Microsoft CityNext: What are the megatrends shaping cities?

This post is by Sophie Smyth. 

Recently Microsoft teamed up with Kent County Council to put on an inspirational day called “Kent Reimagined.”  The day’s agenda was packed full of sessions from the team here at Microsoft, including James Whitaker and Dave Coplin. But the event also featured local digital experts sharing their insights into how technology can help the local businesses of Kent.

Couldn’t make it to Kent for the big day? No problem! Here’s a quick look at some of the more interesting discussions from Kent Reimagined:

  • Eileen Brown discussed social media and the impact it can have on organisations. She spoke about the power of online advocates can have for any organisation. She also discussed the cloud as a megatrend. The amount of information you can access on a mobile device is huge, yet we mostly use it for social media, she noted. Organisations should look to take greater advantage of cloud and mobile tools, she said.
  • James Whitaker’s talk was titled, 'The Future of IT and why the current way of working is broken'. He touched upon the importance of Big Data and bridging the gap between producer and consumer. In the future he predicts that instead of us going to the Web or an app for information, the info will come to us.
  • Microsoft's own Dave Coplin also gave a passionate talk, 'Business Reimagined'. He spoke about why the usual way of working isn't practical anymore. Could IT be a solution to productivity when used correctly? Dave explained how technology can help you and your business work to your needs and not the other way round. We should not be constrained by our IT, however, we should be empowered by it.
  • Liz Harrison, the Economic Development Manager at Kent, stressed the need to 'overcome these digital fears'. She is working closely with Microsoft's Tim Gregson to provide seminars that will hopefully help Kent's business become more efficient and thus more competitive in the UK.

The day offered attendees from the public and private sectors alike insights into the technology trends that will drive local business success in the years to come. Learn more about how local governments can accelerate local business success with Microsoft CityNext and discover how to get more out of the cloud with our free e-book, “Bringing the UK Government in the Cloud.” 

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