Future Decoded 2017: Round-up of day one

Future Decoded 2017: Round-up of day one
Key themes included cloud technology, quantum computing and digital transformation

Elly Yates-Roberts |

Future Decoded 2017 opened its doors yesterday at the ExCeL in London, UK and welcomed over 24,000 attendees to discuss the release of Surface Book 2 devices in the UK, cloud technology and quantum computing.

It was also announced that Microsoft Teams is coming to UK data centres.

Clare Barclay, Microsoft UK COO, opened the event saying that “digital transformation works best when culture is at the heart of your strategy.”

“However, only 23% of business leaders have instigated cultural change and over 49% of employees are scared of change.”

Greg Williams, editor of Wired, discussed digital transformation and how it “isn’t optional. We need to work out how to change and adapt.”

Williams pointed towards BMW as an example of a company that is reinventing itself with digital technologies. “BMW is no longer positioning itself as an automotive company,” he said. “Instead it is a mobility provider.” Williams believes that in the future BMW will offer a pay-to-access subscription to its services.

Jean-Philippe Courtois, executive vice-president of Microsoft International took to the stage giving his advice for businesses that they “need to disrupt before they are disrupted.” Before adding that “it’s important to be optimistic in your approach to digital transformation. A combination of new culture, mission and technology will help you reinvent your business.”

Courtois was followed by Panos Panay, head of Microsoft Devices, who announced that Surface Pro with LTE Advanced will ship in December 2017. Read more on this here.

In three years, 50% of the global workforce will be mobile. Surface frees people from the desktop.” We’re at the edge of a shift towards more intelligent computing,” Panay said. “Tools are changing. New opportunities are right in front of you.

Julia White, vice-president of cloud at Microsoft discussed applications and infrastructure of data and AI and revealed that “90% of the Fortune 500 use Microsoft Cloud.”

Haiyan Zhang, Microsoft innovation director and creator of the Emma Watch, took to the stage to explain the creation of the device and spoke about spoke about how Project Fizzyo can help people with Cystic Fibrosis complete their physiotherapy.

“Microsoft is working with top universities to develop games for Fizzyo platforms. We are excited about the potential for technology to improve people’s lives,” said Zhang.

The day closed with Barclay interviewing comedian David Walliams, who said: “Ideas are like seeds and it’s up to you to catch them and grow an idea. Most of my ideas never go anywhere. Most inspiration comes from the world around me; you never know where you will get an idea from. Everyone has stories. I like to be on my own and not be disturbed when I’m being creative. I make lots of notes, and don’t beat myself up if I don’t achieve much.”

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