this bottom-up CoEn approach fosters innovation, is also requires advocacy and support from Central IT for it to be a success - with this platform it’s important to have the necessary regulation in place for compliant usage that is well set up for the long-term benefit of the organisation.

 

Making informed choices: weighing the benefits of CoE and CoEn for optimal no-code technology implementation

 

Both the CoE and CoEn have a place in organisations scaling up their usage of no-code technology, with differing focus and benefits. 

CoE has an increased emphasis on governance and compliance (that can often restrain employees from finding a higher value realisation from the platform). 

Meanwhile the CoEn fosters empowerment and autonomic usage, resulting in its growth in popularity – despite its requirements for Central IT support sponsorship to ensure successful implementation. 

Both can co-exist side by side, and each organisation is different depending on industry constraints, leadership preference and overall company vision. 

There are many factors to consider, and a smart implementation provides the pathway for both short and long-term success with Power Platform. 

A properly established COE/N plays a critical role in ensuring overall governance and security but can (and should) also be a key enabler to unlocking the full value of Microsoft No Code technology. 

 

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