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Microsoft in Business Blogs

Man with a face mask looking out the windowLast month, I participated in a fireside chat at the Managed Funds Association (MFA) Data Conference with my colleague, Mike Triolo, Head of Cloud and Transformation within Microsoft’s financial services business, to discuss our perspectives on the cloud post COVID-19.

After nearly 30 years on Wall Street, I’ve witnessed how technology has impacted every part of the financial services industry. From what I’ve seen, firms that use technology well achieve extraordinary outcomes.

Technology provides a set of building blocks that can be assembled into unique, innovative solutions that drive concrete business growth.

With people living and working more digitally, global corporate spending on cloud services has jumped 30% from a year ago. At the height of the pandemic, our CEO Satya Nadella said that, “We’ve seen two years’ worth of digital transformation in two months.”

Weathering the COVID-19 pandemic

We’ve seen firms worldwide navigate three phases in recent months: “respond,” “recover,” and “reimagine.” We’ve also found that cloud-mature firms were more agile and resourceful in leveraging the elasticity and reliability of the cloud to respond to the pandemic.

For example, a large property and casualty insurer moved 40,000 call center employees to remote working in just three days with Microsoft Teams and Office 365. Also, a wealth manager quickly spun up Azure compute to perform extensive risk calculations to navigate market volatility.

Future-proofing your business

The shift to digital business models during the pandemic has only added urgency to the need for swift and widespread cloud adoption. We advocate that firms “reimagine” through cloud innovation as they “recover” to future-proof their businesses.

The imperative isn’t just to transform, but to improve agility, resiliency, and stability.

An important but often overlooked aspect of any digital transformation is a firm’s employees. We recognize the importance of upskilling your employees. For this reason, Microsoft has introduced skilling programs for our customers including our AI Business School, deep technical certification tracks for cloud architects and data scientists.

Data is your most valuable asset

Capital markets are the most data-driven industry. Firms must acknowledge data as their most valuable asset. During the pandemic, we have seen firms challenged by the peaks in the proliferation of data and speed of events. Our artificial intelligence/machine learning (AI/ML) solutions enable firms to capture real-time analytics. Firms also both store and analyze data to generate meaningful insights in a secure and compliant way.

  • Intelligent Edge is an expanding set of connected systems and devices that gather and analyze data close to your users, the data, or both. This technology has transformed the Department of Defense’s remote troop deployment process.
  • Confidential Computing will enable firms to take the training of their machine-learning models to the next level where firms could use each other’s data sets to train a model while ensuring the confidentiality of each firm’s data.
  • Cognitive Services Platform is the most widely used AI/ML platform. Firms use optical character recognition (OCR) to digitize research reports and our Speech-to-Text platform to turn voice into researchable insights.
  • ADRM, a data modeling company, was recently acquired by Microsoft to strengthen our data capabilities for unique industries such as the alternative investments space.
  • Github, the largest code repository in the world, is launching an enterprise-managed service that will provide firms in highly regulated industries greater security, more compliance with data privacy and sovereignty requirements, and increased access and user controls.

Connect to learn more about our secure solutions

Our end-to-end, integrated portfolio of cloud solutions across Microsoft 365, Dynamics 365, and Azure—together with the Microsoft Power Platform—are built on a foundation of security and privacy. Our data and machine-learning capabilities can be used by nontechnical users and the most advanced data scientists.

We stand ready to work with you to explore these solutions. We are equipped to help every firm build resilience, improve their bottom line, and achieve better returns on investment.

Please reach out to me at shaka.rasheed@microsoft.com to learn more about how to partner with us.

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