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28

Nov

Balancing guardianship and growth in a world of tech intensity

It has been just three years between visits to New Zealand for Satya Nadella, but his keynote at Envision 2020 last week brought home exactly how rapidly the world of technology is evolving.

Balancing guardianship and growth in a world of tech intensity

Addressing more than 1000 industry leaders and media at Auckland’s Eden Park, Microsoft’s chief executive reflected on how “every company is becoming a digital company and every organisation is becoming a software organisation”.

He illustrated the point with five jaw-dropping statistics:

50 billion – the number of connected devices that will exist in the world by 2030.

500 million – the number of software applications that will be developed by 2023, more than in the last 40 years combined.

175 zettabytes – The amount of data that will exist in the world by 2025 (one zettabyte is a trillion gigabytes).

70% - the proportion of data sitting in businesses that is not being analysed to produce meaningful insights.

72% - The proportion of software engineering jobs in New Zealand that are employed outside of the tech sector, in everything from tourism to healthcare, finance to agriculture businesses and organisations.

The forecast for the future then is accelerating change in a world in which every organisation is a digital organisation and where technology is core to the DNA of every business, every not for profit and every government.

To thrive in this world, organisations will need to be fast adopters of new technology, bolster their digital capabilities and build strong levels of trust with customers, partners and stakeholders.

Microsoft refers to that as tech intensity. They even have an equation for it:

Tech Intensity = (Tech Adoption X Tech Capability) ^ Trust

For Satya, it boils down to this: “Our mission, simply put, is to help every person and every organisation in New Zealand to have that tech intensity.”

Tech adoption

At Envision, we got an overview of how Microsoft is enabling that tech intensity. In Azure, Microsoft has built one of the world’s greatest computing resources, with 54 data centres around the world the security protocols and certification to satisfy the most safety conscious government customers.

We heard about the next evolution of the cloud – Azure Arc, which offers the ability to unify management and security of your data across platforms, from on-premises and multi-cloud environments to the edge computing that will increasingly be employed as computing power gravitates towards where data is generated.

In Project Cortex, Satya hinted at how Microsoft 365, the world’s most popular computer operating system and productivity suite, will build on the intelligence of the Microsoft Graph and AI technologies to capture in digital form that “living, breathing, knowledge database” that your workforce represents.

Tech capability

Even three years ago, application development was still largely the domain of an organisation’s development team or external technology partner.

But the demand for new applications and to enhance and extend the functionality of existing systems needs a new approach, one where an army of citizen developers create low and no-code apps to enhance productivity and give organisations a competitive edge.

“My dream is simple. Anyone who can do an Excel spreadsheet today, should be able to develop an application going forward,” says Satya.

With PowerApps, Microsoft is already giving citizen developers the tools to create their own apps. Intergen introduced a series of these tools to our clients and partners last month in our well-received App in a Day workshops around the country.

There is huge appetite among organisations to build the capability among their domain experts to build apps without the cost and development timeframes traditionally associated with doing so. With the Power Platform, simple workflow automation tools and the new Power Virtual Agent for rapidly creating chatbots, Microsoft has kickstarted that movement.

At the same time, the functionality in the Dynamics 365 platform is increasing the ability of organisations to become more proactive, to analyse their data, gain insights faster.

Trust

Of course, tech intensity is anxiety-inducing if it doesn’t also embody trust.

For Microsoft that clearly means protecting the data that is the life blood of digital organisations. It means being responsible in designing and deploying artificial intelligence and other powerful technologies.

It also means being respectful of and preserving the culture and values of people and communities in an increasingly digital world.

“Leadership in the digital economy will be exponentially amplified by the level of trust that is created with customers, partners, and stakeholders,” Satya told us all in Auckland.

The point was nicely illustrated with the launch on stage of te reo Māori for Microsoft Translator, the free automated translation that supports 60 other languages as well. It is a tool that has been warmly received locally, given that only 3% of Kiwis speak te reo Māori.

Microsoft Translator is a powerful tool to increase engagement with te reo Māori, to encourage more people to embrace the language that is so integral to Aotearoa.

In another keynote we also heard from Microsoft’s Chief Environmental Officer, Lucas Joppa, about the AI for Earth programme, which is applying Microsoft’s artificial intelligence tools to tackle the world’s most pressing environmental issue – climate change.

As one of Microsoft’s leading partners in Australasia, Intergen’s responsibility is to also embody these values as we help our clients pursue the tech intensity that will allow them to thrive in an age of accelerating change.

There is huge opportunity before all of us to apply technology for better economic, social and environmental outcomes. At Intergen, we look forward to assisting New Zealand organisations big and small make the most of what that technology has to offer.

Posted by: Jo Healey, General Manager Customer Success | 28 November 2019

Tags: Microsoft Envision


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