The past few years saw the role of technology taking center stage in conversations both among people and organizations across the globe, from how it enables remote working and learning, to how it empowers borderless collaboration and supports business continuity.
At the recent Bersama Malaysia: Microsoft Cloud Summit 2022, we put a spotlight on ways the Microsoft Cloud is empowering businesses and organizations from across industries to achieve more. During Ignite this year, our CEO and Chairman, Satya Nadella highlighted five key imperatives for organizations seeking to do more with less with the Microsoft Cloud.
These imperatives were also the focal point of the Microsoft Cloud Summit 2022; providing best practices and sharing perspectives as organizations embark on or accelerate their digital transformation.
1. Be data-driven and optimize with Azure
When we announced our Bersama Malaysia initiative in April last year, one of our key commitments is to establish Microsoft’s first datacenter region in Malaysia to provide trusted cloud services locally and the ability for local organizations to securely store data in-country. Once available, customers will have access to the full Microsoft Cloud which includes Microsoft Azure, Microsoft 365, Dynamics 365, and Power Platform.
Moving to the cloud is the best way to align IT investments to scale with demand, and Microsoft Azure is the most trusted and comprehensive Cloud platform available today. It is the only cloud that supports all organizations and all workloads, from enterprises to start-ups, to highly regulated industries.
Locally, property developer, Sime Darby Property, modernized its systems by moving its servers and core applications to Microsoft Azure, to offer an enhanced experience to its customers. Similarly, telecommunications company, Celcom Axiata Berhad utilized Microsoft’s Cloud Adoption Framework to assess its existing infrastructure, and migrated its workloads to Microsoft Azure. In addition to cost savings and building agility, Microsoft Azure helped accelerate innovation in Celcom whilst providing a more secure data ecosystem. Keeping an eye on the future, Celcom is among the anchor tenants announced for Microsoft’s upcoming datacenter region in Malaysia, alongside PETRONAS.
2. Deliver efficiency with automation and AI
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is already changing the world around us and will continue to transform the way businesses operate today, and in the future. From what an application looks like, to what the design language of an application is, up to how it gets built and delivered to the end user, AI has the power to change this all.
Energy company, PETRONAS, for instance, is leveraging BakerHughesC3.ai’s technology, powered by Microsoft Azure, to help improve PETRONAS’ oil and gas productivity, asset integrity, and safety. Just recently, PETRONAS also announced the establishment of its AI Centre of Excellence in collaboration with global partners, including Microsoft to advance the adoption of AI solutions to improve the efficiency, reliability, and safety of its energy value chain.
3. Innovate with a cloud developer platform
We have seen the rise of compilers and interpreters with the support of AI technology. Likewise, we are confident that AI-assisted coding will fundamentally change the nature of software development.
PLUS Malaysia Berhad, the largest expressway service provider in the nation, began its digital transformation journey with Microsoft in 2019. Having previously relied on manual processes and paper forms, PLUS utilized the tools available via Microsoft Power Platform and succeeded in increasing operational efficiency and reducing costs by developing tools and apps to automate time-consuming manual tasks.
Furthermore, PLUS had previously struggled with legacy applications that were cumbersome to develop and required specialist programming skills. By adopting a low code Microsoft Power Platform, the non-technical teams at PLUS were empowered to build business apps efficiently, thus fostering a culture of continuous innovation.
4. Re-energize your workforce with Microsoft 365
After two years of the pandemic, one thing is clear – hybrid is the future of work, and it is crucial that we address the lessons we have learned over the past couple of years. Our latest Work Trend Index Pulse Report indicates that hybrid work has created a growing disconnect between employees and leaders. To bridge this gap, a new approach is needed that recognizes that working is more than just an activity that takes place in the office, but an experience that can help employees stay engaged and connected no matter where they are working.
Microsoft 365 offers a comprehensive set of tools available to enable employees to unlock productivity wherever they are, continuously collaborate, while staying connected with co-workers. Through Microsoft Learn, employees also have the resources to learn new skills and adapt to the new hybrid work environment.
When the pandemic hit Malaysia, Malaysia Aviation Group (MAG), the parent company of Malaysia Airlines, quickly embraced a digital culture by using Microsoft 365. Skilling programs were conducted via Microsoft Teams Live Events, which saw an uptake of almost 12,000 employees. This enabled workers to reskill for new roles, equipping them with critical digital skills, whilst also increasing employee engagement in the process.
Read more stories on how organizations in Malaysia transitioned to hybrid work during the pandemic:
5. Protect everything, everyone, everywhere
Beyond moving your data to the cloud, it is crucial to know how the data is used, stored, and managed. In fact, the more agile you become, the more your security teams struggle to manage risk. Cybercrime has evolved dramatically and is ever-changing, but the approach to cybersecurity has remained fairly constant. We need to accept that cybersecurity is an infinite game that requires an infinite mindset.
Cognizant of this, Celcom has taken a proactive approach to counter the evolving threat landscape. Since launching their attack simulation training in Microsoft Defender for Office 365, Celcom’s technical staff have saved 70% of the time used to spend on creating simulations manually. The company has set out to change its culture through awareness and training programs – this has significantly raised employees’ guards against potential cyberthreats.
As an organization that views trust as the foundation of everything we do, Microsoft constantly looks for ways to bring more value and simplicity to our customers as we safeguard their privacy on the cyberspace. Recently, we introduced new security solutions to provide organizations with a deeper context into threat actor activity and help them lock down their infrastructure while reducing their overall attack surface. They are the Microsoft Defender Threat Intelligence and Microsoft Defender External Attack Surface Management.
Enhancing digital literacy
To ensure a sustainable and effective digital transformation, the people must be onboard. As part of our Bersama Malaysia initiative, we also announced a commitment to upskill an additional 1 million Malaysians by the end of 2023. To help deliver digital skills and achieve this goal, we partner with organizations from government agencies, non-profit organizations, corporates, as well as education institutions, to name a few.
A prime example of this includes our collaboration with PETRONAS to nurture a sustainable pipeline of an inclusive, future-ready digital workforce through the PETRONAS Digital Academy. To ensure that we reach people of all backgrounds, we also work with non-profit organizations including Biji-biji Enterprise. Our partnership with Biji-biji Enterprise spans over several programs but all for a singular goal – to help enhance employability.
Earlier this year, we also launched the ASEAN Cybersecurity Skilling Programme (ASEANCSP) in collaboration with ASEAN Foundation, to help build awareness and enhance cybersecurity literacy among Malaysians and beyond. The program is aimed to benefit 120 master trainers who will then cascade the training to another 6,000 Malaysian youths.
As the nation’s trusted technology partner for 30 years now, our commitment to Malaysia is not only to accelerate the country’s digital transformation but also ensuring that the people are ready and equipped with the right skills – for an inclusive, innovative, and competitive digital economy – true to our mission to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.
The Bersama Malaysia: Microsoft Cloud Summit 2022 welcomed more than 500 delegates across the two-day event, and showcased over 15 partners’ innovative technologies from Cloud, hybrid work, and security solutions to Mixed Reality using Microsoft HoloLens.