Let’s dive into four enterprise trends that are propelled by Microsoft Cloud technologies.
The term “digital transformation” has been popular for a few years. For the most part, it’s been considered mostly aspirational; it was used to describe companies that wanted to move more rapidly away from on-premise infrastructures to cloud-based, highly connected architectures. For a while, that seemed within reach, but still a bit lofty.
Transformation, however, is increasingly becoming realized as more organizations have laid strong cloud foundations with Microsoft Azure. They are now taking advantage of innovative advancements and tools from Microsoft 365 to move beyond that foundation, delivering on cloud-first solutions as a competitive differentiator and a driver of value for their customers.
Organizations that adapt rapidly increasing cloud innovations are able to bring a sophisticated approach to how they develop solutions, manage workloads, create new business channels, and serve their customers. As they become more comfortable with the robust capabilities of cloud technologies, they are finding that the intersection of technology functionality with business opportunity is creating major advancements that are bringing market-changing and in some cases even life-changing, advancements to market.
As a Microsoft Gold Partner, SADA continuously works with leading organizations who are looking to further their digital transformation. Let’s look at four different trends driving innovation with our customers and how Microsoft is leading the way for businesses to innovate and stay ahead of the competition.
GDPR Governance with Microsoft 365
The deadline for GDPR compliance (May 25th!) is fast approaching for organizations of all types, and along with it are the complexities of creating a framework for management and protection of massive amounts of data. As the amount and reach of data increases, so too are the complexities of maintaining adherence to GDPR. Microsoft estimates that 58% of workers have accidentally shared sensitive data with the wrong person; that can create major liabilities and the potential for disastrous business consequences. Unless organizations find effective ways to protect personal information, they will be unable operate in the European Union in accord with GDPR restrictions.
The key for organizations will be to identify the data they currently have, communicate with customers and prospects the new protocols for handling it, getting permission to use it, and then protecting it. Office 365 users can leverage tools like Data Loss Prevention and Office 365 eDiscovery to identify and assign data types for personal information and then create a metadata structure to provide governance for it. Especially for customers who are using SharePoint, Skype for Business, Exchange, and other tools, the ability to centralize access to data and manage the transactions that occur with it is critical for meeting GDPR obligations.
The Impact of IoT
Many technology trends sound great but are not yet fully within our grasp. The Internet of Things and other leading device technologies are already being put to use by SADA customers with the help of Microsoft cloud solutions. These solutions are unique, creative, and are delivering more than just profits.
The cloud is an agile platform for delivering data and transactions across standard applications and into IoT devices. Ultimately, the key is connection, and Azure is built on an agile framework that uses microservices connections to deliver a usable experience on IoT devices. Azure uses open source device SDKs and development environments like Visual Studio that support development on multiple operating systems like Linux, Windows, and in real-time systems.
Companies are looking beyond just business opportunities with IoT. They also want to develop and deliver in ways where human needs can be addressed through technology solutions. Our clients are looking at these technologies as foundational elements that have achieved critical mass and maturity. With the right business strategy and infrastructure, they can be deployed to tackle some market-shifting and life-changing issues.
Microsoft Teams Derive More Value From Intelligent Communications
Nothing can really happen in, through, or across an organization until there are effective communication and collaboration. However, with new, cross-matrixed and agile organizational structures in many organizations, it’s harder to ensure that the right people are in the loop, and with the right tools to make their jobs easier. At the same time, with more technology solutions being implemented, there are practical considerations that create challenges for a unified solution to meet the communication and collaboration challenges across different architectures and environments.
SADA helps clients use Microsoft Teams, the chat-based workspace component of Microsoft 365, to solve the increasingly complex requirements organizations have for meeting the needs of employees, partners, customers, and other stakeholders. Teams is being used as a new platform for calling, meeting, project management, and chat-based experiences for teams located across the globe. Rather than just addressing traditional unified communications, Microsoft’s vision of intelligent communications enables individuals to complete tasks, integrate with the right people, and effectively use technology to operate more productive meetings, manage everyday communication, and extract more value out of the collaboration efforts that people engage in.
We are working with organizations to combine the elements of communication, collaboration, and insights into user behavior to help them initiate a communications lifecycle. This includes embedding relevant documents, data-rich visual tools, and workflows into standard communication operations. Additionally, meeting capabilities with Teams can automate the capture, transcription, and distribution of meeting data for posterity and easy access.
A New Path Forward for Hybrid Environments
Public clouds are certainly growing in popularity, but many organizations choose to maintain some level of private infrastructure within their IT domain. The key to understanding hybrid is in its ability to map, without major disruption, to an enterprise’s existing IT footprint, but continue to grow within its own architecture. While most organizations seek some level of digital disruption, going “all in” for the cloud may not make economic sense.
Gartner predicts that “…most organizations will have hybrid architectures for the foreseeable future”, and they will require an effective foundation. Azure is unique in this way because it can deliver and manage with enterprise-grade workloads delivered via a platform IaaS and PaaS models. Combined with Microsoft analytics tools, DevOps integration, and cloud security and compliance capabilities, Azure is helping organizations rapidly move beyond the transformation stage to being actively engaged in conducting business across all digital channels.
More organizations are using Microsoft solutions as integral components that help them evolve their technology and business strategies at a pace that’s consistent with budgets and growth plans. Microsoft Hybrid Benefit is a hybrid-first version of the Azure cloud that can be integrated with other enterprise applications across an organization’s cloud and on-premises environments. Organizations can move workloads from on-premises environments to Azure with Hybrid Benefit, and scale workloads as needed. This is the kind of flexibility that agile, innovative organizations demand.
Enterprises are increasingly thinking with a business-first mindset and are open to innovative technology solutions that help them meet their needs. The real emphasis is not about the technology solutions, but about how different technology components work together to deliver a better infrastructure for internal collaboration and insights, as well as delivering value to customers.
Interested in learning more about how you can drive innovation and growth leveraging Microsoft Cloud Solutions? Click the button below to set up a time to chat with one of our cloud solutions experts.