As CIO at Microsoft, my role is similar to my peers across industries. All CIOs care about risk management. We want to enable revenue and growth for our organizations. We focus on reducing enterprise costs. We are also accountable back to the business.

What’s different for me and my team is our commitment to being advocates for Microsoft customers and products. Microsoft IT is the first and best customer of Microsoft products. This commitment means my team plans, runs and operates beta software in production environments for thousands of employees to use. It also means we improve product quality by partnering with Microsoft product teams from design through shipment, and we share our experiences with Microsoft customers so they can make more informed decisions.

To this end, we recently published our experiences deploying and operating Internet Explorer 9 (IE9). Since I joined Microsoft three years ago, the browser has become increasingly important for our company as we expose more and more data and information to be consumed via our intranet. Access to real-time analytics, scorecards and BI portals is all through the browser, which means we need it to be secure, compatible and supportable with easy to use new features.

New capabilities and functionality in the browser translates to a lot of value for Microsoft, which we’ve seen reflected by others outside Microsoft, as well. A Total Economic Impact study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Microsoft helps to quantify the benefits enterprises might experience. If you want to learn more you can register for this web cast here.

At Microsoft, we deployed IE9 beta to 55,000 machines, and are now passing over 133,200 machines with IE9’s final version. This broad deployment has helped make IE9 a better product for our customers. I know this because the incident rate from our help desk was lower after each milestone, and lower than previous versions.

IE9 was easier to deploy than previous versions, and employees upgraded without uninstalls of IE8. Application compatibility testing was a major focus for our team during the product cycle because so many
employees now access line of business applications through IE9. As such, we needed to make sure IE9 worked with our applications, from the beginning. Here, too, we saw success when we looked at incident rates.

These learnings are included in the new Microsoft IT Showcase story on Application Compatibility testing, which outlines the application compatibility testing enterprise customers should do before and after migration
to ensure a positive user experience. I hope our experience as Microsoft’s first and best customer is valuable to you.

Tony Scott