Agility is one of those things you notice most keenly by its absence. Whether you are talking about running a business or running to catch your bus (as I found out earlier this week), a lack of agility becomes painfully obvious.
 
To compound the problem, agility can be both physical and intellectual. Dipping again into my favorite online dictionary, I surfaced definitions of physical agility as: "The power of moving quickly and easily," and intellectual agility as: "The ability to think and draw conclusions quickly." Both of which have very obvious parallels in the world of business.
 
In business, a lack of agility means not just missing the bus, but missing out on key opportunities. And worse, you could  potentially be introducing unnecessary elements of risk into the daily health of the business itself. Missing out on an opportunity because your business infrastructure is too rigid and inflexible to allow you to pursue it is unfortunate, but when your business infrastructure no longer allows you to see your business with clarity, plan necessary or beneficial modifications, or change your business models to address known issues, you could end up - like me - watching your ride disappear over the hill without you on it.
 
Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 can help you hard-wire agility into the heart of your business, so you can identify and pursue opportunities and reduce the inherent risk of doing business in a changing world.
 
An obvious place to start when thinking about implementing business agility is in the intrinsic flexibility of your ERP deployment model, and its ability to support your business needs today and in an uncertain future.
 
With Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012, being able to choose between an on-premises and partner-hosted (and in the future, a cloud-based) model is a great starting point. For local implementations, integration with Microsoft Hyper-V technology will allow you to cut on-premises hardware costs and limit your environmental footprint, and leveraging the availability of cloud-based services will allow you to extend the reach of your solution without over-extending your budget or IT resources. The key here is deployment flexibility.
 
Once implemented, Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012's flexible solution architecture then enables you to make incremental implementations, modifications, or upgrades that can recast ongoing change from "harbinger of risk" to "creator of opportunity," as well as reducing your ongoing TCO and maintenance costs.
 
And when the time is right, or when the forces of change are too strong to resist making more radical, company-differentiating changes,  Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012's model-driven, layered architecture offers agility rather than the sullen, inflexible resistance of many competitive solutions. Layered architecture eases the task of managing any customizations that are implemented; table-inheritance and more granular metadata allows for easier maintenance and upgrade; and development from within Visual Studio increases the pool of developers and solutions that are available to get the job done with physical agility so you can really leverage "The power of moving quickly and easily." 
 
As for emotional agility, the ability to think and draw conclusions quickly is wholly dependent on your capacity to plan, see, and then change your business to position yourself for success. You can't plan where to go if you don't actually know where you are.
 
Here, Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 offers easy-to-use, financial dimensions to provide improved visibility with unlimited views on the details of the business. Sophisticated organizational modeling capabilities help you visualize and map the complexity and distribution of your whole business, as well as ease the job of implementing organizational change. And finally, a unified business process repository and a configurable graphical workflow editor help support and implement business process execution, change, and ongoing innovation within the organizational model you have implemented.
 
So with Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 enabling both physical and emotional agility within your business, across your entire ERP solution lifecycle, and throughout your ongoing change cycles, you won't have to worry about watching your ride disappear over the hill...because you will be firmly in the driver's seat.

Ross Thorpe 

Microsoft Dynamics ERP Product Marketing