"We aim to unlock the creativity in all of us," says Satya Nadella

"We aim to unlock the creativity in all of us," says Satya Nadella

Microsoft's CEO spoke about the power of digital transformation, data and AI at Microsoft Ignite

Richard Humphreys |

During his keynote at this week’s Microsoft Ignite conference in Orlando, CEO Satya Nadella told the audience of over 25,000 how there isn’t a single industry that isn’t being transformed by technology.

“We collectively have the opportunity to lead in this transformation,” he said.

“In the midst of this monumental change, our timeless values help us stay grounded in the things that matter most. How do we empower people? How do we bring about economic growth without degrading human dignity? How do we use tech to promote inclusiveness?

Nadella went on to explain the impact that technology can have on moving our economy and society forward. “While our mission remains constant, technology paradigms come and go. Where before we held a worldview of a mobile-first, cloud-first world, that worldview is evolving to the new technology paradigm of the intelligent cloud and the intelligent edge,” he said.

“Three characteristics define this shift: the move to multi-device, multi-sensory interactions; artificial intelligence driving predictive insights across devices; and a new fabric of serverless, or distributed, computing power. In this new era, Microsoft is building systems of intelligence, virtuous cycles and new feedback loops that help create data and refine how you reason over this data to gain insights from information.

“These systems of intelligence and how we bring about the technology, how we bring about this cultural shift, is what Microsoft is focused on, with four core ingredients. We call them solution areas: modern workplace, business applications, applications and infrastructure, and data and AI. These ingredients transcend product category definitions and business models.”

According to Nadella, these solution areas will empower everyone in an organisation to be more creative and collaborative, and ultimately apply technology to help shape the culture of work. “And importantly, secure your organisation’s digital estate,” he said. “It’s this cultural shift that’s top of mind for every leader and every organisation, and that’s what we want to enable with Microsoft 365.

“We aim to unlock the creativity in all of us, so that you can bring out the best in everyone in your organisation.”

Nadella went on to explain how Ford is breaking down organisational and geographical boundaries by using the power of mixed reality to brainstorm, design and develop new vehicles. Read more on this story here.

He also highlighted how Microsoft is transforming the data and intelligence that powers the modern workplace. “The Microsoft graph is perhaps one of the most important data assets – core to thinking about how customers unlock value,” he explained. “Today, we’re announcing the first phase of integration between the LinkedIn graph and the Microsoft graph. With this rich platform and rich data graph you can start building AI-first applications. You can bring the power of AI, the power of natural language, the power of deep learning to the enterprise and unlock it.”

“…Adding Dynamics 365 to this connected graph, we have an opportunity to redefine what customers can expect from their business applications.

“Every business process is being digitised, from relationship sales, talent and people processes, operations, customer service, field service and more. For this evolution to be successful, we must move from monolithic suites and disconnected data silos to modern, modular apps with a common data model. You need a platform approach.”

One way this is coming together is in the combination of business applications, mixed reality and IoT. Nadella pointed towards mining as an example. “Mining has complex engineering requirements, stringent health and safety policies, and very significant up-front capital expenses. To stay competitive, mining companies have invested in technologies like AI, sensors and geospatial analytics to digitise their operations and become true data-driven businesses,” he said.

“But the connected mining operation is taking transformation one step farther by using Microsoft Teams, Microsoft HoloLens, Dynamics 365 and Azure to bring everyone together, from management to the geologist to help people succeed in ways never before possible.

“These innovations can be applied to any business and across industries when data, software and mixed reality come together to drive digital transformation.”

Read the full transcript of Satya Nadella’s keynote here

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