Transforming paper-based systems to the cloud

by Argantic CEO Garry Ackerman

Cloud has displaced traditional on-prem infrastructure and is the only way to successfully deliver digital transformation. However, whilst organizations are excited by the prospects of moving to the cloud, their business architecture and processes are still set up to support more traditional ways of working.

More concerning is the fact that most organizations are still using traditional outdated software. They need to automate their paper-based systems, but the outdated software requires extensive effort, time and money to develop basic automated processes.

Managing leave is a good example, many organizations are still running spreadsheets and paper-based systems that are time-consuming and error-prone. Incorrect leave balances are common due to data capture errors and managers don’t always have relevant information when approving leave.

Furthermore, poor planning leads to scheduling conflicts and employees don’t have easy access to their leave information.

Automating processes

Initially, automation sounds simple, one basically needs a form, an approval process and it needs to update the payroll system. Developing an automated leave management system to replace a client’s manual paper-based leave processes is complicated and can be costly.

More importantly, each organization has its own idiosyncrasies and they all have their own systems. For example, if a company has shift workers, each person’s leave needs to integrate with a workforce management system that has specific APIs.

It is no longer necessary to build a bespoke element for each organization, one can now use these 3rd party apps in conjunction with cloud infrastructure to automate and drive much bigger sophisticated processes within organizations.

So, instead of reinventing the wheel, there are existing highly sophisticated apps to help organizations drive automated processes. This includes leave request management systems like LeavePro, which put a company’s leave management on autopilot and take the hassle out of managing leave.

Use case

For example, Argantic thought of building a leave management system from scratch and creating a centralized leave request app using Azure, Microsoft Power Automate and Power Apps to bridge the gaps.

Power Automate includes powerful workflow automation directly in the app with a no-code approach that connects to hundreds of popular apps and services. Microsoft Power Apps allows one to build apps in hours, not months. It easily connects to data, uses Excel-like expressions to add logic, and runs on the web, iOS, and Android devices.

We then found LeavePro that would inexpensively do everything this solution would do. Instead of spending a lot of time and effort to get into the detail of leave processes, LeavePro already has all the basic conditions of employment default rules that one can use and a template.

It shouldn’t take more than a day to get the basic system running, compared to months trying to develop a custom leave management system.

Integration with Azure Active Directory

With all the solutions and tools available today, including Azure, organizations don’t have to build infrastructure to house the app. They can migrate to the cloud and optimally use the tools that they become exposed to when they are there.

However, although Microsoft provides the mechanism to make these apps integrate with Azure, one requires expert advice and specialised skills from a partner like Argantic to interact with 3rd party systems.

For example, Argantic has Office 365 migration and management expertise, Teams voice, Teams security compliance, application modernization and modern apps.

App modernization is where customers have apps that are running on-prem and require legacy infrastructure to function. We take them through the process of modernizing those to use the cloud rather than the on-prem infrastructure. Modern apps are about creating apps in the cloud from the start.

In conclusion, the cloud, app modernization and modern apps have made this transformation journey much more achievable and cost-effective.

More about Argantic

Argantic was founded 9 years ago with the aim to focus on delivering software and infrastructure services to the corporate and enterprise business market. The company was founded by two ambitious South Africans with a simple promise – to make a difference. This has resulted in the formation of a company staffed with highly successful business and technical skills that focused on delivering software and infrastructure services to the corporate and enterprise business market.

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