Software is the most malleable factor of production, says Nadella

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Software is the most malleable factor of production that mankind has ever found, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has said.

Delivering the keynote on ‘Fuelling the tech intensity in India’ here on Tuesday, Mr. Nadella said, “The question is can we explore its [software] malleability and abundance and create more growth and economic prosperity in our societies.”

Addressing a large audience of developers, he shared his vision for the future of technology and explained how Indian organisations should lead in an era of digital transformation.

“I am here in India in the beginning of a new decade. Last decade has been stunning in terms of tech/software impact. There was mobile revolution, cloud happened and a lot of consumer Internet business has been built. However, it has been narrow in terms of achievements,” he commented.

According to him, computing will migrate to where data is going to be generated. Currently, there are a billion Windows devices, and each year, some 300 million devices are getting added to it. Plus, there are a billion iOS devices and two billion Android devices.

“The number all of us have to really pay attention to is, there will be 50 billion connected devices by 2025, that means we will have 50 billion ends points that we get to really harness. Then comes the data part, these devices are expected to generate 175 zettabyte of data, a quadrupled growth, from the current 45 zettabyte,” he said.

Applications built in this decade should have cross-sectoral impacts both in the personal and business fronts, he insisted. The experience layer was becoming more people-centric. “I don’t want to live where my entire world of experience is mediated by just one device. There will be multiple sensors and multiple devices and this is the tech intensity we are talking about.”

Giving out a piece of advice to young and seasoned coders, the master developer said, developers of this decade should keep three things in mind: the broad impact of their tech development, focus on inclusively and importance of building trust.

“Tech has become all-pervasive and ubiquitous in the last 10 years. We now have to think about the responsibilities more broadly, the ethics part of it and how to ensure inclusive growth. We need to build trust into technology, trust around privacy, trust around AI models and trust around security and privacy of customer assets/data,” he listed out.

Microsoft’s goal is to help every organisation to become a software company by adopting the latest technologies. “But the worst mistake anyone could make is reinvent the wheel. You may not get the latest technology in-house, but adopt it, ride and wave and create your own digital technologies, irrespective of what business you run,” he said. as a word of caution.

To support this kind of data growth, he said Microsoft was building Azure, a distributed computing fabric as world’s computer. Azure, is supported from 57 data centres regions of which three are in India. “We have really built out the infrastructure for openness: Windows and Linux, Java and .net and Kubernetes and VMware, all first class. Every layer of the tech stack should meet the real world needs. Data is going to have gravity and compute will migrate to data. We are expanding around the globe, we are also meeting all data residency laws, by complying with changing sovereign regulations globally.”

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