This post is part of a series of updates on MS Ignite. At the time of posting, it’s partway through day one.
The day is going by fast, and we’ve already heard several big announcements alongside multiple newer products that got us pretty excited. Each is worthy of its own post, but we’ll summarize them here.
- Azure: Quantum, Serverless Computing, Autonomous Systems, Arcs
- Power Platform, #poweraddicts, and Power Automate
- Bing internal (intraorganizational) search & Edge upgrades
Let’s break those down into some more digestible parts.
The Azure landscape has shifted forward so suddenly and with such great momentum that I’m sure others like me were left reeling a bit. Here’s a quick summary of some of the bigger Azure-related announcements.
More-super-than-supercomputers, quantum computing allows for the rapid collection and crunching of complex data. Those most likely to benefit from Azure Quantum are enterprise-level businesses.
Azure Serverless Computing
There are 54 Azure regions and 130,000 miles of fiber. With all of that infrastructure in place, businesses can focus on other tasks, such as developing apps, rather than on creating and configuring the foundation those apps rely upon. Azure has been defined as a managed data service that is multi-cloud, meaning we can run Azure pipelines on Amazon- and Google-owned clouds with Azure Arcs (more on that in a bit).
Today, autonomous systems rely on intervention to control them. However, Microsoft aims to teach the controllers to communicate with machines so machines can eventually self-regulate.
Microsoft has a history of ethics in considering how technology affects human lives.Satya Nadella
Technology is always a platform and a tool; as we learn and grow, so must the tools with which we work. And now tools learn with us, so we can advance together.
Microsoft is integrating hardware with Azure to bring the platform to the edge–meaning to the area where we capture data that we then send to a data center to process.
Organizational empowerment seems to be driving this initiative, which we fully celebrate. Azure Arc is intended to let you use central auditing and deployment of combined on-prem and cloud servers.
Power Platform and #PowerAddicts
The goal of the Power Platform is that anyone can take on the developer role. The excitement and empowerment that has come from this platform have built its own community self-named #PowerAddicts, who thrive on the self-reliability and low barrier to entry that enables people to improve their organization’s competitiveness. At the conference, it was estimated that there will be 500 million new applications built by 2023. That’s more than have been built in the past 40 years.
An interesting concept, Power Automate is the capture of keyboard inputs via screen interaction so the machine can perform the task. Here again, we see a movement toward autonomous systems, this time on the side of the screen. Repetitive tasks can be made more efficient with Power Automate.
Bing and Edge
Bing’s Intraorganizational Search
Now, searching in Bing can turn up results from within your organization. The example given was of a colleague trying to find the information given to her by another colleague. When she searched for her peer, information came up regarding recent documents, interactions, and the individual in question. Again, this application seems more enterprise-focused.
As many may be thrilled to hear, Edge is now twice as fast as its former self.
- The democratization of digital technology: The idea of a “citizen developer” concretizes the digital democracy concept. Between the Power Platform and multi-cloud, multi-arc nature of Azure, Microsoft is truly trying to help all people and organizations be digitally current and competitive.
- Apps are where it’s at. With all of that Azure infrastructure in place, we don’t need to worry about server management as much. We’re going to see a tremendous rise in app development and usage as businesses can flex their developer muscles and let their infrastructure muscles take a rest.
- Security is now foundational, not revolutionary. Change happens rapidly, yet normalization of those changes still suffers a lag. Now more than ever are cybersecurity policies critical to an organization–not because the giants are talking about them, but because the giants aren’t talking about them, except as a natural part of an existing system. Security is no longer an option, though, in truth, it hasn’t been an option in a long while; it’s been a necessity.
That’s what we have for you for now! Stay tuned as we gather more information and learn more about what’s next for Microsoft in the coming year.