Application innovation strategies for supercharged innovation and growth

Held in partnership with Microsoft Azure, YourStory’s Future Ready Applications Summit on September 29 brought together leading voices from the tech, enterprise and startup ecosystem to help tech leaders supercharge innovation strategies, deliver superior customer experiences and script growth.
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To succeed in fast-paced, software-driven markets, companies must change the way they design, build, and use applications. Cloud-native application development is therefore, not just an approach to building, running, and improving apps based on well-known techniques and technologies for cloud computing, but also a tool to innovate and stay ahead of the competition.

For India’s thriving ecosystem of enterprises, SMEs and startups, cloud is proving to be a game-changer. ​​Agility is the new currency of business and faster time to market is key to scale and succeed in the Indian market. For startups, total cost of ownership is also strategic to the difference between success and failure.

‍To help technical decision makers and IT professionals learn more about the cloud advantage, and leverage Microsoft Azure to supercharge innovation strategies, deliver superior customer experiences and build additional revenue streams with new business models, YourStory and Microsoft Azure hosted the Future Ready Applications Summit on September 29, 2021. It was an exclusive event with over 30 enterprise CXO speakers, 1 keynote, four roundtables and 10 technology deep dive discussions. Here are the key takeaways.

Innovating your way to being future ready

Speaking about how digital transformation was actively fuelling the success of every organisation today, Sashi Sreedharan, Managing Director, Microsoft India contextualised its importance citing a report where “Digital transformation is never a-one-size-fits-all scenario. We should think of it as a journey with incremental steps towards a long-term goal. This makes it a less daunting process,” he advised.

“The path to digital transformation is a feedback loop. While the transformation happens through apps, at the heart of this loop is data and AI. This enables organisations to engage customers, transform products, optimise operations and empower employees,” he added.

Techniques to future-proof your business

To be a future ready organisation, leaders must fast forward their application modernisation and digital transformation cycles. However, a question that often comes up is - which path to choose: migration or modernisation? Featuring leaders sharing their application modernisation strategies and how they evaluate migrate versus modernising scenarios, the session addressed the advantages of modernising early, the costs of not modernising and services on the Azure portfolio that enable modernisation.

WNS is a global provider of business process management and outsourcing solutions for more than 200 companies worldwide across a wide spectrum of industries. Suhrid Brahma, Chief Technology Officer, WNS Global Services called out three key digital experience expectations from customers namely, real-time interaction, instant resolution of problems, and value-added services that are hyper-personalised.

Talking about how the cloud was central to Future Generali tech-led customer experience strategies, Byju Joseph, CTO, Future Generali said, “Today, customer experiences have become more than the product sold. We're capitalising on the tech available on Azure to deliver a remarkable experience and laying foundations for next-generation customer service.”

How to build your next app faster

​​The rapid rise of digitally native businesses have disrupted traditional business models creating new grounds for competition that are defined by the way software and new applications are built. Cloud native, the new paradigm for software development, is enabling organisations to deliver growth and speed innovation by accelerating developer velocity while strengthening security and compliance.

Speaking at the session on how Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) automated provisioning, upgrading, monitoring, and scaling for compute resources, Yusuf Rangwala, Principal Technical Specialist, Global Black Belt, Microsoft India said, “The apps of the future are cloud native, designed to take advantage of the innovations on the cloud. They'll be infused with AI and will be able to incorporate open-source tech.”

Talking about how businesses can build their next app faster by leveraging Microsoft Azure’s Open Source Database-as-a-Service (DBaaS) platform, Patrik Bihammar, Azure Open Data Platform Lead APAC, ANZ & India, Microsoft said, “Microsoft has decided to take an open approach in making sure to welcome any flavour of database be it proprietary or open-source to our managed platform on Azure.”

Being developer first, and cloud native

The ability to quickly deliver secure, high-quality software is critical to remaining competitive in virtually any market. Enterprises of all sizes are looking for ways to create an advantage and GitHub has a simple formula to help enterprises increase developer velocity by focussing on developer experience.

Talking about driving developer velocity and experience, Sadagopan Rajaram, Senior Director Software Engineering, GitHub said, “The best way for enterprises to accelerate velocity is by focusing on developer experience - by creating an environment that empowers them to do their best work.”

Building communication experiences at scale

Cloud has the power to deliver video, voice, chat, text messaging, and telephony experiences anywhere your customers are – across applications, websites, and mobile platforms. The session on building engaging communication experiences at scale covered how Azure Communication Services (ACS), a set of rich communication APIs including video APIs, and SMS APIs, can be used to deploy applications across any device, on any platform.

Built on a global, low-latency network that automatically scales to meet an organisation’s demands, Azure Communication Services helps businesses reach more customers without compromising trust using a secure and compliant cloud that supports up to five billion meeting minutes every day.

“During the pandemic, we saw a massive adoption of digital channels, which became the primary engagement model. An organisation that was set up to enable employees to succeed was able to adapt to new customer behaviour,” said Tamer Shabani, Program Manager, Azure Communication Services, Microsoft.

“ACS brings together the best of communication tech, cloud scale, enterprise security and development efficiency. It enables developers to create a rich customer engagement experience,” he added.

Optimising future-ready web apps

Web apps play a critical role in today’s fast-paced digital environment where connection speeds are measured in milliseconds. It’s becoming increasingly challenging to meet user expectations as the number of API requests is growing at a relentless pace and with frequent and sudden spikes in demand. When public-facing APIs aren’t delivered quickly, it can lead to poor user experiences, revenue loss, and downtime.

On the session, Sunil George, Channel Partnership Manager, Verizon Edgecast spoke about how Microsoft and Azure CDN by Edgecast, bring unique capabilities that accommodate modern content delivery and video distribution needs, enable the next industry transition by reaching each viewer with intelligently curated and flawlessly delivered, individually directed services and content.

“Verizon has an incredible amount of experience working with live events, and the Azure CDN platform is highly configurable to optimize streaming performance and manage the complexity of delivering live events at scale. We want this to become a blueprint for delivering global events virtually,” he said.

Building cloud native apps with VMWare Tanzu on Azure

Cloud native is an approach to building and running applications that exploit the advantages of the cloud computing delivery model. When companies build and operate applications using a cloud native architecture, they bring new ideas to market faster and respond sooner to customer demands.

In his session on building cloud native apps with VMWare Tanzu on Azure, Hin Yin Lam, Advisory Platform Architect, VMWare Tanzu answered key questions on how VMWare Tanzu and Azure help utilise automation and architectures to manage complexity and unlock velocity.

“Azure offers leading infrastructure and open-source databases that are built for where you are today and where your modernisation takes you,” he said

“The VMware Tanzu portfolio on Azure makes it easier to deliver, run, and scale apps in production. It simplifies hybrid cloud operations and improves developer productivity by providing a consistent user experience across all clouds, public or private,” he added.

In case you missed attending the Future Ready Applications Summit, please note that all the sessions are now available on-demand, here.


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