Last year, I had the opportunity to talk to clients from a wide range of industries about how they are approaching the current economic environment. Whether they focus on improving efficiency or saving costs, we’re all essentially trying to do more with less and prioritize investments that will deliver the most significant and meaningful results. Unfortunately, these resource constraints come at a time when data sources and data volumes continue to increase at surprising rates. According to a study published by IDC, the amount of new data created, captured, replicated and consumed is expected to double by 2026.  This increase in data means IT departments are trying to move from terabyte-scale data management to petabyte-scale, and do so with even fewer resources.
Along with this massive increase in data, organizations are constantly adding new cloud solutions, applications, and experiences to support hybrid workforces and changing business needs. As the number of solutions grows, employees need connected experiences that enable them to seamlessly move their work from one tool to another. Unfortunately, the result is often the opposite, as new solutions fail to integrate with the existing technology ecosystem, leading to siled experiences and greater inefficiencies.
Without security and governance solutions built to operate in multi-cloud and application environments, this increase in applications and data also widens attack surfaces and opens loopholes for adversaries to exploit and infiltrate. These attacks cause devastating business disruptions and financial losses, with an average breach costing $4.35 million. Developing a cybersecurity strategy that can account for all potential attack surfaces is more complex than ever, as 86% of surveyed decision makers believe current cybersecurity strategies are not keeping pace with multicloud environments. 
From data duplication to siled experiences and growing attack surfaces, all these potential problems arise from disconnected data and applications in multicloud and multisystem environments. That’s why in our Microsoft Cloud offerings, we’ve worked with our thriving Independent Software Vendor (ISV) ecosystem to create a library of over 1,400 connectors that allow you to seamlessly connect your third-party services to Microsoft Cloud solutions such as Microsoft Power Platform. , Microsoft Power Query, Microsoft 365, Microsoft Graph and Microsoft Sentinel. The Microsoft Cloud is now not only the most reliable and comprehensive cloud, but also one of the most connected and open clouds on the market, with its library of connectors growing every day. These pre-existing integrations can help you:
- Connect and extract value from all your data from on-premises, multicloud, and third-party sources.
- Combine Microsoft and third-party applications to create deeply integrated application experiences that support your unique business scenarios.
- Protect your entire organization and eliminate gaps by ensuring your security, governance and compliance solutions work across platforms and cloud environments.
Wherever your data resides now or how you choose to manage it going forward, you can rest easy knowing that your Microsoft Cloud investments can connect and turn all of your data into impact. that was one of the reasons Walmart chose to standardize on Microsoft Power BI for its reporting and analytics needs. “One of the most important criteria in choosing our solution was knowing that Power BI works very well with a wide range of partners, not just Microsoft products,” says Micah Dail, Director of Finance Data and Analytics at Walmart. “At Walmart, we use a lot of different vendors in our technology stack, so having a tool like Power BI that can bring everything together was very important.”
Elisabeth-TweeSteden Hospital (ETZ) used prebuilt Teams connectors to create powerful, integrated practice experiences that help their clinicians do more. With the Microsoft Teams Electronic Health Records (EHR) connector for Epic, ETZ clinicians can create and even join Microsoft Teams-powered appointments directly from the Epic EHR system, use interpreter services and other accessibility features, collect metadata about the appointment, view consumption reports, and more. . “We used Teams to help create a fully integrated solution so clinicians can document virtual patient consultations without having to launch other systems,” says Ceasar van Eeden, Practice Analyst at Elisabeth-TweeSteden Hospital. Using connectors to combine Microsoft and third-party tools, ETZ created the smart solution best suited to unique business needs.
Coca-Cola UNITEDAs one of the largest and fastest growing bottlers and distributors of Coca-Cola products has seen numerous opportunities to automate and streamline processes using a low-code platform. To get the most out of this investment, they needed a solution that could connect and integrate with their existing SAP systems hosted in Microsoft Azure. Beyond the simplicity of the platform, its extensive library of prebuilt integrations with SAP and Azure services made Microsoft Power Platform the ideal choice. “Once I learned about data connectors and how they would work with our SQL database and enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, everything else fell into place,” says Jared Simmons, Coca-Cola UNITED Systems Analyst. We value the extensibility of the platform, which allows us to build and integrate custom connectors using Azure Logic Apps.” These custom connectors have allowed Coca-Cola UNITED to create unique solutions integrated directly into SAP systems.
This massive library of connectors also helps ensure that Microsoft’s industry-leading security, governance, and compliance solutions can easily run across platforms and cloud environments without gaps in protection. Get the global exam provider, Pearson VUE, For example. Pearson VUE must keep exam content completely confidential to maintain the trust of its clients and protect test takers. As the cybersecurity environment has become increasingly challenging, they have adopted a range of Microsoft security solutions to help protect them. “We use Microsoft Sentinel to see everything that’s going on in our land, whether it’s from Microsoft or non-Microsoft security solutions, and to be as proactive as possible,” says Pearson VUE Enterprise Architect Vladan Pulec. “The easy interoperability between Microsoft Sentinel and many other solutions makes it easier for us to standardize procedures and achieve greater cybersecurity.”
If you’re a Microsoft Cloud customer and would like to learn more about the connectors currently available, check out the following documents:
 IDC, Worldwide IDC Global DataSphere Forecast, 2022–2026: Enterprise Organizations Driving Most of Data Growth (Doc #US49018922), May 2022.
 Ponemon Institute, Cost of a Breach Report, July 2022, sponsored by IBM Security.
 Microsoft Cloud Security Priorities and Practices Survey, March 2022, a survey of 250 top security decision makers by the Emerald Research Group.