By Cally Chan, General Manager of Microsoft Hong Kong and Macau
Earlier today we walked down memory lane with our customers and partners at our annual flagship event, Microsoft Envision Hong Kong, as we celebrate our 30th anniversary in the city.
From being the first global cloud service provider to set up datacenter in Hong Kong 10 years ago, to having 90% of Hang Seng Index companies running on Microsoft Cloud, and supporting Hong Kong businesses on their digital transformation and modern workplace journey. Together, we are empowering Hong Kong and delivering positive impact not only to the business community, but people from all walks of life.
What are the new opportunities lying ahead for Hong Kong? Hybrid and multi-cloud, secure modern workplace on cloud, and business automation and re-engineering are our three big bets.
Hybrid and multi-cloud strategy empowers businesses to go further
We understand that every company is on its own unique digital transformation journey with different cloud requirements. There is no single type of cloud computing that suits everyone. While many companies are moving to a larger cloud footprint, most choose a hybrid cloud approach due to business imperatives such as meeting regulatory and data sovereignty requirements.
An effective hybrid and multi-cloud approach enables remote work, takes advantage of cloud innovation and maximizes existing on-premises investments.
A hybrid cloud platform gives organizations many advantages — such as greater flexibility, more deployment options, security, compliance and greater value from their existing infrastructure. When computing and processing demand fluctuates, hybrid cloud computing allows businesses to seamlessly scale up their on-premises infrastructure to the public cloud to handle any overflow — without giving third-party datacenters access to the entirety of their data. Organizations gain the flexibility and innovation of the public cloud while keeping highly sensitive data in their own datacenter to meet client needs or regulatory requirements.
First in Hong Kong: VMWare on Azure
To empower companies to transform at their preferred pace while removing the complexity that can make the journey overwhelming, we are excited to announce that Microsoft will be the first public cloud provider to offer VMWare Solutions on cloud in Hong Kong, helping to streamline operations and enabling more efficient resource management. The service will be available towards the end of this year.
Secure modern workplace on cloud with business automation
Recognizing that hybrid work is the future of business, organizations everywhere have transformed themselves through virtual processes and remote collaboration. Hybrid work represents a monumental shift in how most businesses operate. Every process across the organization — from operations to engineering, sales, supply chain, and finance — needs to be reimagined to accommodate the shift to a digital workflow, and cloud-based infrastructure is critical in supporting that shift.
The shift to hybrid work is also an opportunity to rethink everything from the employee experience and talent to digital sales and events. Teams plays a critical role in the workplace transformation process because it provides a central platform for employee and customer interaction. Teams accommodates a wide range of needs, from virtual product demos to customer engagement in digital events. Employees can even use Power Apps to automate key business processes or build custom apps without leaving the Teams platform.
A hybrid world needs Hybrid Windows. Accessing Windows 365 via the Microsoft Cloud, users can stream all their personalized applications, tools, data, and settings across any device including Mac, iPad, Linux device, and Android. The Windows experience is consistent, no matter the device. Employees can pick up right where they left off, because the state of their Cloud PC remains the same, even when they switch devices.
However, hybrid work broadens a company’s attack surface. Companies need end-to-end enterprise-grade cybersecurity solutions to safeguard their people, data and infrastructure. With a larger cloud footprint, organizations need to reduce risks by implementing a Zero Trust security model, validating identities and device compliance for every access request.
Path to a sustainable future
Microsoft has been carbon neutral across the world since 2012 and commits to being carbon negative by 2030. Globally, we have launched a new USD 1 billion climate innovation fund to accelerate the global development of carbon reduction, capture, and removal technologies. Our goal is to promote sustainable development and low-carbon business practices globally through our sustainable business practices and cloud-enabled technologies.
We continuously strive to promote sustainability in our operations, products, policies, and help enable our customers and partners to do the same. For example, we work with a Japanese convenience store franchise chain on their waste management initiative. By using a machine learning driven forecasting solution, the convenience store generates daily forecasts for over 600 fresh food products across 400 stores. Model testing has been a substantial increase in forecast accuracy, from 18% manual order error down to 4% error. This helps reduce food wastage and the associated costs.
Infinite possibilities for Hong Kong
Hong Kong is a small city but we have made our mark on the world map with our big ambitions. We are the world’s fourth largest financial center and fifth largest stock exchange market. Five of our universities rank among the global Top 100. We also have eight unicorns and one of the world’s fastest growing startup ecosystems.
In today’s new normal, technology offers infinite possibilities for Hong Kong to continue to achieve more. Let’s make IT our time!