- The majority of companies (73%) embrace the concept of "tech intensity," a survey of 700 U.S. executives and decision makers published by Microsoft found. The phrase refers to an organization's ability to turn tools and technologies into their own problem-solving digital solutions.
- The top technologies companies use to deploy a tech intensity strategy are machine learning (39%), internet of things (37%), AI (32%), blockchain (29%) and mixed reality (21%).
- Three-quarters of respondents identify tech intensity as the most effective way to build a competitive advantage in the current business context, as well as in the future.
Microsoft's promotion of the tech intensity concept is ultimately about market position.
In the field of technology vendors, Microsoft stands out as having a broad set of offerings, from its ubiquitous operating system to the popular Office 365 bundle of tools.
If leading players in industries everywhere are hopping to rebrand as technology companies, Microsoft's appeal to customers hinges on providing the tools for that transformation.
A significant part of the shift toward tech intensity will take place with cloud as a backbone. In this field, Microsoft's Azure platform trails Amazon Web Services in market share.
Amazon held nearly half the market, or 47.8%, Azure's presence was 15.5% in 2018, according to a Gartner report.
But in AI, where Microsoft increased efforts, the market dynamics aren't yet as mature. In July, Microsoft made a $1-billion investment into a company called OpenAI, with the goal of joining forces to "democratize AI — while always keeping AI safety front and center," CEO Satya Nadella said in the announcement.
Access to the necessary talent to keep AI running is also top of mind for Microsoft. In May it announced a training program alongside coding program General Assembly with plans to upskill 15,000 workers in AI by 2022.