Gartner Pace Layering: How MCA Offerings Adapt the Approach for Dynamics 365

What is Gartner Pace Layering?

Gartner Pace Layering is a business application strategy that emphasizes the need to create differentiation and innovation rather than just invest in transactional business systems.

In the Pace Layering model, enterprise business systems are divided into three areas:

  1. Systems of Innovation – Enable implementation of disruptive new ideas.
  2. Systems of Differentiation – Provide strategic advantages.
  3. Systems of Record – Create stability and efficiency.

Gartner Pace Layering

Gartner believes organizations spend too much of their technology budget on maintaining their commoditized transactional system (the System of Record), leaving inadequate time and money to devote to creating a competitive advantage with Systems of Differentiation and Systems of Innovation.

System of Record Stability Is Essential

The system of record is the foundation of your enterprise technology architecture. Building on top of a stable foundation is imperative.

Most financial and operational systems (ERP, MRP and CRM systems), like Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations, are considered systems of record. They manage:

  • Customers
  • Vendors
  • Orders
  • Product
  • Materials
  • Equipment

Gartner is correct that many organizations spend a disproportionate percentage of their IT budget on the system of record. But despite this high investment – many of those systems are STILL too unstable to support digital transformation and competitive advantage.

An organization’s first priority must be establishing a solid system of record. Solutions like Microsoft Dynamics 365 fit the criteria for a stable, well-documented, secure system. PLUS, in the right circumstances, Microsoft Dynamics 365 can also serve as a System of Differentiation and Innovation.

Once the System of Record is stabilized, Pace Layering re-focuses the organization’s efforts on the Systems of Differentiation and Systems of Innovation. Pace Layering encourages business units to get creative, experiment, and work in an agile framework. The challenge we see is that this environment can become chaotic and competitive.

The MCA Connect Approach to Pace Layering: MCA Offerings

MCA Connect uses two proprietary MCA offerings to achieve pace layering:

  • MCA Spectrum for Implementation
  • MCA Advantage for Optimization

MCA Spectrum focuses on establishing a stable System of Record with a modest investment in differentiation and innovation. Once the System of Record is established, MCA Advantage allows a customer to outsource the tedious maintenance of this foundation and focus their investments on differentiation and Innovation.

MCA Spectrum Lays the Foundation

The goal of MCA Spectrum is to establish the System of Record as rapidly as possible. MCA Spectrum is a hybrid approach to implementing ERP or CRM. Our implementation team helps clients determine which business process can follow standard industry best practices (Strategic Fit) and which are areas of Differentiation (Strategic Intent).

As Gartner Pace Layering recommends, less time is spent building the System of Record because we can fast-track these Strategic Fit business processes using standardized MCA Spectrum industry best practice templates. Project resources can then be focused on creating and implementing Systems of Differentiation and Innovation in the areas of Strategic Intent.

With an MCA Spectrum Dynamics 365 implementation, an organization will spend 80% of their energy building a stable System of Record, and will focus the remaining 20% on the System of Differentiation (Green) and System of Innovation (Blue)

MCA Spectrum

In an ideal world, more investment would be in areas of innovation and differentiation. However, this would slow down the primary goal of establishing the system of record foundation as quickly as possible.

Then Comes MCA Advantage

Once Microsoft Dynamics 365 is up and running as the stable System of Record, the project moves to the next phase, driving Systems of Differentiation and Innovation while maintaining the Dynamics 365 as the System of record.

c is a service plan for companies who want proactive guidance to create Differentiation and Innovation. Rather than creating separate systems, many of unique business processes can be configured in Dynamics 365 or found in an integrated ISV solution.

With MCA Advantage 20% of the spend is maintaining the system of record (Yellow) with 80% of the spend driving Differentiation and Innovation.

MCA Spectrum

Keeping Pace with Pace Layering

Gartner Pace Layering is an iterative process. MCA Advantage creates focus and discipline around regularly exploring new opportunities for differentiation and innovation, prioritizing the processes that add most value to the organization.

To learn more about MCA Connect’s approach to this concept, or about our proprietary MCA Advantage or MCA Spectrum offerings, please contact us to start the conversation.

Author: Claude Watson, CEO of MCA Connect

Other articles you might be interested in:

ERP Deliverables: What to Expect When Implementing ERP
Dynamics 365 ERP Implementation: Finding the Feature-Fit Balance
Why ERP Systems Can be a Challenge and Who You Can Turn to for an Implementation

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