The annual Microsoft partner event ‘Inspire’ took place on 14 and 15 July. At Inspire, Microsoft presents its latest news and vision for the IT market. As a Microsoft partner, Broad Horizon is happy to share the latest in IT technology with you through a series of blogs about Microsoft Inspire 2021. In this blog post, we look at current cloud trends and show what impact they have on your business. We hope you’ll enjoy this post!
Catalyst for digital innovation
Cloud computing has become a key component of the modern technology landscape. The cloud has rapidly evolved from a promise to a new standard. Cloud computing is the basis for a heap of applications we use today; it has contributed enormously to developments in many areas. Think about working independent of location, but with access to applications and data anywhere, or the conferencing and video calling apps that we’ve all been using so heavily since the pandemic.
Cloud developments and related breakthroughs in AI, edge computing, and IoT are accelerating the digital transformation process that many organizations are currently undergoing.
Blending of worlds
Many organizations have already moved to the cloud or are about to, but are still looking for the best way to structure it for their organization. In the past, moving to the cloud often meant choosing a public or private cloud. These days, the cloud landscape looks different – especially when it comes to choices. The need to make applications and data available anytime, anywhere is driving the hybrid cloud’s growing popularity. The hybrid cloud is exactly what the name suggests: a blending of the previous – and mostly separate – worlds of public and private cloud, often supplemented by a bit of on-premises from the past.
The hybrid cloud ideally combines the best of several worlds, which makes it possible to work in a completely different way Possibilities include:
- offering and purchasing a hugely diverse spectrum of remote IT services.
- Windows in the cloud using a Windows Virtual Desktop. This way, you have all Windows’ features at your disposal without making additional investments in expensive hardware.
- Edge computing Edge computing means that the information is processed at the edge of the network. Data and the eventual delivery of the processed information are also collected close to the sources. What is the big advantage of this technology? You process data faster, have real-time information, and save bandwidth.
- You also store data, documents, and applications in the best place possible. For example, you can run generally accessible and frequently used applications in the public cloud, but store private or business-critical data in a highly protected private cloud.
Thanks to developments in cloud technology and hybrid cloud technology, the entire process of technological innovation is accelerating even faster. This makes it easier for companies from all industries to respond to new markets, and (partly due to COVID-19) changing customer needs and market demands with new business models and an improved technology landscape.
The added value of Microsoft: an integrated cloud ecosystem
One major achievement of Microsoft is being one of the first parties to bring together all cloud components, previously separate entities, into one dynamic and integrated cloud ecosystem. For example, with Dynamics 365, Microsoft is eliminating product segmentation. Instead, you get a full business platform that runs entirely in the Azure cloud and integrates effortlessly with Teams, all trusted Office programs, Power Apps, and Power BI.
The result? You have all the information flows in one place, and there is one version for everyone in the organization. In addition, you get the best out of various releases and make the most of the immense increase in the technical possibilities that are so characteristic of the digital age. Microsoft cloud is also very secure. Besides a secure cloud environment, Microsoft cloud services are always up to date and protected from the latest cyber threats.
Cloud news from Inspire 2021
Microsoft presented a number of interesting new cloud developments at Inspire 2021. Below are some of the topics that were discussed.
Cloud PCs run Windows 365
Microsoft announced the arrival of Windows 365 at Inspire. This means that the company will offer Windows 10 and 11 (available later this year) as cloud services, and you will get the full Windows experience in the cloud across all of your devices. This paves the way for a new type of PC: the cloud PC. This is a hybrid device that uses the power of the cloud and the capabilities of a device to create a personalized Windows experience.
New and improved capabilities for cloud migration
At Inspire, Microsoft also unveiled new capabilities for simplifying migration to the cloud. A good example of this is App Containerization. This tool packages apps into containerized apps using the Azure Kubernetes Service or Azure App Service containers.
Free access to Dynamics 365 from Teams
Microsoft Teams users can now view and edit Dynamics 365 for free from Teams, even if they don’t have a Dynamics 365 license. In this way, Microsoft wants to give customers more flexibility in order to boost productivity. Any employee with a Teams license can now view data in Dynamics 365 directly from Teams. Access rights ensure that sensitive data can only be accessed by authorized employees who have the required credentials.
This is how Broad Horizon assists
Microsoft’s hybrid ecosystem accommodates virtually everything you need to adapt your processes and digital infrastructure to modern-day needs. But inevitably, you will have to deal with internal changes. For example, migrating your IT landscape to the cloud, taking a different approach to purchasing software (by choosing subscriptions instead of looking for the best partial solutions externally), or handling system management in-house, which in the future can be done in full or part by Microsoft.
This means taking a close look at how you set up your hybrid infrastructure to optimize its technical potential. Broad Horizon helps you do this by acting as the connector and catalyst for these changes. We’d happily help you get the maximum benefit from your hybrid cloud environment. In doing so, we focus on a balanced combination of standard solutions and organization-specific customization. Please contact us to learn more about what we can do for your organization.
Current cloud trends
Finally, it’s also worth taking a look at a few of the cloud trends that Microsoft and Broad Horizon have been seeing lately. Below are the three most important ones.
1.Technology is getting closer to the user
The first trend we’re seeing is that technology and cloud technology is getting closer to the user. Users need to have the right tools and know how to use them. That’s why digital adoption is vital. Microsoft knows this as well. That’s why Microsoft is increasingly focused on end users in order to develop and improve its products and features and make IT more accessible. Take the Power Platform, which also allows end users with little knowledge of IT to build beautiful and functional apps themselves.
2. Data as a catalyst for digital transformation
Data is increasingly at the core of new business models and digital transformation processes. And given the massive increase in data use, how you manage this data is becoming ever more important. Microsoft’s Power BI actively addresses this need: it’s a program primarily focused on visualizing and making data and Customer Insights more accessible.
Sustainability is also becoming a hot topic. How can we maximize the use of information technology without leaving a large ecological footprint? This is an important question for many companies and one that, for example, comes back in debates about building more and more data centres in North Holland. The new Microsoft Cloud for Sustainability helps achieve CO2 reduction and sustainability goals, as organizations can use the cloud solution to capture, report, and reduce their emissions. The platform therefore supports organizations on their journey towards becoming a zero-emission organization.
Want to know more?
If you would like to learn more about the hybrid cloud and the features Microsoft and Broad Horizon offer in this area, feel free to contact us with no obligation to buy. You can call 088 008 3500 or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
This blog is part of a series of blogs about Microsoft Inspire 2021.