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I have been in the technology industry for more than 30 years, so you can imagine the many technological changes I have seen during my career. One reason I have stayed in this industry is because I get to experience the major impact that technological advancements can have on small businesses, large corporations, educational institutions and consumers. Improvements in technology open new opportunities that were once almost unimaginable. We witnessed it when Bill Gates transformed the industry into what at the time seemed unthinkable – a PC on every desk and in every home.
Perhaps the biggest transformation affecting technology today is the transition to the cloud from the previous client-server computing model. The cloud gives businesses efficient ways to reduce IT costs and invest in broad innovation, creating economic growth and new job opportunities. In fact, an IDC study commissioned by Microsoft and released today discovered that cloud computing will help create nearly 1.1 million U.S. jobs by 2015 and that the U.S. accounted for 62 percent of worldwide spending for public IT cloud services last year.
In my current role, I have the unique opportunity to interact with customers across the United States in various industries including manufacturing, education, healthcare, banking and government. I have had many discussions with them about the cloud and how it has helped transform their business and improve economic health. What has come out of those discussions is a customer belief that Microsoft has the best cloud solution to meet their business needs. What I find most interesting is that the efficiencies our customers gain from the cloud can be reinvented in innovation, hiring and development.
For example, one of our customers is a national retailer trying to expand its footprint by being a more innovative, customer service oriented company. By using Microsoft Lync and Exchange (two of our software-as-a-service solutions), the company was able to advance their strategy and improve the level of sales service provided, which helped increase the revenue capture rate of customers. Consequently, the added revenue enabled the company to build more stores and hire more employees – all thanks to the cloud.
Another example that comes to mind is a health care customer that provides consult services to hospitals throughout the United States. This customer relies heavily on cloud infrastructure to not only scale their business, but to help their clients see more patients. After adopting Dynamics CRM Online, the company increased its efficiency of consults, which led to a significant reduction in costs they were then able to apply towards hiring new employees and growing their business.
These are just two examples of the many discussions I have had with customers about how optimizing for the cloud has allowed them to focus on what they do best, be more agile and meet their customers’ needs more effectively. Given the current difficult economic environment, every business is looking to empower their people, reduce costs, improve their customer connections and create new opportunities through their technology investments.
When it comes to the cloud, Microsoft is “All In” – helping customers realize the benefits from one of the most profound transformations in computing history. But leading with the cloud also has the potential of doing much more – improving economic health in the U.S. and all over the world. And that is why I am proud to work for Microsoft.
Posted by Robert YoungjohnsPresident, Microsoft North America