Refocus and re-tool for smarter work to seize new opportunities. By Cally Chan, General Manager of Microsoft Hong Kong and Macau
The reopening of Hong Kong’s border sets an auspicious backdrop for the year of the rabbit. We are already seeing a resurgence of business activity and optimism in the city in light of the opportunities ahead this year.
We cannot expect the business landscape to return to its pre-Covid ways. Most businesses that have fared well under the pandemic have undergone significant digital transformation, including the embrace of hybrid work, new technology and enhanced cybersecurity. These structural changes serve them well in the face of global uncertainty and issues such as inflation, talent shortages and cybercrime.
To make the most out of the year ahead and maximize competitiveness, business leaders should make “Do more with less” their mantra and realize the potential of technology as an enabler. “Do more with less” should not be seen as a cost saving strategy to maintain minimal operation during difficult times. Instead, it is an endless mission for the management to simplify, optimize and create opportunities to innovate for growth. To gear up for abundant business opportunities, we see three top priorities:
Adopt a hybrid cloud model
Cloud has become the norm for businesses. 85% of organizations will embrace a cloud-first approach by 2025. Amid this transition, business leaders must reckon with issues around performance and rising costs. Our conversations with partners show increased recognition that the public cloud is only one part of the optimization discussion, alongside on-prem, edge and multi-cloud environments.
Optimizing public cloud usage can significantly lower costs and increase performance. Taking Microsoft Azure as an example, companies can save up to 85% on the standard pay-as-you-go rate when migrating Windows and SQL Server. They can reduce energy use by up to 92% and carbon emissions by up to 98%. As a result, corporate clients of Azure can realize up to 391% ROI on migrating to Azure, according to an IDC study.
In times of uncertainties like economic recession, Doing More with Less with Microsoft Cloud is more important than ever, especially when we are seizing for opportunities during border reopening.
Consolidate technology vendors
Faced with rising inflation and a shrinking talent pool, many organizations are looking to consolidate their technology vendors across areas such as data analytics, AI, and app innovation to save time and cost and reduce complexity. According to Microsoft survey, 82% of CISOs were pressured to lower costs and threat protection costs cutting as their priority.
Having solutions with a Zero Trust framework for multi-cloud, multi-platform can better address customer needs and enhance their digital capability. Our research shows deploying Microsoft Security can empower companies to protect more with less time, cost and complexity than running solutions from multiple vendors, as it provides a comprehensive portfolio with up to 50 integrated product categories which allows up to 60% cost savings to companies.
On top of security, one single Microsoft Cloud creates more possibilities for implementing hybrid work models, preparing for trends such as the metaverse, achieving sustainability goals, and enabling AI innovation.
Empower team members to innovate
Helping staff broaden their skillsets and become more efficient offers a way around the talent shortage. Far from demanding more time and energy from existing employees, it is a case of acknowledging the limits of resources and empowering everyone in an organization to work smarter.
In the new year, innovation shouldn’t be confined to tech experts and the IT department. Technology leaders like Microsoft created low-code and no-code solutions to truly democratize app development. The new feature of AI and automation in Microsoft Power Platform will build your desirable automation flow in seconds per your description – this will further allow you to do more with less. As a very first step, business leaders can leverage Microsoft’s online resources to develop their digital skill for talent retention.
Of course, this approach can also free a company’s dedicated IT team to focus on more strategically important matters. They can either consider options like vendor consolidation and cloud migration to create a better IT environment for all members, or proactively prepare for new developments like the metaverse.
Digital imperative for every business process
Doing more with less will be more important than ever in the year of rabbit, and technology will make it possible. We anticipate companies and communities creating more innovation, agility, and resilience, with less complexity, time, and cost. In seeking to deliver successful change, all organizations need to consider the right balance between people, process and technology investment.
After the border reopening, I am confident that Hong Kong will continue to rebound and become a city full of opportunities. Many organizations tap into cloud to capture business opportunities in a more efficient, resilient and scalable way. Having best-of-suite cloud solutions with a trusted and secure platform, Microsoft is the best-fit partner to in the Greater Bay Area, Asia and the rest of the world.
We will continue to empower local businesses to do more with less with right tools. I wish all Hong Kong businesspeople success in achieving their goals through smart work with renewed focus.
Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) enables digital transformation for the era of an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge. Its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.
- Top strategic technology trends for 2022: 12 trends shaping the future of digital business, Gartner, 2022