Even if you weren’t in Orlando last week you’ve probably already heard, Microsoft’s Ignite conference took place. Microsoft has been innovating at lightspeed over the past few years; continuing their pivot from churning out apps on a seat-based licensing model to a more usage focused model where payment is based on actual usage. With Microsoft accelerating some products they are simultaneously retiring others or consolidating multiple products into smaller streams.
With the company and their technology changing so quickly Ignite offered us a much wanted and needed look into what the future will look like, what considerations we should be making with regards to their products, and what innovation we need to be planning for.
Here is a quick recap of our Top 5 trends we feel are worth taking note of:
Embrace new tech or perish
Microsoft CEO Satya’s keynote kicked the conference off with a bang. While he touched on how computing now permeates all aspects of our life, his larger message was failure to embrace and plan for digital technology could spell the end of your business. He paralleled modern businesses to the automakers and factories that opted not to embrace the new power source of “electricity”, instead staying the course with reliable and trustworthy steam. This was a bad idea. If you are not considering how to integrate modern technology into your business, so to could you disappear just like the steam powered cars, and factories at the turn of the century.
It’s a stark message, but for those utilizing older Microsoft tech it’s a direct line from the top on how the company views emerging tech vs legacy technology. Now is the time to consider your future.
We love the idea that migrating to the cloud is likely going to INCREASE your security. In more and more cases this is true, and Microsoft re-iterated its focus on a security first approach. With 3,500 dedicated security employees, Microsoft repeated the mantra that they are the most “trusted” company when it comes to data security.
Microsoft is now allowing admins to configure the Microsoft Authenticator app to authenticate first, instead of a password prompt. What does that mean for users? It means you can authenticate your account via fingerprint, facial biometric, or a PIN, increasing both your account security and ease of authentication simultaneously. Microsoft has hinted repeatedly that traditional passwords are likely not going to be a core piece of a modern secure ecosystem and this could be the first step in that direction.
Teams gets better, again
The fastest growing application in Microsoft history, Teams, continues to accelerate enterprise collaboration. While it may not be as slick of a UI as its largest competitor Slack, it excels in its seamless integration with the entire MS enterprise tool stack, as well as complete Canadian data residency. Integration got even better with Teams now integrating with meeting technology like Polycom, BlueJeans, and Pexip. It also received a series of video enhancements, with the most talked about being a background blur feature allowing those in open offices or busy rooms to dull the background noise. It’s this focus on the tremendously practical that continues to drive Team’s unprecedented adoption.
For those of us that utilize LinkedIn beside our Microsoft products, things are about to get interesting. For the first time ever, you will be able to send emails and share documents directly to all first degree LinkedIn connections from your O365 accounts. This will no doubt declutter parallel correspondence and may be the first of many further LinkedIn integrations to come.
Adding value to the community is a key consideration for all of us in business in 2018; Microsoft is no different. Focusing on community is a key consideration for the company and they’ve identified three segments specifically that they plan to support: Parents in Tech, Women in Tech, and Diversity and Inclusion. While the conference had a number of sessions on how to think about inclusion and diversity practically we are eager to see how Microsoft supports these groups in the coming months.
There are no shortage of other topics emerging from Ignite but this was our Top 5. If you would like to discuss what impact any or all of this will have on your business, we would be excited to discuss this with you over the phone or face to face. To setup a time to connect click here.