At Ignite last week, Satya Nadella gave five predictions for the next decade of the cloud. I think it’s important to understand them, and here’s why.

Ignite, the conference that used to be called TechEd (there was a clue in the name!), is Microsoft’s annual event for its technical community. In his keynote address Satya Nadella, CEO, made predictions for the cloud over the next few years. They’re worth knowing not just because of his position at the head of Microsoft, but because his past predictions have fundamentally been on the money.

In his speech, he outlined five key points for the next decade in cloud – I’ve summarised them here:

  1. Ubiquitous and decentralised computing – with computing power moving from the cloud to its edge, and exponential growth in the performance available. We’re at what Satya calls ‘peak centralisation’ right now, but computing will become more distributed, and embedded everywhere around us.
  2. Sovereign data and ambient intelligence – with AI becoming ever-more important, and data becoming more private. Satya predicts explosive growth in the amount of data and the number of different types, driving the shift to decentralisation mentioned above.
  3. Empowered creators and communities everywhere – with technology widening access to creativity for more people. As well as what we conventionally see as creative, such as making videos, this will include more coding and application-building at a local level.
  4. Expanded economic opportunity for every member of the global workforce – as well as more flexibility in when, where and how people work. We will define productivity more broadly, to help people’s career advancement.
  5. Trust by design – secure technology, based on sound ethical principles to protect the rights of all people, as well as to look after our planet. Satya envisages a world where technology companies can only succeed when they help others around them.

In his email to Microsoft employees on his first day as CEO, back in 2014, Satya emphasised “Our job is to ensure that Microsoft thrives in a mobile and cloud-first world” and you can’t help agreeing that they’ve succeeded.

Seven years on, Satya’s Microsoft has managed that shift to cloud as well as any. On that basis, I’d definitely recommend you think carefully about his predictions for cloud in the next decade.

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