Very rarely have I looked forward to a new year quite as much as this one.  Last year proved to be an unpredictable year with polarising media coverage and political shenanigans that left me feeling exhausted.

The road ahead for all of us in 2017, internationally, nationally and locally is a difficult one.  Many of the challenges from last year remain; our great public services remain riddled with debt; the pound remains weak and the war on cybercrime is becoming more prominent in our every daily life.

Putting my bewilderment and nervousness about the events of the last year to one-side, I now find myself hand on heart very much looking forward to the year ahead.  Into week two of the new year my trepidation has now very much been replaced with optimism.

In line with Microsoft’s thinking, I genuinely believe we have arrived at the beginning of an era of profound transformation with technology deeply embedded in all our daily lives. Echoing the thoughts of our colleagues in Microsoft, the time is right for everyone, embracers and non-embracers of technology to start using it as a force for good, as per the proposals in the policy paper published last year, “A Cloud for Global Good”.

Whilst the policy paper might not get your juices flowing, it should well dispel certain myths about the Cloud and should well encourage Heads of Services, Chief Execs, budget holders etc. to tackle their mounting problems by capitalising on the solutions readily available thanks to Microsoft and partners like risual.  This is an important read for anyone hesitant about the benefits of cloud technology or is unsure of their direction of travel.

Global spending on public cloud computing services is expected to grow to over $141 billion by 2019, a significant increase from only $70 billion spent in 2015. That huge growth is going to generate some big winners and some losers!  For the UK economy, it is creating highly skilled and well-paid jobs which will help cities and towns improve the average salary within region.  Microsoft’s investment in UK Data Centre’s means the likes of our health services can no longer use privacy concerns as an excuse and can instead reinvest their inevitable savings from moving to Azure etc. and can instead redirect those important pennies saved into the healthcare given to a poorly patient, young and old.

Services businesses like ours are playing a key and influential role across the globe. 2017 will be full of hurdles that will require technology at the forefront of budgetary and management decision making which will impact each and everyone one of us daily.  Some extraordinary projects lie ahead for partners like risual as Brexit looms, the war on truth begins and councils, governments and corporations begin to require real-time intelligence.  Then at a local level it is pleasing to see local universities investing heavily in their IT infrastructure and faculties and local authorities in coalition with their LEP’s genuinely adopting and growing the tech sector.

If you are a commercial or a public sector organisation with an interest in having a conversation around how to maximise ‘Cloud’ solutions to maximise Intelligence, Collaboration and Transformation I would firmly encourage you to work in collaboration with Microsoft and a unique UK based partner like risual.

2017 despite the inevitable challenges ahead represents an exciting time for us all. The technology is ready and we at risual are ready to tackle the difficult challenges that lie ahead both in the short-term and in the long-term.

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