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Purpose driven digital: Supporting our customers' success

I registered for Microsoft’s annual conference, Inspire, back in May and, alongside the development of core technologies like Dynamics and Microsoft 365, my main interest was in hearing how Microsoft planned to (I assumed) rapidly re-pivot their strategy and platform, to continue to experience the phenomenal financial and technological performance that Microsoft has seen under the stewardship of Satya Nadella since 2014, in a post-Covid world.

As with most things in 2020, I should have learned not to ‘assume’ because, well, you know…

Modern technology strategy

My team and I have been working closely with our customers and new business prospects on adapting their technology strategy, and re-prioritising projects since lockdown rapidly changed the game.

 

What I have noticed, is how much faster this process is for businesses who had a technology strategy in place pre-Covid, compared to those who simply had a list of projects to achieve over time. This doesn’t need to be a big document (some of the best ones I’ve seen fit on a single page, like the above) but the important things are that the board understand and buy into the strategy, of technology as a driving force in achieving the organisational strategy, and that anyone in the business can follow the thread from an individual project, all the way back up the chain to the objective it is supporting. If the project doesn’t support a business objective, it has no purpose and shouldn’t go ahead. If it ticks the boxes, it should.

This was called out in the Inspire keynote, with Judson Althoff championing ‘purpose driven digital’ as the approach both partners and customers should be taking, to maximise the value businesses get from technology, but also as a tool to make fast decisions in line with company objectives. Less faff, more purposeful action.

In addition to the above, Microsoft has now extended the definition of ‘purpose’ to societal change as well as business.

For one of the largest corporations on the planet, this was a welcome addition to their keynote, and it’s clear to see that Microsoft is putting its money where its mouth is on this, with the huge investment in the accessibility of its cloud solutions and the carbon negative by 2030 goal.

What does this mean for TSG’s approach?

TSG uses what we call ‘the Microsoft story’ as our core design tenet, when architecting solutions for our customers.

There is a long answer as to why, but the short answer is that regardless of your sector, your organisational strategy or your technology strategy – there is no more feature rich, more flexible or better value platform on the market.  

That said, the power of this platform and approach for our customers, is not the functionality of an individual product (as good as they are, see Andrew W’s and Andrew F’s blogs), it’s the standardisation and interconnectivity that the end-to-end platform provides, with the security, remote access and resilience provided by Microsoft.

The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

So, what does this mean for our ‘Microsoft story’ design tenet, how we build technology strategies for customers, and how Microsoft ‘re-pivots’ its strategy and platform? Fundamentally, no change is needed – yes, the projects and their priority must change, but the strategy and approach remains intact.

Microsoft’s and TSG’s strategies are anchored firmly to the objectives and success of our customers. Regardless of what that is for an individual customer, affected by Covid-19 or not, our approach and the ever-maturing Microsoft platform is capable of quickly and securely supporting those objectives.

In a world where ‘the new normal’ seems to be perpetual upheaval and change, organisations looking to adapt should take comfort in the stability, resilience, and flexibility of the Microsoft story; I certainly do.