The focal point of Inspire this year was enabling digital transformation. As the world’s #1 cloud vendor, Microsoft benefits from tackling the challenges and uncertainties that many companies face during their transformative shift.
As recently as July 2017, a survey of 1239 global IT and business professionals showed that 75% of respondents “had low levels of confidence in their ability to resolve digital transformation problems.” And 48% “stated digital performance challenges were directly hindering the success of digital transformation strategies”.
So what is Microsoft going to do about this?
4 focus areas
Covering a large array of topics, Microsoft diverts its resources into four main categories:
- Modern Workplace
- Business applications
- Applications & Infrastructure
- Data & AI
WorkFlowWise CORE, built on Azure, falls into the Applications & Infrastructures category. Azure is of great importance to the company’s strategy. “Azure is fundamentally built with [the digital transformation] needs and shifts in mind. We're building out Azure as this first hyper-scale cloud that supports true distributed computing with Azure stack,” said Satya Nadella, Microsoft CEO, during his keynote speech.
The goal of the Applications & Infrastructures category is to optimize operations; Fitting for a hyper productivity platform such as WorkFlowWise CORE.
Nadella briefly touched upon data & AI as well: "The evolution, from big data and analytics to cognitive services and true AI capabilities, is what’s going to define this next era.”
Julia White, Vice President of Azure, took the stage and showed examples of the deep understanding that AI already has. The bot’s language is user-dependent and it even empathizes with the user based on text and images. "Don't worry! We'll make this process as painless as possible," was the bot’s response to White’s sad face.
See for yourself in the video below.
General Data Protection Regulation
On May 25th 2018, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will take effect in Europe.
Trust in digital security and protection can’t be underestimated. Nadella said that Microsoft aims to create trust on two fronts: "The core security architecture of Azure. But also meeting the real world needs of regulated industries and digital sovereignty needs of countries by adhering to them."
On the third day of the conference, Brad Smith, Chief Legal Officer at Microsoft, spoke at length about the subject.
"This is important, obviously, if your business is in Europe. It is important of you have any employees in Europe. It is important of you have customers in Europe. in fact, it's actually probably important even if you only just heard of Europe. Because this is spreading around the world."
See his speech in the video below.
As Microsoft partner, our customers and ourselves benefit from the pro-active attitude. But as Brad Smith mentioned, the penalties for non-compliance are very heavy; EUR 20 million or 4% annual revenue, whichever is greater. So it’s not a matter of choice.
Microsoft wants to be at the helm of the digital transformation era for a long time. By implementing the right procedures and intensifying the work with partners, such as WorkFlowWise, it is up to the IT and business professionals worldwide to up their levels of confidence and make the transition into the digital era.