Technology Record - Issue 33: Summer 2024

34 partner and engineering teams to address customer needs. We look at key industries worldwide, and determine how Microsoft and its partner ecosystem can address industryspecific business challenges. Everything we do within the organisation is focused on helping customers understand where technology can help them move their business forward and get faster time to value. How does Microsoft create a unified strategy that addresses the specific technology needs of various industries? When developing our industry strategy and solutions, we tailor our approach to meet the unique needs of each sector while also identifying initiatives that go across multiple industries. For instance, our Microsoft Cloud for Financial Services offers technology designed for the financial sector, while our Microsoft Cloud for Sustainability serves customers and partners across various industries. Sustainability is an excellent example of a cloud solution that addresses both cross-industry scenarios and industry-specific opportunities. For example, a bank might focus on creating new environmental, social and governance (ESG) products such as green loans, or provide ESG advisory services for sustainable investment strategies, whereas a retailer might aim to optimise its supply chain for greater sustainability. However, both will need to establish an ESG data estate to meet reporting requirements. At the start of 2024 the International Monetary Fund predicted “broadly balanced” growth across industries worldwide, with levels slightly below historical averages and an expected trend of falling inflation. How does Microsoft's industry strategy help customers successfully navigate this challenging economic climate? During economic challenges, companies often resort to cost-cutting measures, including reducing technology investments. However, successful organisations have shown that leveraging technology is key to paving the way for future success. According to IDC’s The Business Opportunity of AI report, for every $1 a company spends on AI, they are seeing a return on investment of $3.5. Additionally, Microsoft’s 2024 Work Trend Index found that 79 per cent of leaders agree that companies need to invest in AI to stay competitive. The most successful companies focus not only on operating more efficiently but also on Microsoft shared its work with partners at several industry events across 2024 including Hannover Messe in April (left) and MWC Barcelona in February (right) EXECUTIVE INTERVIEW