Future Decoded is all about how technology can revolutionise your business. How do we improve engagement of employees in the workforce, as that will increase productivity? How can we transform businesses and nations with the application of digital technology? These are the questions being asked in businesses around the world everyday, today’s the day we answer them.
We’re only halfway through the first day of the two-day event, and we’ve already heard Keynotes from a number of industry leading and influential individuals – Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella, included. A key theme of the talks has, and will continue to be, how businesses can better foster employee satisfaction through the use of technology. As our Chief Storyteller Steve Clayton expressed, “Employee satisfaction is incredibly important, not just for the wellbeing of the employee, but also because of the knock on effects of productivity.” A recent study suggests that only 17% of employees are engaged in their work, costing businesses around the world a staggering £44 billion an hour.
Innocent Drinks have set quite a benchmark in employee satisfaction, with 95% of their employees satisfied with their job, significantly higher than the industry average of around 78%. Their co-founder, Richard Reed, was the first on stage, sharing his experience of using technology to foster employee and customer satisfaction. Rather than going into too much detail, we will instead suggest you keep an eye on Channel 9 for the live recording of Richard’s, and the rest of the Keynote speakers’ (bar Bryan Cox and Krysta Svore), presentation.
Empowering each individual
Technology has the unbelievable potential to empower every person, and every organisation on the planet to achieve more. Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella’s Keynote focused on the dawn of the “Mobile-first, Cloud-first” world, where the mobility of a device is what impacts our lives. For Satya, reinvention of productivity and business process is crucial to getting the most out of our lives – “what is scarce is human attention and time”. In line with this, he set out Microsoft’s ambition: to create more personal computing. This is what Windows 10 represents: it’s the first step in an operating system that gives us the mobility as IT Pros.
Satya announced, live on stage, the completed expansion of data centre regions in Ireland and the Netherlands, and the opening of the UK data centre region for commercial cloud services beginning in 2016: “We need to make sure we build the most hyperscale cloud for people all around, so [that] start ups and those in the business sector have more choice to build their business applications”.
It’s liberating to individuals and businesses to be able to think big, to have an idea and not feel limited. Satya spoke of the recently announced Azure Stack, and how its true hybrid computing allows you to use your own cloud offering to do just that – think big. How is it going to be different from what we built in the past? It’s going to be data. In his own words, “We’ll be converting data from the exhaust into fuels. There will never be a search box that doesn’t autocomplete. There will not be a search function without suggestions.”
Work is no longer a place you go to, it’s about making things happen where you are. Satya spoke of the importance of being able to bring people together in networks – “it’s no longer about being confined by organisational hierarchy. We work as part of ecosystems.” He continued, “we [Microsoft] have the tools that bring people together to collaborate, to communicate, and we want to build a system that helps you drive the productivity of your time.” The foundation of this belief is evident in Office 365, Microsoft’s productivity suite, which is being utilised by many of the leading companies and charities around the world.
Satya closed by outlining what Microsoft is doing for personal computing, from Band, to Surface, to Surface Hub. There was even a nod to augmented reality and the HoloLens (unfortunately he didn’t bring one out!) as a totally new medium, where we can revolutionise industrial design, education and gaming. He reinforced that the full dev release is coming in early 2016, and we’re looking forward to seeing the applications people are going to build.
“Talking about these new forms of computing and new forms of input and output, as well as the idea of universal design, is going to make it possible to empower us all” – Satya Nadella, Microsoft CEO
Be sure to follow @TechNetUK for all the latest developments today and tomorrow, and keep an eye on the blog for more Future Decoded related content.