I maintain that just a few years ago, there was a limit to how fast a market could move in 12 months. Yes, there might be developments that had an impact on the strategy two or three years into the future, but as a whole, the world looked pretty similar from going to bed in the evening until getting up the next morning.

Claiming that and transferring the same logic to the IT world meant that you could well plan to execute an IT project that lasted over a year or two. When the project was done, the final solution would still fit roughly into the business needs of the original business case.

Then we cut into reality today

Global businesses and firm business models have seen major difficulties in recent years because IT projects have taken too long to implement. In this new reality, a one- or two-year IT solution development is a really loooooong time. Way too long!

Read more: Cloud vs. On-Premise: Remember to Include the Value of Missing Functionality in Your Business Case

If the business identifies a need for new functionality, it’s no good the IT department providing a solution way after the market has changed again.

Today, business expects the organization to have an IT setup (design, implementation, test, operation) that can execute new ideas within a few months. Business expects this because customers are expecting it and your competitors are just one click away.

That’s why it’s all about having a dynamic IT platform, providing you a maximum of freedom and infinite technological room for maneuver to constantly pursue new business opportunities as soon as they emerge.

This agility is embedded in the Microsoft Dynamics 365 platform which, with its range of ever-growing and ever-improving integrated business applications, fits today’s market conditions.

Choosing the right IT platform is a big step towards ensuring the flexibility needed to make quick decisions and execute them. But in order to reach the finish line, you need to collaborate with the right partners who know the IT platform in depth – including pitfalls and opportunities. A skilled Microsoft partner is always informed about Microsoft’s roadmap and knows both when it’s time to jump on a new trend and when it’s better to skip a product cycle.

Read more: Your Supplier Must Be as Flexible as Your IT Platform

At AlfaPeople, we recommend pooling new product updates and sending them to users in affordable batches with interval of approx. six weeks. We even put product updates into systems in our Application Maintenance concept. Updates must take into account both the business’s desire to use new functionality while ensuring that users actually use the new opportunities. The balance is quite an art to master, and if you don’t quite hit it on the nose, it can quickly end up in a lot of wasted hours and money.

We also recommend using Microsoft Continuous Deployment tools to continuously deploy small improvements to the solution. This can be advantageously supplemented by Microsoft’s Learning Path tool – built into the Microsoft Dynamics 365 platform – giving the individual user contextual support in their daily tasks, so new features quickly become the backbone of their work.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 is not the only platform on the market that pushes updates on a regular basis. The challenge is getting the updates sorted and implementing the functionality that brings the greatest business value.

Does your Microsoft Partner have the ability and overview to provide this kind of advice?

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You can read more about how we help businesses in the cloud with AlfaPeople Cloud Lift-Off in the e-book Moving your Dynamics Solution to the Cloud – Three stage process.

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Karsten Krauw
Karsten Krauw
Sourcing and Service Director at AlfaPeople

Working with AlfaPeople since 2014 inspiring global organizations to discover opportunities and embrace today's technology.