How Intelligent Cloud Can Help to Build Intelligent Enterprises

Today’s businesses are striving to be more intuitive, responsive, agile and efficient – in a nutshell, more intelligent. Technologies like machine learning, artificial intelligence, business intelligence, smart contracts, virtual/augmented reality and intelligent infrastructure are at the core of this enhanced ‘intelligence’ that transforms a standard business into a visionary enterprise. And it is only through ‘Intelligent Cloud’ that this extra edge can be achieved.

How Intelligent Cloud Is Laying the Foundation for Intelligent Enterprise

What is Intelligent Cloud and how is it being used?

“Intelligent Cloud, Intelligent Edge” is Microsoft’s motto as they take their “Cloud First, Mobile First” theme to the next level. The ‘edge’ refers to the competitive advantage that businesses get by leveraging the insight drawn from the data that each of their devices/platform/sources generate.

In simpler terms, Intelligent Cloud is Microsoft’s urge to businesses for adopting platforms and solutions driven by Artificial Intelligence (A.I). Take Microsoft’s Cortana for example. This AI-powered digital assistant is designed to help individuals get more organized and therefore, more productive. From booking dates and scheduling meetings to suggesting newer routes depending on weather and traffic conditions, from sharing files to connecting one with other team members for a virtual meeting, Cortana’s proactive A.I. powered functionality can do it all.

Intelligent Cloud, Intelligent Edge - Microsoft
Source: Microsoft

As the world gets increasingly digital, innovation is no longer an option, it is an indispensable criterion for sustainable growth. Intelligent Cloud is one such technology that doesn’t just aim to help enterprises become more intuitive and value-driven but can even be used to help turn the world into a better place. Here’s how:

With exponential use in compute powers, the amount of data being constantly drawn from various devices has also increased. As a result, developers are now empowered to analyze this data and draw actionable knowledge from it for constant improvement. The combination of multi-device data and AI is driving an unprecedented paradigm shift in how cloud have been used by businesses till now and how it is going to be used in the future.

Intelligent Cloud is maturing to provide businesses with greater insights:

With an increasing number of organizations looking for better insights to drive greater business value, it has become all the more evident that the era of Intelligent Cloud has started. Decision makers in the C-suite are now keen on reaching beyond descriptive analytics that their current business intelligence solutions already provide them with. As Intelligent Cloud matures, it is enabling them to extract greater insights from a variety of data sources and effectively bridge the gaps between predictive, prescriptive and cognitive analytics. It is thus facilitating better decision-making and, in turn, enhancing business outcomes. The following Intelligent Cloud maturity model shows how better insights are being achieved today:

Intelligent Cloud Maturity Model
Source: Forbes

What are the business areas that Intelligent Cloud is effectively improving?

  • Streamline business processes: The Intelligent Cloud platform connects and analysis data from multiple processes in different departments, thereby helping businesses to bridge the gap in communication and collaboration, eliminate bottlenecks, optimize resource utilization, reduce the cash cycle time and significantly lessen the time required to respond to market conditions.
  • Data alignment across multiple applications: The platform can help to combine and automate multiple applications dealing with crucial data like customer behavior patterns, sales compensation, rebates and promotions. By aligning data across multiple applications and storing all information in a centralized database, it can help the sales teams to refine their strategies for better results.
  • Optimize online revenue: The Intelligent Cloud platform enhances multiple enterprise channels including partner sales, service delivery and self-serve websites. It simplifies an omni-channel of customer transactions and enables businesses to optimize online revenue and enhance customer experience.
  • Easy integration with existing systems: The Intelligent Cloud platform can quickly integrate with a business’ existing CRM & ERP systems, thereby helping them to improve efficiency, optimize operations without having to bear the extra cost of procuring, implementing and maintaining new software and infrastructure.

It is now evident that the time of first-generation Cloud technologies is over. Intelligent Cloud has opened up a whole new world of unlimited possibilities for today’s businesses. Empowering perceptive devices with virtually limitless Cloud computing power can help enterprises design not just impactful solutions but also immersive experiences. Naturally with such high level of computational power, there is much emphasis on the need use that power responsibly. Thus, at the 2017 Build Conference, Satya Nadella stated he thinks people should be “empowered with technology,” but also cautioned, “Building trust in technology is crucial.”

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