How the Microsoft Cloud Can Enable Change
Althoff issued a challenge to conference attendees to pivot from resiliency to perseverance. He defined resiliency as “what you do when bad things happen to you. It’s how you respond. It’s how you react.” He explained the ways Microsoft has helped its customers and partners pivot during the pandemic and also noted some of the challenges the company is still facing.
“While we thought it might all be sunshine and rainbows, we’ve woken up to wars in the world, sustainability challenges, supply chain challenges, disruption in the economy, and it's time to pivot and use the same skills that we used during the pandemic,” he said. “We’re still challenged trying to thread the needle on employee productivity, satisfaction and well-being. We have challenges in the supply chain, we have challenges relative to sustainability, and challenges relative to cybercrime.”
Althoff touted Microsoft Azure as “the most comprehensive and trusted cloud, and also the cloud that enables customers to do more with less. Because whilst all of those challenges still exist, the added challenge of having to solve those challenges and rise and meet opportunity is met with the need to do so with less, and to spend less to accomplish our goals.”
In the opening keynote that followed, Microsoft Chairman and CEO Satya Nadella said, “You are the change agents who make doing more with less possible — less time, less cost, less complexity, with more innovation, more agility and more resilience. Doing more with less doesn’t mean working harder or longer; it’s not going to scale. It means applying technology to amplify what you can do and ultimately, what an organization can achieve amidst today’s constraints.
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Hybrid Work Demands Continued Improvements in Collaboration
As hybrid work has continued, we’ve all become aware of the benefits and challenges it presents. In response, Microsoft is continuing to improve the tools it offers to enable hybrid work.
“No CEO is somehow immune from the considerations of trying to figure out how to make their workforce more productive. And every CEO, at the same time, wants to make sure that while they’re driving productivity, they’re also focused on employee well-being and satisfaction,” Althoff said. He suggested Microsoft Teams and Viva Insights as tools to help elevate the hybrid work experience.
Nadella also spoke about the needs of hybrid workers, adding his own concerns about the shortage in skilled labor. “Employees must be empowered and energized to do meaningful work so that they can thrive,” he said. “You need to help people feel aligned to the company’s mission, purpose and business priorities. You need to help them connect with each other where they are and wherever they are working. You need to help them continuously build new skills in the flow of work.”