Ours for the taking!

Photo of a woman working remotely on a laptop.

By Anant Maheshwari, President, Microsoft India

Profile photo of Microsoft India President Anant MaheshwariLike every other weekday, it’s 6 AM in the morning and you sit down with your tablet and cup of tea to scroll through the news feed. You scan through your Teams’ chat and Outlook email on your mobile, to check if anything needs your immediate attention. A quick look at the calendar on the app and you feel good – you will be fully present at the breakfast ritual with the kids today! Which reminds you that the on-demand yoga class is best out of the way before the rest of the family is up. Through your breakfast, you get your kids to connect virtually with close family, deal with the delivery of groceries you ordered the previous evening, decide and download the movie for the evening, and then set the kids up for remote school.

The working day begins with Teams calls jostling for time with multiple collaboration chats going live. On successive Teams calls, you close a good deal with a customer, agree on a workplan with a partner, and have a good 1-1 career conversation with your team member. At lunch, you join the tele-consultation with the hospital for a parent and schedule an at-home physiotherapy session. You make it an even more efficient lunch hour when you squeeze in an online application to renew your child’s passport, set up a remote play date for the evening, and connect with your child’s teacher on an assignment. After lunch, between meetings and emails, you remember two online payments that need to be made and quickly complete them on your phone.

In the evening as you transition from work, you check your health parameters on the app and feel good about your recovery from the two weeks crisis with COVID-19 four months back, when during the home quarantine your only connection with the world was virtual. As the day ends, the family gathers to talk to friends on a video chat, the kids watch the movie you downloaded earlier, and dinner is done. A quick read of a few pages on your online book while listening to your playlist as you settle into your bed at the end of just another day in the last 12 months!

Yes, it’s amazing to see life’s continued momentum in the midst of the global pandemic crisis.

Can you spot the two common threads running through this narrative? You and the Cloud!

In the hustle and bustle of life-in-a-pandemic, we realize how resilient each of us is. You are Resilient. And the Cloud empowers your resilience.

Think about it, all our providers adapted to offer services remotely, and we adapted too in a short time. This ability to adopt technology and integrate it into almost every aspect of our lives is what we call Tech Intensity. Today every company is a tech company. We are in a hyper-tech-adoption mode. Organizations worldwide are building digital infrastructure, changing business models, and adopting best-in-class technology to develop unique digital capabilities.

Powering Tech Intensity is the Cloud! With the Cloud, we have a common platform on which everyone can innovate and apply their unique needs and solutions. This is based on an underlying foundation of trust in the Cloud as a platform. On the assumption that providers will be able to apply their unique IP. And, on trust that the consumer will be able to adapt to new forms of services.

Every organization and every industry will need to embrace Tech Intensity to be successful. The way we embrace it will define who we are, what we are capable of, and how we accelerate progress. Case-in-point (or cases-in-point): AirJaldi, an enterprise that aims to take easy, affordable internet access to the most remote parts of the country. Or Karo Sambhav that is tackling India’s massive e-waste challenge. Or v-shesh that is committed to providing digital skills to people with disabilities. Or Social Alpha that aims to accelerate the growth of healthcare startups. Or individuals like Namya Joshi and Ranjitsinh Disale blazing trails of change in the education sector. The examples of how we are adopting technology to provide solutions and services across the country are astounding.

We have an opportunity to position India as a global hub for Data and AI, enabling investment, jobs, and innovation. Increased domestic adoption of data and AI services will accelerate investment in building capabilities that can be exported globally. This in fact is a half-a-trillion opportunity! According to a recent NASSCOM report, we can add 450-500 billion to India’s GDP by 2025… if we capitalize on data and AI technologies. If I think of some of the examples I listed earlier, it’s an excellent start to capturing 500 billion!

Tech intensity is a permanent part of our lives now, firmly embedded in the very fabric of our day-to-day living. It will only continue to accelerate from this point on. To further it, we need to build a powerful ecosystem with the government and industry. This will bolster cloud-led data and AI innovation, create a robust ecosystem of trust and security, allow us to explore new business models and partnerships, and strengthen the country’s digital infrastructure.

We’ve shown remarkable resilience in the last 12 months. At the center of digital and technological adoption, capability and progress, is you. Enabled by cloud-enabled Tech Intensity! This bodes very well for the next decade of economic growth.

We have a responsibility to make good of the promise of technology. And, prepare for a future where each of us has an equal chance to participate in success.

Resilience is us! Backed by some fantastic technology. Now, we’ve got to keep pace and keep going, because the future is ours for the taking.

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