Microsoft: Focusing on the Healthcare Vertical
By January 2020, Microsoft Corporation's (Microsoft's) Microsoft for Health healthcare vertical had become the company's most important vertical. Microsoft's chief executive officer, Satya Nadella, wanted the company to be viewed as a strategic partner of the healthcare industry and its clients. However, several challenges remained regarding the success of this vertical: both doctors and patients were unwilling to rely on artificial intelligence (AI) for diagnostics and prescriptions, while machine learning was even less accepted. Additionally, not many companies were willing to transfer more than 10 per cent of their data to the Microsoft Azure cloud platform, which raised concerns about whether or not the decision to focus on vertical versus horizontal clients represented an appropriate strategic decision. As enterprises were not shifting the majority of their data to the cloud, should Nadella reconsider his decision to focus on verticals? How could he overcome the challenges associated with the use of cloud computing and AI in healthcare? If Nadella wanted to address his clients as partners, what approach should he follow to develop such collaborative relationships? Arpita Agnihotri is affiliated with Pennsylvania State University - Harrisburg. Saurabh Bhattacharya is affiliated with Newcastle University.