Satya Nadella has been the CEO of Microsoft for a whole 70 days, during which he’s been changing the company’s direction at a blistering pace.
That’s when every inanimate object gets a computer chip sensor and an app and can be accessed over the Internet: your doors, your elevator, your medicine bottles, your sneakers, your air conditioner, even your contact lenses.
Nadella has come up with a new name for the phenom: “the data culture.”
First, he announced three new products:
- The next version of the company’s database called SQL Server 2014. The big thing here is that it now includes in-memory technology. SQL Server is a popular enterprise database. The database industry has been going through an “in-memory” revolution, largely thanks to SAP’s HANA database. “In-memory” databases can crunch vast amounts of data almost instantaneously.
- A new cloud service called “Microsoft Azure Intelligent Systems Service” that will host IoT apps that can control all of those sensors used with all of those objects. This isn’t the first such service. Salesforce offers a similar cloud, called Salesforce1.
- A new product called the Analytics Platform System (APS) that combines Microsoft’s SQL Server database with another trendy database technology called Hadoop. This would be used by companies that want to run their own big data apps in house, instead of using a cloud service.
He also offered his vision for the future in a blog titled “The data culture for everyone.”
Here’s the key sentence:
We believe that with the right tools, insights can come from anyone, anywhere, at any time. When that happens, organisations develop what we describe as a ‘data culture.’
In the past, only people who knew how to use a complicated database could ask questions, do analysis and learn things. The next generation of technologies will be all about the apps that will let anyone, regardless of technical skill, sift through large quantities of information and discover new things, be it for research or business needs.
That, he says, will turn the world into a “data culture.”
By the way, this “data culture” will create a $US1.6 trillion business over the next four years, according to an IDC study commissioned by Microsoft.
Cisco’s John Chambers has predicted that the IoTs will be far bigger over time. In about a decade, it will be a $US14 trillion market, he says.
To give you some context, Gartner estimated that the entire tech market in 2014 will reach about $US3.8 trillion. So, if these predictions hold true, IoT will more than triple it.