At a recent event themed “One Day Reimagined”, over 400 top-level executives Malaysian companies got to learn from Microsoft Malaysia on how the dichotomy of professional and professional lives is blurring – with employees working when they feel more productive, using the technology and tools that they are most comfortable with, both at home and at the office. The question before: How can companies manage their integration, across personal devices, social media usage and even third-party applications in the workplace?
“This is a significant evolution, and it is happening from the ground up. Malaysian businesses should nurture these strides because, given the prevalence of personal interconnectivity, it’s impossible to eliminate this activity, even if you wanted to. Business is personal. As long as employees are satisfied and productive, there is no reason struggle for control over the professional and personal balance,” said Rukmani Subramanian, Microsoft Malaysia’s Chief Marketing and Operations Officer, speaking to the media during the event.
According to Microsoft, underscoring this shift has been the four IT megatrends which include mobile devices and apps; cloud service; big data analytics; and social technologies. These have presented unprecedented new challenges for Malaysian enterprises who have not yet readied themselves adequately.
A recent Gartner poll found that only 11% of enterprises polled worldwide do not have plans to deploy at least a private cloud in 2014, and nearly 50% of Fortune 500 companies will have a hybrid cloud of some form by 2017. There is near consensus in the industry that cloud adoption in enterprises is an irreversible trend, and one that will only accelerate further in the years to come. For Malaysian enterprises, a rapidly expanding range of cloud services are readily available – from those that replace basic infrastructure through to advanced mobile apps.
When it comes to mobility, IDC forecasts that more than 7 million smartphones and close to 2 million tablets are expected to be shipped in Malaysia in 2014 and many of these will be used for work. However, a survey done found that more than 50% of the organisations studied are utilising either Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) or corporate provisioned mobile devices, but 55.3% of these organisations have no solutions to manage these devices. While mobility adoption has not reached mass proliferation, there is clear room for improvement, and Malaysian organisations have been looking at a more strategic approach to deploying mobility.
As for big data analytics, the “Internet of Things” (IoT) is exponentially growing the amount of data being generated today. “In the industry, we are estimating that there are nine billion Internet-connected devices in circulation; with one person often carrying more than one internet-connected device as well as with more devices being designed to connect to the internet. Considering that some industry estimates forecast that there will likely be 50 billion internet-connected devices by the year 2020, there is a massive explosion of data,” explained Rukmani.
Citing a recent a Microsoft-commissioned CMG Research & Insights Study, “Global Enterprise Big Data Trends: 2013,” Rukmani continued, “Did you know that 62% of executives currently store at least 100TB of data?Or that nearly one-third of them expect to double the amount of data they store in the next 2-3 years? All this momentum is gathering – data, economics, user readiness to consume and work with data. Users want to be able to get to an answer to their work questions as easily as they search the Web. How are businesses readying themselves to harness this?”
Many more Malaysian enterprises are realizing that adaptability and iteration speed are paramount, necessitating a fundamental rethinking of corporate structures and information systems, according to Rukmani.
“With technological forces at play, both business and IT teams are seeking how to best realise their strategies for a company of their size, industry, geography, and maturity level. This requires taking complex concepts from theory to application, which Microsoft does well with minimal disruption to its customers’ business,” she said.
“This isn’t just an aspiration. We’re already doing it, at scale. Whether it’s socialising, sharing, being entertained, and getting stuff done with your coworkers, we’re putting up some big numbers already. So, no matter which devices and services you use to make the most of your day, you’re in good company,” said Rukmani as she referred to several key data points:
- Skype: 50 Billion Minutes per month using the service
- Skype: 300 million monthly connected users
- OneDrive: 250 Million users have stored over 20 Billion Photos
- Outlook.com: 400 million users
- Windows Store: over 150,000 Apps
- Office: 1.1 Billion users
- One in four of enterprise customers now has Office 365
- Dynamics CRM: 3.5 Million users
- Microsoft Azure: 10 Trillion objects stored
- SQL: #1 Database in the world: SQL Server is the Worldwide unit share leader in new Database Server shipments at 41.6% (FY13H1)
In fact, Gartner just recently announced Microsoft as a leader in its Four Magic Quadrants for Cloud Infrastructure as a Service, x86 Server Virtualization, Enterprise Application Platform as a Service and Public Cloud Storage Services. “This is a validation of Microsoft’s strategy to enable the power of choice as the company delivers industry-leading infrastructure services, platform services and hybrid solutions. Only Microsoft has achieved recognition as a Leader across all four capability areas,” declared Rukmani.
“At the end of the day, our story is really our customer’s story. We go wherever they go, and anticipate where they’ll go next. That’s why we have such a broad innovation and investment agenda. We work to understand how people navigate their day, and we work to remove the friction and frustrations that keep them from doing even more. We’ve seen that they need devices that can do more than one thing. and they need services that follow them throughout their day, wherever it takes them – in both their Personal and Professional lives. That’s what drives us. We’re the only company today that is truly committed to helping our customers do more in every part of their lives,” concluded Rukmani.