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Milan Gospić, Country Manager, Microsoft Serbia

Digitally Shaping Contemporary Lives And Modern Business

The previous year has been a catalyst for significant changes to the ways things are done across the entire industry. Digital tools have become an integral part of all processes, especially in the collaboration arena. Digital transformation has turned out to be in the focus of every successful company and is yielding superb results

The past year has shown how business should be transformed, as it distinguished the already successful companies that have already embarked on the digitalisation journey and have, thus, gained a starting advantage. Similar things have also happened in society. We are bearing witness to the increasing number of digital services used by citizens and a rise in the general need for digital knowledge.

How is your company trying to improve knowledge, as the basis of the digital transformation?

In response to growing requests to acquire new skills in the digital world, Microsoft opened three free learning platforms within its Global Skill Initiative: LinkedIn, Microsoft Learn and GitHub. The main goal is to enable access to learning and acquiring of the knowledge necessary for digital transformation. This programme has also been applied and supported in Serbia.

More than 50,000 people from Serbia have attended free education courses, placing our country at the very top of the list of CEE countries. Such a large number of participants was also due to the program which was launched with support of Government of Serbia, Ministry of Labour, Employment, Veterans’ and Social Affairs and Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development, on the basis of which our partner Semos Education organised free education courses as way of supporting the Global Skill Initiative, as well as cooperation with three Comtrade education institutions. Along with acquiring the digital skills that are vital for most desirable professions, the participants can also access free official training to prepare for Microsoft Certification exams; they can also pass those exams and acquire certificates. Microsoft certificates are helpful in all industries and serve as a guarantee of knowhow, so I would advise everyone formalise all the knowhow they’ve gained over the years in business and acquire some of our certificates, because they increase and ease one’s chances of gaining employment, earning a promotion or developing one’s career in general.

What does digital transformation mean in practice? Are there any obstacles to its further development and, if so, what are they?

What is essential to understand is that there is no stakeholder of society in the digital transformation process that is more important than any other. The state is an undeniably crucial element in this process, primarily in terms of the legal framework, where Serbia needs to make a more substantial shift in the use of cloud services and open data, considering all the available resources without which new digital services could not be created, either for businesses or for citizens. On the other hand, citizens are equally important, as the users of all those digital services. At the end of the day, the goal of the digital transformation is to enhance the quality of citizens’ lives.

In business, digitalisation is defined by trends like hybrid work, a hyperconnected, completely digitalised business environment, and cybersecurity. Each organisation needs a collaboration tool that will bridge physical and digital gaps, thus creating the need for a hybrid way of working. The whole of business is becoming digital and we see new ways of making and selling products with the intensive use of data and AI. All this requires multi-cloud, multi-edge infrastructure that enables the swift creation, maintenance and usage of applications.

On the other hand, cybersecurity is the biggest threat to digital transformation today and is the number one risk being faced by every company and every service – not only in the business arena, but also in our everyday lives, including schools, hospitals and all institutions handling citizens’ data. Cybercrime represents a six-trillion-dollar cost for the world economy annually. Microsoft Cloud has been built for all these challenges, as the most trusted and most comprehensive cloud that powers the digital capability of every individual and every organisation, while simultaneously enabling their independence. Microsoft Cloud is built on trust and security.

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