Microsoft Policy Innovation Centre: Taking Digital Transformation To The Next Level Using Cloud For Global Good


With the advent of cloud computing, we’ve arrived at the beginning of an era of a profound transformation.

Cloud computing has brought about a new
generation of technology innovation delivering capabilities that promise new ways to expand access to Africa’s economic opportunity and address some of our most pressing problems.


The Cloud is creating disruption in bringing about more safety, sustainability of people’s jobs and the future prospects of their children.

It’s also brought the issue where we must rethink we interact, companies conduct business, and governments protect
public safety, manage economic growth, and deliver services.

In October 2017, Microsoft in partnership with Strathmore Business School launched the first Policy Innovation Centre in Africa, to provide a forum to foster dialogue, discussion around policy issues that affect the biggest development challenges we face in the world today, as posed by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and the Digital Transformation of industries and countries.

The Policy Innovation Centre aims to draw upon and convene the talents of academia, industry and policy experts, and government. Together, they will address emerging challenges in different sectors in Kenya

This Partnership was further cemented two weeks ago by the commitment of research company Dalberg in order to digitally transform the continent through the Digital Transformation Series.

Speaking during the launch of the Series at the Policy Innovation Centre, Chris Akiwumi said: “The Digital Transformation Series puts into action what we set out to do which is to provide a platform and an environment for policy nurturing, discussion and creation.”

Soon, every business will be a digital business, data will underpin the global flow of goods, services and capital, it’s just a matter of time till Cloud disruption is inclusive in our day to day lives.


So why is Microsoft Cloud for Good good for us?

First of all, the potential is so vast that some are already calling it the Fourth
Industrial Revolution. The benefits are said to be enormous. Some of them are:

1. By enabling the collection, storage, and analysis of data at unprecedented scale, speed, and depth, the cloud makes
it possible to find correlations that used to be too small to detect and discern the inner workings of systems that have
been far too complicated to comprehend.

This is especially beneficial when it comes to rapid advances in artificial intelligence, robotics, genomics, materials sciences, 3-D printing, and much more.

2. New advancements in technology are changing the way we live our lives and how we interact. Government entities, the private sector and policy makers need to adapt to understand how this can help to ease of doing business.

With the Cloud, this means that opportunities to reimagine how businesses
operate, connect with customers, manage labor, source goods, and organize supply chains are basically endless.

3. When it comes to the growth of financial services, the Cloud has the ability to greatly disrupt how we collect massive amounts of data by opening the door to new ways
of establishing credit worthiness for people who have lived their lives outside the traditional financial system.

According to the World Bank, between 2011 and 2014, more than 700 million people opened an account for the first time, and it is conceivable that soon,
every adult on the planet who wants one will have a bank account. The Cloud will significantly help in breaking down the barrier of financial security which is under duress from aspects like cyberterrorism, corporate tracking of personal information,
government tracking of personal information and identity theft.

4. Cloud computing offers significant benefits for people of all ages and abilities. It can empower people with visual, learning, age-related, mobility, hearing, and speech disabilities to learn more effectively, engage and collaborate with others more easily, and express themselves more clearly.

Cloud-connected devices deliver assistive technologies such as audio captioning, speech recognition, natural language processing and machine learning.

5. All-round access

As cloud-based services become increasingly central to our day-to-
day lives, the need for robust, ubiquitous, and affordable broadband connectivity becomes all the more critical.

We’ve seen great connectivity speeds here in Nairobi & we have experienced first hand what affordable and ever-present access can do for daily lives, our businesses and economy. Inclusion of the Cloud will only make this pervasive, fundamental part of daily life continue to deliver its already massive economic and social benefits

Now, at a time when wide-ranging, technology-driven transformation once again appears to be inevitable, we have an opportunity—and a responsibility—to acknowledge the uncertainty that people face and ask what it will take to
move forward in a way to ensure that the benefits of the cloud are universally accessible and equitably shared.

This is particularly why you should pay to the Digital Transformation Series that Microsoft are working on with Strathmore and their other partners. Follow the conversation on #DigitalTransformationKE


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