Recap: Microsoft Ignite 2019 & the Future of Work

Well, hello there! How productive were you today? Did you create an AI app before breakfast? Take all the data you have access to and apply machine learning to make some huge business decisions?

Welcome to the new way to run a business, according to Microsoft. This week, Microsoft hosted its annual Ignite Conference in Orlando, Florida. The conference was full of compelling keynotes, learning paths, and intriguing updates on where the company is headed.

What do we think? The MINDs at Mind Over Machines kept close track of Microsoft Ignite 2019. Here’s our take:

Artificial Intelligence

There’s a continued focus on integrating Artificial Intelligence within Power Platform, resulting in easy-as-pie AI.

For example, with AI Builder, all you have to do is know your data, and you can build machine learning systems and chatbots. Power Automate (in preview only) has added RPA capabilities to Flow in a low code, no code environment. Project Cortex (which looks like a rebrand of Office Development) uses AI to gain deep insights into your organization to create more informed and transparent content.

This democratizing of tech capabilities has the potential to advance any business quickly, but the key will be a measured, partnered approach to implementation. Figure out specifically where you may be able to apply these new technologies and reach out for assistance. Don’t try to solve it all at once.

Limitless Scale and Insights for Data

Our MINDs had their eye on Azure Synapse Analytics, as we are always looking for ways to help clients access their data, disseminate their data, and develop deep insights and intelligence from that data. And Microsoft didn’t disappoint.

Azure Synapse Analytics will provide an end-to-end solution for data analytics at cloud scale and speed. The service allows a single solution for data preparation and ingestion, Machine Learning/AI, and Business Intelligence.

What does that mean for businesses? Our Senior Consultant Fadi Zureick says, “It will allow organizations to unlock limitless insights into their data, with limitless scale-ability, at blazing fast speeds. And perhaps best of all for those without much coding experience, Azure Synapse Analytics allows all this to occur in a code-free environment.”

Your Data + Applied AI/Machine Learning reported in a fraction of the time it normally takes? We are excited about this one!

Productivity and the Future of Work

With announcements like Visual Studio Online and Intellicode (which can increase developers’ productivity), an emphasis on enterprise scale adoption of Teams, and the release of the 4-Day Work Week Study by Microsoft Japan—it’s clear that Microsoft has one goal in mind: transform the way we do work today.

This is big—and something that will affect all businesses. Right now, you need to be taking a critical look at how you and your people get work done. Even if you have already integrated Teams, make sure you have taken the time to involve your staff and let them know the why behind the adoption. Even something as “easy” as switching up your conference and chat systems can rattle and disrupt a team that has the old ways embedded in their workflow.

Our VP of Strategy and Innovation, Tim Kulp, says “Microsoft has leveraged data points from MyAnalytics to start understanding patterns and workflows of employees. Since tasks will be completed quicker due to AI and automation, jobs will get done faster, and the concept of the 40-hour work week is out the window. The impact will be huge! The way we think about work will change from time-based to outcome-based productivity. We’ll go from measuring work in hours to measuring the value of what was accomplished. It’s a great opportunity to increase your team’s productivity and decrease their stress levels.”

If executed correctly, these tools can bring more efficient collaboration and more strategic innovation, enabling your staff to be their best selves. With a human-centric and data-informed approach to these new technologies (and some help from the experts), you can take your business to the next level and avoid disruption.