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Deciding on business outcomes with Microsoft three clouds

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With Microsoft where I work (disclosure) currently running several employee and partner related events (Ready and Inspire) with many new announcements, I felt the need for some sense making. This DanelDoodle (and Data Doodle) is the culmination of that. More in the breakdowns below.

The basis for a lot of the constructs come from Gartner and Microsoft. There’s a bit to unpack so let me handle them one by one:

Gartner’s decision making framework

This is the source (a full report can be downloaded from there but requires registration): Executive Decision Making in the Time of COVID-19.

The things that I liked about this framework are four-fold:

  • Executives as the audience. As far as decision making goes, you cannot go higher and with more relevance than with those running a company. But this framework can apply to all business audiences.
  • Decision making as context. This is fundamentally what it all boils down to every day in business, decisions being made on the fly and what you uses as a basis for making them
  • Business outcomes as context. Although a lot of what Microsoft focuses on is technology, the order is always that this follows the business outcome you are trying to achieve with the technology. This framework clearly focuses on business aspects but Gartner also brings technology into it with relevant examples. More detail is covered in the report.
  • COVID-19 as context. This does not mean the three sets of criteria in their decision framework cannot apply in normal circumstances. They can and should and are really good ones but they are particularly applicable currently.

Microsoft technology framework

All of these are covered by Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella in this recent post on LinkedIn: Reimagining our world together.

  • Tech Intensity. Probably easiest to read my sense making post with DanelDoodle on this topic here (including the link to another defining post by Satya): Tech Intensity and the Adaptive Organisation
  • Respond, recover, reimagine. I thought these three strategies for counteracting COVID-19 which is what they are, aligned really well with the three Gartner criteria. More in this interview with Satya in a NYT post.
  • Three clouds. You wont find anything specific on this in formal Microsoft posts or from spokespeople. Still, it is broadly correct and the three main platforms under which it licenses solutions. For simplicity sake, I stuck with them for broad categorisation.

Additional considerations/notes

  • My slicing, dicing and positioning of technologies in the charts is not definitive. The point is for them to be flexible. They are intended to guide decision making and will depend on different organisational factors and goals as well as what technologies are licensed, in terms of how you pivot them.
  • The distribution of the 3 cloud platforms was captured in a bar chart and radar chart. When thinking of how best to position your info in a Data Doodle, its important to consider the different ways it can work best visually. These two options are just different ways to view the same data set and one may work better than the other.
  • The circular part in the middle of the radar chart means that this technology can be applied to all three areas of business outcome. You might be surprised to see Microsoft Teams there but as I mentioned in this video, I do see it as the front end of collaboration to many other Microsoft technologies so think it fits the bill: Microsoft Teams in 5 – collaboration at the core.
  • Positioning of different technologies within the three cloud platforms are just a sample of technologies. There are many more, too many for the chart. I thought these among the most important.

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