Top 3 AI takeaways for leaders from Microsoft Ignite

  • Posted on November 20, 2023
  • Estimated reading time 5 minutes
top three takeaways from Microsoft ignite

In conversations with clients, there is a pressing drive to be AI ready and harness the power of AI copilots, especially as new global Avanade AI Readiness research of 3,000 IT and business professionals reveals that 92% need to shift to an AI-first operating model in the next 12 months to stay competitive. While there is general agreement that this shift needs to be fast to keep pace with generative AI, many leaders are looking for guidance to do so effectively and responsibly. Microsoft put on a show of force at Ignite, walking through a fully integrated stack from silicon to copilots and offering flexibility across that stack to rotate with AI and evolve your organization’s transformation. Here are my top three takeaways:

  1. With Microsoft Fabric, there’s a better way to build your secure AI foundation
    One of the key takeaways from Ignite was that a strong data platform is essential to scale AI and unlock its full potential. But today, only 48% of surveyed professionals fully trust the results of AI. To help organizations build the data foundation they need to achieve AI outcomes, Microsoft announced the general availability of Fabric, a data platform that simplifies and unifies all your data on Azure, building a single source of truth that powers data-driven insights, decision-making, and AI innovation.

    At Avanade, we are fluent in Fabric. We've been working closely with Microsoft and our clients to explore the its capabilities and benefits, and we are ready to help you transform your data landscape with Fabric. We've also implemented the world’s largest Microsoft Fabric platform across Accenture and Avanade to fuel our own data transformation generative AI innovation – lessons we will share with clients through the most comprehensive suite of Fabric offerings and expertise in the market.

    What does this mean for you? It means that you can rely on Avanade to help you modernize your data platform, accelerate your business value and supercharge your people with AI. Whether you're exploring AI use cases, or considering the criteria for your next data, analytics and AI platform, we can help you explore what's possible through our data modernization capabilities. Explore our Microsoft Fabric offers on Azure Marketplace today.

  2. Don’t wait - now is the time to understand the impact and value of Microsoft Copilot
    We are now in the era of AI copilots. Microsoft Copilot is a suite of AI-powered companions to help us work smarter and faster with our enterprise tools. Microsoft Copilot uses generative AI to provide suggestions, insights and automation for tasks such as writing emails, creating presentations, managing sales and coding applications. While most expect Microsoft Copilot to impact up to half of their work week, our global survey also indicates that 63% of professionals will need new skills to seize its benefits, and almost all (98%) believe support is needed to train employees to use generative AI.

    There is a right way and a wrong way to roll out Microsoft Copilot, but Avanade has been at the forefront scaling it up for ourselves and for organizations across the world. As part of the early access program and design advisory council for several Copilot products, we’ve been using Copilot internally to improve our own work processes and outcomes. We’ve been measuring and experiencing the benefits of Copilot in ways that extend beyond time-savings; as seen in our Microsoft 365 Copilot case study, early analysis indicates that results include improved employee satisfaction and well-being, collaboration and teamwork, problem resolution and creative thinking.

    What does this mean for you? It means that Avanade can help you integrate Copilot in a safe, secure and responsible way and help prepare your people, processes and platforms for the future of work. We believe that AI-first is people-first. By prioritizing people over technology, you can supercharge your employees to be and do their best with support and training for AI tools. To share our learnings with clients, we offer a comprehensive suite of Microsoft Copilot services across Microsoft 365, Dynamics 365, Security and more to help you onboard your new AI-powered work assistant. Moreover, we can help with AI governance and a responsible AI framework to accelerate safe experimentation and ensure that your AI adoption aligns with your corporate values and social responsibility.

  3. Use an Azure digital advisor to target outcomes and value of AI with Avanade Cloud Impact
    AI does not come cheap. It’s critical that organizations understand their cloud and AI spend against their investments to target business outcomes and use cases. At Ignite, Microsoft showcased how Azure OpenAI, a service that provides access to powerful generative AI models, can help build custom AI solutions that address specific needs and challenges. But organizations might need help to understand how to make those connections across value while realizing savings that can be reinvested in growth.

    At Avanade, we can help you unlock use cases and value between Azure OpenAI and Microsoft Copilot and achieve a cost-optimized and AI-ready cloud through our Avanade Cloud Impact expert service and insights platform. It delivers rich insights and tailored recommendations across cost, business risk, technical debt and sustainability. Clients are already seeing benefits like savings of up to 50% of their cloud spend while gaining a route to AI readiness.

    What does this mean for you? It means that we can help you align your AI strategy and execution to your desired outcomes and value, and to help you measure and optimize your AI performance and impact. We help you identify and prioritize the most valuable and feasible AI use cases for your business, and we help you implement and scale them with Azure OpenAI and Microsoft Copilot.

    More fuel for your AI journey
    Microsoft Ignite 2023 was a fantastic event that showcased the power and potential of AI to transform organizations and people. Avanade was honored to be part of it – from client panels to podcasts and demos, and even offering our own generative AI aquarium experience onsite - to share our vision and capabilities for helping our clients do what matters with a strong AI Foundation, Microsoft Copilot and by gaining more value from Azure. As a responsible business leader, we are committed to working with our clients to drive value and make a genuine human impact with AI.

    Curious about our latest research on the impact of Microsoft Copilot, and how to ready your organization with a strong AI foundation? Register for our Digital IQ learning series, including our upcoming webinar Digital IQ: Get ready to work with your AI copilot.

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