• Our new path

    Explore how Microsoft IT will transform the business processes and technologies that will allow the company to thrive in a mobile-first and cloud-first world.

  • Our new path

    Explore how Microsoft IT will transform the business processes and technologies that will allow the company to thrive in a mobile-first and cloud-first world.

  • Our new path

    Explore how Microsoft IT will transform the business processes and technologies that will allow the company to thrive in a mobile-first and cloud-first world.

Microsoft is evolving quickly under Satya’s leadership and I want to share my thoughts on how Microsoft IT fits into that vision. We have a tremendous opportunity ahead of us in IT as the company raises expectations around the role that IT can play. I have never been more excited to be a part of Microsoft than I am right now, as part of an IT organization that can help shape our company’s future.

Jim DuBois

CIO, Microsoft IT

The changing face of Microsoft

Across the variety of opinions on the IT industry's future, the one thing that everyone seems to agree on is the need for phenomenal acceleration in the pace of change.

Our industry does not respect tradition – it only respects innovation.”

Satya Nadella

Microsoft CEO

Our identity

IT has two roles within Microsoft, and we must be proud to play both


IT for Microsoft


Most business processes in the company depend on IT. We need to keep everything running smoothly, ensure our users have an experience that is useful, and innovate around new capabilities to drive the company’s transformation.

We need to manage risk and compliance to help us go faster. We must collaborate across the company to make sure the role of IT is delivered effectively, regardless of organizational boundaries.


First and best customer


This role for IT isn’t just about dogfooding as part of a product group’s test cycle; it’s bigger than that. We will be the first to deploy at scale. And where Microsoft delivers multiple options, we will choose the right solution for us to deploy and enable appropriate self-hosting for other solutions.

As Microsoft’s best customer we take time to land the best feedback and really advocate for our customers. We will also look at scenarios that cross multiple product groups to make sure there is a great end-to-end experience. We can then showcase what we do in our IT role to inspire the industry. Being the best customer also means that we will take risks that no one else might take and, sometimes, that we wait to deploy until everything works. There may also be times when we need to create “glue” to make something work. We recognize glue is bad, as customers would then need to do the same, so we will only do this if it is necessary to enable another critical scenario.

Our priorities

The company is evolving, but our IT strategy pillars have not changed. Simplify experiences. Accelerate capabilities. Make it a showcase.

For the foreseeable future, IT priorities fall into these four groups:


Evolve and deliver our Plan of Record (POR)


This is not static, and we expect PORs to evolve as the company transforms. In our target-setting process last spring, we identified big rocks for each IT organization and the rest of the POR was updated around them. We did not publish a top 10 CIO projects list simply because things are changing too fast as we deliver results faster and new priorities get inserted more often. We have to deliver on our promises to the business, but we also need to challenge ourselves to always drive the most business value. To avoid building PORs in silos, we need to connect our work across the company and update what we are doing, while letting the lower priority work drop or delay.


Integrate Nokia


While we have integrated work from the former ICM teams into our portfolios and the PORs above, we also have major milestones to meet, such as MS Day, and obligations to retire with the Transition Service agreements. Where you are involved in these critical deliverables, they usually take priority over existing POR work. We also need to take advantage of our integration plans to not just do the minimum, but to opportunistically clean up our legacy services


One commerce fabric


We must break down the silos and deliver together across the company to be successful going forward. While this priority will actually update PORs above, it is worth calling out separately. In early September, IT and the Universal Store Team (UST) in Operating Systems Group (OSG), presented our initial plan to Satya and his Senior Leadership Team (SLT). The plan includes a proposal for a simplified portal experience for our customers and partners including every aspect of their relationship with Microsoft. It will better leverage data across the company and enable friction-free ways to find, try, buy and use Microsoft products and services. Satya called it “the most important thing we are doing at Microsoft today.” This will eventually lead to a core business process change across the company and transform our legacy software business into a modern business model for a mobile-first, cloud-first world. IT is playing a leadership role in this work and many of you will have an opportunity to participate directly or drive work that contributes to significant progress.


Services evolution


As we change the way we work, we have the opportunity to significantly rationalize the legacy portfolio we manage today. When we get better visibility on the end-to-end services we run, whether they are infrastructure services or application services supporting a company business process, we can simplify what we run and how we invest in new capabilities. The transition from a project-focused to a services-focused portfolio is a huge deliverable that will help us excel in the future and better manage dependencies in an increasingly interconnected portfolio.

Change... or get left behind

How do we reinvent ourselves to take on these challenges? There are many areas we need to change and many people will have different views on what we need to change first, but there are a few areas that are essential to help us step up to new opportunities without just working harder.

01Change how we work

Building on the work of others across the company, we will also simplify the way we work to drive greater accountability and become more agile and move faster. As part of modernizing our IT and engineering processes, the expectations we have for each of our disciplines will change.

We will simplify management overhead to accelerate the organizational flow of information and drive better decision-making by reducing hand-offs and complexity and leveraging data better.

Our business processes and support models will be more lean and efficient with greater trust between teams. The overall result of these changes will be more productive and impactful teams across IT.

02Change business engagement

Another area we need to change is how we engage with our internal business stakeholders. We must be simple to work with and not have people bounce around trying to find the right person to talk to for their needs, but we also need to be more assertive in balancing priorities across teams rather than solving for niche capabilities.

"Success in business engagement requires a range of business, personal and technical skills on both sides. What an individual business might value and prioritize, may not make the most sense for Microsoft."

Jim DuBois

CIO, Micrsoft IT

03Change technology trends

The technology megatrends create new opportunities for IT, but can also empower businesses to work around us if we fail to lead. IT must stay current with the industry and across Microsoft. We need to lead in social, mobile, analytics, and cloud to create new opportunities and connected experiences, or risk massive sprawl around us.

Cloud computing can give us the scale to experiment or create new value in ways that were not possible before.
Mobile solutions can improve the user experience and enable productivity in new scenarios on a range of devices giving users anytime, anywhere access to data and services.

These trends create new security and regulatory challenges, and possibly islands of data slowing the value of digitization and process integration if we are not thoughtful. We need to push the edge and share our learning across IT rather than exploring and learning in a vacuum. To accelerate learning, especially where we already know we have blockers, we need to leverage the IT individuals on point for each technology.

04Change IT skills

For the role we need to play in Microsoft, we need new skills. We must develop and acquire the right talent for the right teams and disciplines.

Across the company, we need fewer people telling other people what to do and more people capable of doing what we need done. We need deeper business and process expertise. We need deeper skills in modern technologies and more people who understand data as we learn to make data-driven decisions. We’ve already seen that more automation and increased adoption of new technologies such as cloud allow us to reprioritize roles to more exciting work.

05Change culture

Think and act differently. We need to develop new behaviors in order to visibly change and align ourselves with the culture Microsoft is building.

Looking forward

From the month he became CEO, Satya has brought IT to the table to help solve big, company-wide problems. This is fantastic progress for IT’s visibility within Microsoft, showcasing our value to the company. Product groups are becoming more like IT, and are learning how we do things. As an organization we’re primed to play a leading role for the new Microsoft.

Join this journey to a different, exciting era for IT at Microsoft.