We spoke with our Technical Director, Adriaan Bekker after he returned from his visit in Washington D.C. to attend the Microsoft Inspire event. He was among 17,000 other attendees from around the world and from a wide range of organisations visiting the event.

Which Talks Did You Attend?
There was a continuous stream of talks to attend, many of the ones I went to were about Microsoft Azure, GDPR, their new solutions including Microsoft 365 Business and Microsoft 365 Enterprise. A lot of information was provided on how to utilise Azure technology properly moving forward and how to build a business on Microsoft Azure. Their focus for the future is for everything to become cloud based as they see it’s the way forward. It was announced that they would spend time and resources to further develop the cloud solutions offered by Microsoft. The GDPR talks were quite interesting as it was said that Microsoft will be GDPR compliant and that they are helping their customers achieve it as well. This means they will be the first vendor who are committing to becoming GDPR compliant. They’ve launched a range of resources on GDPR on the Microsoft trust site, this includes guidance for partners and organisations achieve GDPR compliance. The resources include a compliance section, questionnaires and other tools are being made available. Other than attending the talks, it was a great time to network and meet other partners to gain a different perspective on how other organisations are building solutions. It’s always fascinating to get more insight from other Microsoft Partners.

What Will The Next 1, 3 And 5 Years Entail For Cloud Computing?
The cloud will need to be embraced fully by organisations around the world, as everything will be cloud based. It was announced that more data centres have already been built in Africa which will go live soon, and more data centres are going to be built around the world to increase its power and what you could be doing. Once you’ve made the move to the cloud and migrated fully, Microsoft’s focus will be the user experience. It’ll be about the users, what they can achieve and more emphasis on collaborations. Their aim is to empower the users in their community. In regards to Security as a Service (SaaS), you will have full control of its security. Moving forward, Microsoft will be handing over encryption keys to their customers which means the customer will oversee their data. If that key is lost, the data is gone, and there’s no way of bringing that data back as the only thing that will decrypt and read the data is the key.

What Talk Did You Find The Most Beneficial?
I found the security sessions around Microsoft the most useful as it’s interesting to see what they are doing in regards to security. It’s inspirational to see how Microsoft are working with organisations around the world, using technology that benefits and helps real people to make a difference. It’s not always clear when or where they use their technology as we might not be aware of it but after it was shown in more detail during the event, it’s inspiring to see what difference it can make across the world. Instead of just keeping systems running, they are utilising all this new technology to help businesses achieve more.

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