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Microsoft Future Decoded - There's no escaping digital transformation

Digital transformation is everywhere at the moment. We already knew that, but Microsoft did a good job of highlighting at during its Future Decoded keynotes this morning.

As well as spending some time talking about Artificial Intelligence, digital transformation was the big discussion point as everyone who spoke seemed to want to get in on the act.

Ryan Asdourian, Director of Windows and Devices UK kicked things off, saying: “people think that digital transformation is just about technology, but the reality is that digital transformation was years ago is now par for the course. It’s more strategic, it’s more fundamental.”

He was followed by Cindy Rose, Chief Executive Officer of Microsoft UK, who spoke about how Microsoft isn't immune from the disruption spreading through all industries and is looking to "not only embrace, but lead these waves of change.” She continued: “Our view is that a digital business is a business that embraces technology to more effectively engage its customers, empower its employees, optimise its operations and transform its products.”

Finally, it was the turn of Toni Townes Whitley, Microsoft's Corporate Vice President of the Worldwide Public Sector. In her passionate speech, she spoke about the view of having "cloud as the engine and data as the fuel in this fourth industrial revolution.”

“We understand that every industry is transforming," she said, with technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning and cognitive science all set to play key roles.

Related to this, she also highlighted the importance of social impact in digital transformation strategies, based on the principles of trust, responsibility and inclusiveness. Challenges such as job displacement, diminishing privacy, income inequality and technology accessibility will be challenges that will have to be faced and the industry will have to be careful that it doesn't "exacerbate the divide that already exists.”

“It’s not just about value-added technology, but also values," she said. "Technology is a means to an end and the end is about preserving the society of values. That’s fundamentally what’s driving the new Microsoft.”

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