Future Decoded - A Retrospective of London, 2016

A week after attending Future Decoded, Cloudhouse Technologies Head of Marketing reflects on the event.

Published: Tuesday, November 8 2016

Earlier this month, we attended Microsoft Future Decoded 2016 in London. As exhibitors and presenters, we had a very busy schedule.

For those of you who haven't heard of this event (and I doubt you'd be reading this blog if you hadn't!) - it is an annual Microsoft event that attracts thousands of the brightest business decision makers, developers, IT pros and partners from across the UK and Europe. This year attendees took a journey to decode the future of business and technology whilst gaining tangible insights into making sense of the latest social and economic changes.

We knew this was a terrific opportunity to spend two days with business and technical leaders and that, whilst the future often only looks bright for those developing new cloud-native apps, we had an important part to play in completing the journey of classic apps to Azure, Windows 10 and to new devices like the Surface.

Future Decoded Collateral


From concept to reality, we took to the digital transformation theme with pleasure. Mat Clothier, our CTO, prepared for his presentation slot in the Networking Hub, where the focus was "Transforming your Legacy" and our goal was to explain why you'll never be able to adopt Azure or Windows 10 without planning the journey for your existing business applications.

Day 1 – Business

Starting on Day 1, Cloudhouse was off with a bang. The digital transformation theme focused attendees thoughts on change – change that is fundamental to growth and innovation, and is an essential strategic part of every business. The keynotes were terrific, and whilst there was obviously some disappointment that Stephen Hawking was unable to join us, The Rt Hon Philip Hammond MP gave a great speech and launched the National Cyber Security Strategy, which you can read here.

Cindy Rose, Chief Executive Officer of Microsoft UK spoke to the crowd about digital disruption. She said that “[Microsoft’s] view is that a digital business is a business that embraces technology to more effectively engage its customers, empower its employees, optimize its operations and transform its products.”

Cindy Rose

It’s interesting to consider these figures Rose showed when combined with the challenge many organizations have – how to transform when apps are holding you back. Yet Microsoft describes a “fourth industrial revolution” about to start – “the current trend of automation and data exchange in manufacturing technologies” and “includes cyber-physical systems, the Internet of things and cloud computing”. The Internet of Things (IoT) and cloud are not new to security types, but perhaps in five years the concept of AI will be as present in the ‘do we accept it as the new normal or not’ said Info Security Magazine.

We spoke to a lot of people who are tired of hearing that their apps can’t move or that adopting new technology isn’t possible without months, if not years, of resource to move critical apps. And if you think there were only a few people discussing this, think again. Our booth was busy, busy, busy with people who were figuring out how to benefit from Azure, how to remove the risk of unsupported platforms, and how they could adopt new devices like the Surface whilst not having to replace or redevelop their "legacy apps".

The first day was wrapped up beautifully by Bill Bryson by means of an insightful and funny conversation. "There isn’t anything about science that doesn’t leave me staggered" Bill Bryson.  Sadly I don't have a transcript, you had to be there, but there's a terrific infographic:

Bill Bryson Future Decoded

Day 2 – Technical

On the second day, the technical audience was out in force! The booths with the latest "gadgets" were packed. The "Surface Hub 84" and the HoloLens were drawing quite a crowd, as was Microsoft's open source Project Olympus cloud hardware design via Open Compute Project.  Focus for the day was very much on developing understanding of Azure adoption in terms of security, how it can be your hybrid cloud platform and the Citrix/Windows 10 relationship.

Satya Nadella shared how Office 365 is empowering teams to achieve more and our very own Mat Clothier gave his "Transforming your Legacy [apps] to quite a crowd in the Networking Hub.



Again, a common theme throughout the day on the show floor was how EXACTLY the technical audience could actually get their apps to Azure, secure it in Azure, and app compatability. Unfortunately, these attendees know far too well the challenges of resolving app incompatibilities, how to retire unsupported Citrix farms and taking apps to Windows 10 and it was great to explain how Cloudhouse can help.

All in all, a terrific event! Can't wait for next year!

Author - Donna Cooper, Head of Marketing, Cloudhouse Technologies

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