Microsoft is empowering every business on the planet through an intelligent cloud

In the last two years, we have seen unprecedented acceleration towards digital transformation. The way we live and work will never be the same, and there’s no clear roadmap of what lies ahead. The pandemic has hastened the journey for all customers across enterprises, government, small and medium businesses. New business and partnership models have resulted in massive growth across sectors that will help organisations thrive in the future. In many ways, this would be a turning point for businesses in India as they transform to provide better and deeper customer experiences.

There appears to be a renewed confidence in business, while uncertainty continues to loom as we anticipate a third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. There is a significant shift in the way startups are keeping up with the pace of digital transformation and are adopting cloud- based solutions to re-energise their businesses. They are expanding across segments and verticals while optimising costs and customising their products and services to meet customer needs. With Microsoft Azure, we have been able to harness the knowledge, IP, capabilities, and services that we have built over the years to help customers make the shift and help them in their digital transformation journey.

Cloud technology today is a catalyst to promote business growth. Microsoft Azure offers different programs for startups depending on their stage of journey through a wide portfolio of options that help them achieve business growth. Complexity in business and transformation agenda often go hand in hand, and we thrive in these along with our very rich partner ecosystem to drive value.

The future of cloud technology

India has been at the forefront of cloud adoption which has been accelerated with high-speed internet availability, shrinking data costs, government’s support in embracing latest technologies, and the emerging digital natives that are opting for convenience and simplicity. With the youngest population in the world, India has increasingly contributed to the pace of digital transformation in the country. Unlike earlier times where financial decisions were only taken by people aged 35-40 as they felt financially secure, today decisions on all financial services (loans, credits, finance stocks etc.) are being taken by youngsters who are in the 20+ age group. Social intelligence is driving their decision-making and the banking sector has been quick to adapt to these changes.

Smaller businesses in India are more open to adopting public cloud because of reduced investment and maintenance costs. Technological innovation has been the backbone of progress that impacts business and economic trends. The cloud is transforming all sectors since it offers the most ideal infrastructure for operating a variety of IT applications across all types of organisations in India. Microsoft is rapidly expanding its portfolio of data and AI capabilities in Azure. We believe digital transformation has extraordinary gains to offer every industry – government, retail, finance, manufacturing, transportation, healthcare, and others. We are creating solutions that are time efficient, generate quick response and decision making, and enable swift communication.

An open, scalable, comprehensive, and intelligent cloud

While the opportunity for cloud adoption in India is massive, we must also delve into few areas that businesses must consider in their cloud journey.

With the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic and government-imposed restrictions, remote working has become the new normal, but it has also brought to the fore concerns about cybersecurity. Technology now plays a pivotal role in our personal and professional lives, but many organisations are yet to take adequate measures to create a ‘cyber-safe’ remote working environment. We have been witnessing a significant rise in security breaches, hacks etc. This demands a renewed focus on an end-to-end cybersecurity platform, a need to safeguard the organisation from these cyber-attacks. So having a full cyber resilience plan is fundamental to an organisation’s security posture. Microsoft Azure provides a platform that understands identity, management, end user security all the way to platform and cybersecurity to enable customers address security concerns and requirements.

Another element is the need to build a strong management cadence to amalgamate multiple clouds, be it on premises, public clouds, or hosting environments. Regulatory requirements, nature of diverse industries, or multiple sensitivities to have a dispersed environment calls for the need to have a strong hybrid strategy, clear definitions on roadmaps and a very strong console to manage security breaches. Azure delivers a unique hybrid experience across our products and services which is a benchmark for the cloud industry.

Another aspect businesses should also consider is the integration to all enterprise systems, that enables free flow of data which eventually leads to greater intelligence and decision-making for an organisation. Digital transformation is never complete when you leave behind a system or a process. They all must communicate with each other and must be loosely coupled but tightly integrated, and that’s the foundation of agility and intelligence Microsoft has integrated all our solution offerings, clouds into the Microsoft cloud to provide an industry-first experience for our customers.

A commonly believed myth is that the cloud is always expensive. Contrary to these beliefs, it can result in increased efficiency by accelerating the pace of decision-making and reducing capital expenditures. Cloud offers the lowest TCO, and organisations must evaluate their unique business configurations and plan accordingly. Microsoft offers cost-effective solutions for customers ranging from modernising existing infrastructure and apps to bringing new infrastructure and capabilities to data centres or by embracing a multi-cloud approach to meet their needs.

The journey ahead

The future will be driven by cloud technologies and the emergence of Web 3.0, Crypto, Blockchain are mixed reality which are driving new avenues of growth. We are also seeing Big Compute, Big AI, and Analytics powered by high performance computing environments come to life in the cloud, that is creating unimaginable speed and intelligence at a fraction of a cost. We are seeing data and its consolidation driving all intelligence and decision-making through an Open API deployment which in turn are reimagining applications. Embedded finance is another key trend to watch out for. It will be interesting to see how businesses opt to embed finance in every process and application as a significant part of their business model.

And finally, the process of humanising technology, i.e., artificial intelligence (AI) is poised to throw up interesting scenarios such as building ethical solutions while providing personalisation for a greater customer experience.

So as cloud technologies future-proof themselves and continue to add more flexibility, it is up to the businesses, big or small, to understand that if they are looking to solve a problem, tech can make it happen!

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