Microsoft’s Ralph Haupter outlines tech decisions CEOs must make in 2019

Microsoft’s Ralph Haupter outlines tech decisions CEOs must make in 2019
Five pointers aim to help organisations embrace and drive ‘tech intensity’ in their digital transformations

Elly Yates-Roberts |

In a recent blogpost, Ralph Haupter, president of Microsoft Asia, has outlined the top five technology decisions that he believes chief executive officers (CEOs) should make in 2019 in order to embrace and drive ‘tech intensity’ in their digital transformations. 

In late 2018 Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, introduced the concept of ‘tech intensity’, where organisations can accelerate their digital transformation journeys by adopting technologies much faster than before and focusing on building their own digital capabilities. 

“I believe that 2019 is the year of hyper digital transformation, where many business leaders will start to take quantum leaps in their response to a new digital economy,” said Haupter. “To do so, CEOs need imbue their organisations with “tech intensity” by focusing on [these] five technology decisions.”

1. Modernise your data strategy
According to Haupter, “the challenge is often not about the availability of data, but the vast effort needed to manage the almost-uncontrollable growth of the organisation’s data estate.”

As a result, “CEOs need to prioritise the redefinition of their organisation’s entire data strategy, from creating a secure platform to managing and harnessing data to creating a corporate culture where the workforce embraces data in their daily work,” he said. “It is only with a sound data strategy that organisations can truly optimise new digital transformation technologies, such as AI.”

2. Accelerate full cloud adoption
“Many large customers now opt for a hybrid cloud strategy that combines both public and private cloud by allowing data and applications to be shared between them,” said Haupter. “This approach gives businesses the ability to seamlessly scale their on-premises infrastructure via the public cloud when required – without giving third-party data centres access to the entirety of their data.”

3. Workforce reskilling is a new CEO priority
“CEOs need to focus increasingly on workforce reskilling in their digital transformation journey to ensure that their people and processes are aligned to optimise the new technology,” he said. "Without that, AI projects are likely to fail because of the lack of digital expertise to utilise the technologies and the absence of data skills to derive actionable insights.”

4. Cultivate a new digital mindset
“No amount of new technology application will deliver an organisation’s true digital transformation unless it is accompanied by a corresponding change in culture; one that embraces an open mindset and favours experimentation, learning and growth.” 

5. Trust defines the new digital organisation
“The responsibility for the creation and maintenance of customer trust sits squarely with the CEO, who needs to ensure that all elements of trust… are embedded into digital transformation initiatives right from the start,” said Haupter. 

“CEOs also need to examine if their ecosystem of partners recognise and share the same trust principles as their own organisation.”

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