Every day, we are introduced to new intranet platforms, and along with the brand new features and solutions. Opportunities to upgrade abound – but how much business sense does it even make? How can companies make well-informed decisions about if/when to upgrade after a release has been announced? Given the competitive business benefits an intranet offers, the logical solution does seem to be upgrading as often as possible. However, upgrading does come with a hefty price tag and more importantly, quite a lot of disruption.
Today at Microsoft Business Forward in Paris, France we connected with hundreds of global business leaders to share our vision for Microsoft Business Applications. In addition, I had the privilege to unveil new Dynamics 365 AI and mixed reality applications, and new solutions to help businesses unlock deeper insights from data across their organizations. The new capabilities we introduce biannually in our October and April releases advance our commitment to remove barriers to innovation and operational excellence; a vision reinforced by amazing stories of companies evolving their business as usual. ExxonMobil is a great example. This week, we announced that the world's largest publicly traded international oil and gas company has deployed Dynamics 365 to help improve operations in one of the world's most important oil-producing regions.
We often say that customer success should be part of an organization's DNA. But, what if it was also in the instruments of our daily lives--our phones, computers, and devices? Machine learning--applications that not only respond to inputs without the help of human intervention, but learn, or adapt, from each interaction--is transforming the ways that we communicate with customers, thus allowing us to know customers better and anticipate their needs before even they are aware of those needs. A Gartner report found that 89% of organizations expect that customer experience will be a top priority for maintaining a competitive advantage from 2016 into the foreseeable future. A key aspect of machine learning is already changing the way we do business.
I confess of being a pessimist on 2019's technology outlook for enterprises In my 2019 predictions on digital transformation I suggest that 2019 will be a year of reckoning for IT organizations that should aim to demonstrate incremental value in their digital transformation investments and initiatives. I go on to share predictions in several promising areas of investment including artificial intelligence, data governance, devops, and low code. If 2019 does prove to be a difficult year for investment and funding, it might be time to consider innovation projects that can make significant impact to workforce productivity and overall happiness. One place to consider improvements is in the design, capability, and overall experience of the mobile applications deployed in your organization. Keep in mind that what keeps me up at night is whether an organization is driving transformation smarter, faster, and more innovative than its competitors.
When PCs were first adopted by businesses, a typical workspace was an office (or more likely a cubicle) with a desk dominated by the computer. The PC was loaded with various software programs (including security and antivirus protection), either on its own hard drive or an enterprise server. Although the work was digital, the workspace was still physical. Today, the proliferation of mobile devices, ubiquitous wireless networks, and cloud computing has freed employees from their cubicles. Increasingly, people work from home, airports, client offices, or even neighborhood coffee shops using a variety of devices from a variety of vendors based on a variety of operating systems.