5 Foundational steps before you start thinking of AI

Power x 365 - 5 Foundational steps before you start thinking of AI

In today’s fast-paced digital landscape, the pressure to adopt AI and advanced analytics can be overwhelming. But what if your organization isn’t ready for such a transformational leap just yet? Here are five crucial steps that can help future shifts to AI go more smoothly.

1. Adopt the Cloud

Why Cloud Matters:

In the modern business world, the cloud has emerged as a pivotal platform for companies looking to stay competitive and scalable. Cloud solutions offer flexibility, cost savings, and the ability to quickly adapt to changing market conditions.

Dynamics 365 and Cloud

Microsoft Dynamics 365 itself is a cloud-powered solution, which means by utilizing its suite of applications, you’re already embracing the cloud paradigm. This not only facilitates remote working capabilities but also ensures that you’re always on the latest software version, thanks to automatic updates. Also, a lot of the upcoming features are going to be cloud native and will not be available for on-premise customers.

Steps to Take:
  • Evaluate your current IT infrastructure and identify areas that could benefit from cloud migration.
  • Choose a reliable cloud service provider, like Power x 365, considering factors like security, uptime, and support.
  • Train your staff to ensure a smooth transition and to maximize the benefits of cloud technology.

2. Modernize your Applications

The Need for Modern Applications:

Outdated applications can be bottlenecks. Modern applications, in contrast, are designed to be mobile-friendly, API-driven, and integrated seamlessly with other systems.

Dynamics 365 at the Forefront:

With Dynamics 365, you have an array of modern applications at your fingertips. These applications are designed to cater to specific business needs, from Sales to Field Service, ensuring you always have the right tool for the job.

Steps to Take:
  • Identify legacy systems that are slowing you down or preventing integration with newer solutions.
  • Invest in application modernization or replacement, prioritizing those that offer API integrations and are mobile responsive.
  • Offer training sessions for staff to make the most of new software tools.

3. Integrate your Data

Unifying Data for a Comprehensive View:

Data residing in silos is a major hindrance to making informed decisions. Integrated data provides a 360-degree view of your business processes, aiding in better decision-making.

Leveraging Dynamics 365:

Dynamics 365 is built around the principle of data integration. With Microsoft’s Common Data Service (now known as Dataverse), it’s easier than ever to pull data from various sources into one unified platform.

Steps to Take:
  • Review your data sources and identify integration points.
  • Use tools like Power Automate or Azure Logic Apps to create data pipelines.
  • Ensure data integrity and consistency through regular audits and cleanups.

4. Leverage Automation

The Power of Doing More with Less:

Automation helps businesses reduce manual and repetitive tasks, leading to increased efficiency and error reduction.

Automation in Dynamics 365:

Dynamics 365 comes packed with automation capabilities. From workflow automations in CRM modules to AI-driven insights that suggest next best actions, the potential is vast.

Steps to Take:
  • Identify repetitive tasks and processes that can be automated.
  • Use tools within the Dynamics 365 suite, such as Power Automate, to initiate these automations.
  • Continuously monitor and refine automated processes for optimal results.

5. Set Up Security and Governance

Protecting Your Digital Assets:

With increasing cyber threats, having a strong security and governance strategy is not just an option; it’s a necessity.

Dynamics 365 & Security:

Dynamics 365 is designed with security at its core. Role-based access, data encryption, and regular security audits are just a few of the many features ensuring your data is protected.

Steps to Take:
  • Establish a clear security policy and ensure all employees are trained on it.
  • Use Dynamics 365’s built-in security features to set up role-based access controls and data encryption.
  • Regularly review and update your security policies, keeping abreast of the latest threats and compliance requirements.

While the journey to AI might seem daunting, taking these foundational steps will not only prepare your organization for future advancements but will also drive efficiency, innovation, and growth in the present. Remember, it’s not always about taking the biggest leap, but rather ensuring each step forward is firm and well-placed.

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