New CEO, New Outlook for Microsoft

New CEO, New Outlook for MicrosoftEarlier this month, Microsoft officially named Satya Nadella, a longtime Microsoft veteran, as the company’s new Chief Executive Officer, replacing outgoing chief Steve Ballmer.

After Microsoft’s new CEO settles into his new position, Microsoft’s efforts at reinvention will accelerate, “creating both opportunities and risks,” says Merv Adrian, research vice president at Gartner.

On Tuesday, Adrian outlined what he believes should be among the the first actions Nadella and Microsoft take in the coming weeks and months.

“Nadella’s ‘insider’ understanding of Microsoft’s culture and his effectiveness in cross-team communication and collaboration could help him reshape Microsoft for the digital era — which will be key for the company to attain the visionary technical leadership to which it aspires,” he says. “Nadella’s main challenge consists of evolving Microsoft’s existing businesses (including its enterprise offerings, which represent half of its current revenue) while reinventing Microsoft to make it relevant in mobile and cloud-centric markets.”

In order to capitalize on opportunity while mitigating risks, Adrian says Microsoft must:

  • Establish a vision of itself as an innovative, disruptive force in IT. Concentrating on mobile technology and leveraging lessons learned from gaming can help Microsoft appeal to the next generation.
  • Emphasize design to enhance ease of use for consumers, and apply these lessons to its considerable assets in IT infrastructure to change its image of a legacy enterprise vendor competing in a consumerized market.
  • Enable entrepreneurs and developers to develop new business value atop a common Windows client environment with unified, cross-platform services. Microsoft must enable a complete, compelling set of apps that attracts developers and can compete with and within iOS and Android environments.
  • Acknowledge its customers’ heterogeneity by supporting Google and Apple client environments, the Linux/Java environment on servers, and cloud-based services in general.
  • Deliver compelling experiences and solutions to both IT and to non-IT buyers.

Adrian’s research note can be found in its entirety here.