Thougths on the Business Applications Summit
From the 9th to the 11th of June we were part of the amazing Business Applications Summit where 5000 people gathered as a community to learn about Vision, Strategy, Technology, Business and much more.
Among the topics discussed, one of the most recurrent was the Digital Feedback Loop.
Business Processes have not fundamentally changed since 1971. But Digital Transformation is about to change that. It’s estimated that organizations have 4 years before they need to change their business processes or they may go out of business.
In spite of that, Digital Transformation is a Journey not a Master Move.
With digital transformation there is also the advent of ‘Citizen Developers’. The workforce inside these transforming organizations which are empowered to build the applications they need with business processes knowledge but not necessarily coding skills. In that sense, there is a huge backlog of business applications organizations always wanted to build but never had the time nor the budget. Now citizen developers can fill the gaps with their new capabilities. On the other hand more technical business units such as the IT Department or traditionally technological partners should change to encompass this transformation. Not only technical skills are required but also arises the need for better soft skills and above all, business process skills. These new actors should be able to turn from Engineering Shops into Business Partners. The key to that is to becoming Customer Obsessed as Microsoft Leaders like to say. Organizations want their Business Partners to tell them what they know about the changing industry , their own organization and how we, as business partners, can make them better.
Microsoft embraces this changing vision of the world by building on top of the Data generated by these organizations. Not only by improving business processes but also by infusing them with intelligence to make them perform better.
Azure is the backbone of this strategy. Setting the Platform on which every other solution will stand. They have invested in making it compliant with the highest regulatory standards like GDPR. Also, services delivered by Azure are not just random pieces put together but every piece is part of a major strategy which fits perfectly with each other.
On top of it is the power platform, which allows Citizen Developers and Pro Developers alike, to address business needs with productivity never seen before. It is the tip of the spear of digital transformation. What before may have taken months of development, now can be done in a few weeks or less in a self-service manner by the person who needs it.
While the Power Platform enables building custom solutions, there needs to be a platform aimed at solving the specific business process the areas inside an organization have. That’s where Office 365 and Dynamics 365 step in. They provide a sound platform and context in which the business process can be executed. As with Azure, they integrate perfectly with the Power Platform which provides complimentary services tailored for specific business needs.
The last part of Microsoft strategy for Digital Transformation is the AppSource. A store where Business Partners can have reusable allowing organizations to save costs and reuse knowledge from their industry or units of business.
There were plenty of announcements. Some of them were:
- AI Builder
- AI for Power BI
- Power BI User Interface redesign
- PowerApps Portals
- Wave 2 date for Power Platform and Dynamics
- Power BI paginated reports
- Mixed Reality with Dynamics
- Dynamics Sales Assistant on Teams
I would like to say the experience was enlightening. Not only we are aligned with Microsoft in the path to follow, but also, there are many organizations sharing this “new” view of the world. Most importantly, these organizations are not necessarily technology focused. Technology is not at the center anymore; it’s the organizations and its people that matter most, and how we can reinvent ourselves (yes, through technology) to be empowered.
Last but not least, I’d like to say thank you to the community behind. It was incredible seeing how everyone was willing to help each other. For each piece of the Microsoft Strategy for Digital Transformation there is a great community which helps everyone, no matter who, no matter where; succeed in the journey of Digital Transformation.