Underscoring the power of the cloud as an engine of growth, Microsoft CFO Amy Hood said recently that customers’ top priority is how to grow more rapidly.
“Customer conversations tend to start with, ‘I’d like to grow faster. I’d like to win more. I’d like to better serve a customer. I’d like to improve customer sat. I’d like to reduce churn. I’d like to grow price. I’d like to retain margin,’ ” Hood said during an interview at the recent Morgan Stanley investors conference.
I bring this up because as CFO of one of the world’s largest and most-successful technology companies, Hood has astonishingly broad and deep insights into what’s top-of-mind for business customers in today’s challenging times.
And while software is, in broad strokes, a “deflationary technology in an inflationary environment,” as Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella likes to say, it’s true power and potential is in its ability to help growth-accelerator business leaders achieve their dreams as they dazzle their customers.
Asked about the level of demand being shown by customers, Hood—whose company’s cloud revenue last quarter grew 32% to $22.1 billion—offered an upbeat assessment, anchored in her earlier point about the primacy of growth as customers’ ultimate goal.
“And we feel good about the signals” from the market, Hood said.
“The conversations with customers remain very consistent on that front, maybe taking on different levels of urgency depending on what industry you’re in, and where you feel like you are in that competitiveness curve. And competitiveness is defined – I think oftentimes we say and use and think about ‘costs’ or ‘cost-per’ or ‘how to do something more efficiently or effectively,’ ” she explained.
“But I think it’s also about growing faster. What new markets can you be in? Can you quick up? Can you quicken the pace of innovation? Can you launch new products faster? Can you do simulations faster? Like, what is the goal?”
Ah, it warms my heart to hear highly successful and highly visible business leaders like Amy Hood talk about the power of growth, and the necessity of a growth mindset. Look at those questions above, and I’ll list them again below—they certainly are not focused on using the cloud to cut costs, but they most definitely are centered on helping your business grow and become more capable and more responsive to and engaged with customers:
- “I think it’s also about growing faster.
- “What new markets can you be in?
- “Can you quick up?
- “Can you quicken the pace of innovation?
- “Can you launch new products faster?
- “Can you do simulations faster?
- “Like, what is the goal?”
One of the reasons for that warmer heart is that Hood’s assessment aligns so elegantly with our very own aspirations for our forthcoming Cloud Wars Expo event in San Francisco on June 28-30. As I describe in this short video about the ROAD to Cloud Wars Expo, our underlying themes are built around optimism, opportunity, possibility, potential, and innovation.
Until then, please keep thinking about this outlook from the CFO Amy Hood of Microsoft, the longtime #1 company on the Cloud Wars Top 10 and currently the generator of a $2.28-trillion market cap: “Customer conversations tend to start with, ‘I’d like to grow faster. I’d like to win more. I’d like to better serve a customer. I’d like to improve customer sat. I’d like to reduce churn. I’d like to grow price. I’d like to retain margin.’ ”
Those are certainly on our minds at all times at Cloud Wars and Acceleration Economy, and they’ll be the intellectual and emotional foundations of Cloud Wars Expo as well.