If enterprises aren't already drowning in data, they soon will be.
That's the message Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, had for attendees of the Redmond, Wash. technology giant's annual shareholder meeting on Nov. 30. Society will produce 180 zettabytes of data by 2025, he said. A single zettabyte is equivalent to a billion terabytes or a million petabytes. "In fact, we're running out of words to describe the number of bytes we're gathering,"
Nadella said. His company's goal is to furnish its customers with software and services that help turn that data into actionable insights and intelligence that enable digital transformation. To accomplish this, the software maker is betting big on artificial intelligence (AI). Nadella noted that AI is being implemented across Microsoft's product portfolio, predicting and automating tasks for users. Examples include Skype Translator , Windows Hello's face recognition, the predictive SwiftKey keyboard for iOS and Android, and of course Cortana, the company's voice-enabled digital assistant.
"What makes our efforts unique, though, is how we take these AI capabilities that we built for our own first-party products and democratize the access to them to customers and partners to build solutions to the biggest challenges in healthcare, agriculture, finance, government… every sector of our economy and society," Nadella said.Workplace collaboration is another area Microsoft is focused on.