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Microsoft CEO – ‘Local opportunity’ in a ‘cloud-first world’

Microsoft Satya Nadella

Microsoft "only makes sense if we can create local opportunity," says Microsoft CEO in his first UK speech

Satya Nadella has said that Microsoft’s future on the global stage “only makes sense if we can create local opportunity.” The Microsoft CEO was speaking at the company’s Future Decoded event in London this morning in his first UK appearance since taking over from Steve Ballmer earlier this year. 

“Technology exists for one primary reason,” said Nadella. “It is to help human potential and augment human potential.” But in order to create what he calls a “mobile first, cloud first world”, businesses need to do more to help create “the mobility of the individual experience” and reinvent productivity. 

“To me, to be able to create these experiences that start with numerous moments in your life and then transcend them into work is one of the core identities of our company,” said Nadella. 

“The other aspect of Microsoft is, how do you approach our work which is a platform approach? One of the things that needs to be done in order to create opportunities [is to] harmonise the interests of our users, IT and developments. So the reinvention of productivity and building out these platforms that create opportunity everywhere are the two main things that we can contribute in this mobile first, cloud first world.”

When asked what the reinvention of productivity actually means in practical terms, Nadella was quick to point to empowerment as the key principal behind his big plan.

“If you look behind what is it that one does in order to create a productive life,” he says, “it’s the empowerment that one needs to have, the freedom one needs to have, because of the software tools or the devices that they use. That’s the ultimate goal.

“To me, it’s about being able to empower every human individual and every organisation to do more and achieve more. It’s not just about doing things, it’s about being and having fulfilment and achievement in life and as an organisation.”

Nadella didn’t make any mention of how the upcoming Windows 10 might play a role in that future, but added that products such as Azure, Microsoft’s cloud platform, and Office 365 were crucical to helping businesses thrive. 

“This interlocking of concepts, capabilities and culture is perhaps what any organisation needs to be able to do in order to be better themselves. And that’s one of the reasons why we have the products that we’re building – Azure or Office 365, these are pretty transformative products and when I talk to customers, they aren’t just looking for new technology. They’re looking for new technology that can be transformative to their business.”

Microsoft’s cloud technology is also enabling start-up companies to “dream of having a global impact”, says Nadella. “Whenever I visit a new country, I’m really intent on looking at what are the local business that we will help to create because of our technology partnerships.” 

Nadella also applauded the UK’s computer science education policies. “I think as more of the human capital is expressed through digital tools, it becomes more important for everyone, so you need to have that inclusiveness. It can’t be something that only the elites do,” he said.

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