Leading firms are embracing ‘tech intensity’, reveals Microsoft

Leading firms are embracing ‘tech intensity’, reveals Microsoft

Survey finds organisations are using advanced technologies to build their own digital capabilities

Richard Humphreys |

According to new research by Microsoft, leading organisations from across the world agree that ‘tech intensity’ is critical for current and future success.

Coined by Satya Nadella at last year’s Future Decoded event, ‘tech intensity’ describes an organisation’s rate of technology adoption along with an ability to build its own digital capability.

75% of respondents believe that harnessing tech intensity is the most effective way to build competitive advantage today, and 75% also believe it will be crucial to building competitive advantage in the future.

Microsoft’s State of Tech Intensity 2019 study also revealed that tech intensity is already pervasive, with 73% of companies reporting they are currently creating their own first-party intellectual property using next-generation technologies such as machine learning (39%), IoT (37%), AI (32%), blockchain (29%) and mixed reality (21%).

“Up until now, organisations have looked to technology companies like Microsoft to provide digital tools for improving efficiency, increasing productivity and driving innovation,” said Deb Cupp, corporate vice president of Microsoft’s worldwide enterprise and commercial industries. “Now, the organisations achieving the greatest success are applying these tools and technologies to invent their own digital solutions to solve complex business and societal issues. In the process, they’re essentially becoming technology companies themselves as they drive progress and innovation in their industries. We refer to this approach as ‘tech intensity,’ and we strongly believe it is what will determine an organisation’s future success.”

In a blog post, Microsoft’s Bill Boden, corporate vice president for the worldwide financial services industry, highlights New York-based Mastercard as one of the best examples of a firm embracing tech intensity. Mastercard processes about US$20 billion in transactions a day across more than 210 countries or territories. The company worked with Microsoft to create a new service to make shopping online easier and more secure around the world, not only for shoppers, but also retailers and banks. “This tech-intensity collaboration kicked off a new way of thinking about innovation that promises to lead to even more developments to help e-commerce thrive,” Boden said.

Boden also outlined four key tips for firms looking to harness the benefits of tech intensity:

1. Adopt an entrepreneurial outlook that encourages risk-taking.

2. Be willing to look outside your organisation, and even industry, to gain a broader perspective of what technology can make possible.

3. Stay up to date on the latest trends in software and applications so your IT team has access to the latest commercial platforms, tools and training. This way, they can avoid recreating technology that has already been commoditised.

4. Seek resources on building trust in your technology, such as Microsoft’s AI Business School and new white papers – providing Microsoft's perspective on ethical AI and exploring how to implement governance and risk management to foster the responsible use of AI.


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