Achieving success in challenging times

Achieving success in challenging times

Businesses in every industry face a challenging year ahead, with everything from supply chain challenges to the threat of recession creating a volatile economy. However, Microsoft and its partners are empowering enterprises with the digital technologies they need to become more resilient and remain innovative and competitive

Andy Clayton-Smith, Executive Editor, Technology Record

With 2022 drawing to a close, economic forecasts for the year ahead are, at best, challenging. The ongoing conflict in Ukraine, a slower than anticipated re-emergence of the Chinese economy from Covid-19 lockdown and the threat of recession looming large across a growing number of countries has led many leading industry analysts to predict growth in worldwide markets of no more than two per cent for the coming year. During this period of uncertainty industry and civic leaders around the globe are looking to technology in a bid to drive productivity, improve operational efficiency and reduce costs, while further improving both the employee and customer experience.

Many organisations are expected to increase their investments in rapidly evolving artificial intelligence technology. In the cover story of our newly published Winter 2022 issue of Technology Record, we discuss how Microsoft and its partners are driving the evolution of artificial intelligence, the cloud and augmented reality solutions to empower businesses to do more with Lili Cheng, corporate vice president for AI and research, and Darren Bennett, worldwide general manager of mixed reality applications. A selection of the corporation’s leading partners also showcase a broad spectrum of industry solutions and services.

Elsewhere, we hear how weaving together digital and physical environments is enabling manufacturers to optimise processes, predict business outcomes and elevate the customer experience from Indranil Sircar, chief technology officer of manufacturing and supply chain at Microsoft. Meanwhile, Shelley Bransten, Microsoft’s global vice president for retail and consumer goods, explains how digital technology is empowering retail brands to build resilient and agile operating models, thereby driving innovation and competitiveness at all levels. The feature also profiles some of the key solutions that both Microsoft and its partners are bringing to the retail arena.

In addition, we find out how technologies from Microsoft and its partners are helping today’s financial services leaders to strike a careful balance between driving greater efficiencies and consistently improving both the customer and employee experience. And Microsoft’s principal program manager Leonard Arul and broadcast media architect Scott Davis discuss how personalised media services could improve both revenue and experiences for audiences.

Other highlights include an interview with Microsoft’s chief partner officer and corporate vice president of global partner solutions Nicole Dezen who discusses how the firm’s Cloud Partner Program is helping businesses navigate the tumultuous landscape, as well as an interview with technology industry analyst Jeff Kagan who predicts how the metaverse will evolve in the enterprise environment.

We also share case studies and thought leadership from Microsoft partners in various industry verticals, focusing on topics such as cybersecurity, decarbonisation, hybrid working, the industrial metaverse, digital twins, omnichannel retail, connected urban transport, unified communications, and more.

There is no doubt that there are unpredictable times ahead, but this issue of Technology Record brings encouraging news of industry and public sector leaders rising to the challenge of the coming year through the adoption of exciting new technology tools.