Technology Record - Issue 27: Winter 2022

7 WE LCOME : WI NT E R 2 0 2 2 Success in challenging times With 2022 drawing to a close, economic forecasts for the year ahead are, at best, challenging. The ongoing conflict in Ukraine, a slower than anticipated re-emergence of the Chinese economy from Covid-19 lockdown and the threat of recession looming large across a growing number of countries has led many leading industry analysts to predict growth in worldwide markets of no more than two per cent for the coming year. During this period of uncertainty industry and civic leaders around the globe are looking to technology in a bid to drive productivity and further reduce cost. As we learn in our cover story, the answer for many organisations will come from the rapidly emerging world of artificial intelligence. Corporate vice president for AI and research Lili Cheng and worldwide general manager of mixed reality applications Darren Bennett tell us more about Microsoft’s strategies for the AI space, whilst a selection of the corporation’s leading partners showcase a broad spectrum of industry solutions and services. You’ll find that story beginning on page 48. Elsewhere in the magazine we hear from recently appointed chief partner officer and corporate vice president of global partner solutions Nicole Dezen about the reasons behind the creation of this entirely new role and her aspirations for Microsoft and its global ecosystem of partners in the year ahead. Our interview with Nicole starts on page 42. As this edition of the magazine is published, the National Retail Federation prepares for its annual NRF Big Show in New York. We talk with Shelley Bransten, Microsoft’s corporate vice president of worldwide retail and consumer goods industries, about the structural resilience which digital technology is bringing to the retail industry, the innovation which is driving competitive advantage at all levels, and the tools that both Microsoft and its community of partners are bringing to the retail arena. The feature begins on page 156. Unpredictable times ahead, no doubt, but in this issue of Technology Record we bring you encouraging news of industry and public sector leaders rising to the challenge of the coming year through the adoption of exciting new technology tools. I hope you enjoy the read. ANDY C L AY TON - SM I TH : E X E CUT I V E ED I TOR