One of our Microsoft certified professionals, Paul Rutter, weighs in on Microsoft Future Decoded 2017, his five biggest takeaways from the event and what it means for UK businesses now and in the future.

Last week, a team of Perfect Image’s certified Microsoft consultants travelled down to London to attend the increasingly popular Microsoft Future Decoded 2017. This two day event attracted over 12,000 attendees – 40% more than last year. With 38 keynote speakers, ranging from ASOS to National Trust to some of Microsoft’s own top people, the event really focused on where we are at now with UK businesses and technology, and how the landscape is shifting and progressing into the future.

Here are my five biggest takeaways from the event, and what they mean for your business:

1. Digital Transformation

Microsoft realise that forward-thinking businesses will be the ones to flourish, and made it clear that more needs to be done to encourage the creation of a digital transformation strategy with purpose. There have been great advances in accessible, affordable technology that can allow a company to flourish and understand the areas to focus on, and where to improve. Nearly every company now uses technology to varying degrees and due to this it has never been more imperative to stay ahead of the competition with innovative and disruptive technology.

2. Disruptive Technology

What do Microsoft mean by disruptive technology? It means they want organisations to embrace change, and proactively adopt technology that can bring about digital transformation. However Microsoft seemed to accept that while some people thrive on change and progression, others are apprehensive about it. Of the people surveyed, 49% said they feared the change that digital transformation will cause. The message in response to this figure was that fear needs to be embraced in order to grow. For employers, Microsoft’s advice is that this can be achieved with an open and empathic workplace that encourages and supports employees during changes in ways of working.

3. GDPR

GDPR was a big focus of day one, with the dedicated breakout session proving extremely popular. Office 365 was discussed for its new and improved security features that enable compliance with upcoming regulations, such as automatic document encryption, automatic email sensitivity flagging for confidential content, and access control for files and documents.

4. The Cloud

As with other Microsoft-hosted events there was a strong emphasis on the importance of the cloud. Security, reliability and scalability were listed as reasons to consider a move to the cloud. It was made clear that the cloud is only going to grow in popularity and will eventually become a necessity. Having a cloud-first digital strategy will become a fundamental way of working for all businesses in the future.

5. Azure Stack

The discussion around the cloud was followed by a talk regarding Azure Stack. Microsoft understand that new laws are being introduced regularly and to increase security, the platform is launching features such as only running apps in certain countries to remain compliant. It was also highlighted that there are now 42 Azure regions around the globe, which is more than the two other international cloud providers combined. This improves business continuity options – and public cloud is now becoming recognised as surpassing on premise infrastructure for availability and reliability. Azure have been working to improve their disaster recovery and recently included their Azure regions as part of their standard cloud offering.

Key Learnings

Technology is vital for organisations to remain ahead of the curve, whether that is with increasingly intelligent tools that can help with remaining compliant, or platforms increasingly moving to the cloud, or the increasing need for Business Intelligence to understand the changing landscape of business and to respond proactively to customer’s needs.

Perfect Image have a team of certified Microsoft experts who can assist with tailored end-to-end IT services that utilise best of breed technology to improve all areas of your business. Together with your company, we architect problem-led solutions that can either implement new technology to progress your company, or optimise existing tools and platforms to improve your way of working.

Paul Rutter – Microsoft Expert at Perfect Image

Paul Rutter is a Senior Solutions Architect at Perfect Image and Microsoft certified Partner Technology Solutions Specialist (P-TSP) in Dynamics 365. He is certified in Microsoft Dynamics 365, SharePoint and Scribe software. In 2008, he started his career in IT as a developer, and began working for Perfect Image in 2010, working his way up to lead a team of certified Microsoft consultants who are experts in architecting, implementing and supporting Dynamics 365. He has since transitioned into the solution architecture role, providing guidance and oversight to the wider delivery teams within the business.

What Can I Do Now?

Discover More about the Technology of the Future

If you would like to a deeper understanding of the technologies that Microsoft has developed as a fundamental way of staying ahead of the competition, read more on our site:

Office Productivity

Office 365 is a cloud based platform that includes Word, Excel and Outlook that allows employees to work collaboratively and securely from anywhere.

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Business Intelligence

This is increasingly becoming a high priority for businesses to understand their company’s productivity and success, and to understand what customers want and what they are getting.

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Cloud Infrastructure

From small businesses to large corporations, the cloud can lower costs, increase efficiency and improve productivity of employees.

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