• 3 min read

Cloud Cultures, Part 1: Resilience and innovation lessons from Poland 

a sign in the middle of a city
This series will highlight the people I’ve met along the way who are using technology to improve the world around them along with the powerful themes of innovation converged with local customs, values, and ways of living.

The outcomes of cloud adoption are shaped dramatically by the people and cultures that operate and innovate with technology. The rapid pace of technological advancements we are seeing on a global scale is exciting, but if there is one thing that I love more than technology, it is the people, the stories, and the life experiences that influence how it’s used. To explore this further, I recently spent time visiting some of our most inspirational customers and leaders in our fast-growing cloud markets across Europe. In the new video series, Cloud Cultures, I am excited to share those experiences and stories to provide a glimpse of how people around the world are using technology to improve the world around them—including how innovation converges with local customs, values, and ways of living. These stories show firsthand how technology and tradition combine to form cloud cultures.

Watch Episode 1: Cloud Cultures Poland out now.

Poland: An emerging hub for innovation

Microsoft recently launched a new cloud region in Poland Central, on April 25, 2023, to support Poland’s emerging status as a hub for innovation in Central and Eastern Europe. Poland is nothing short of inspirational—Poland is a dynamic country with a lot to teach us about the transformative potential for embracing change, reinvention, and creating opportunity.

Conversations with our customers and community leaders in Poland gave me a firsthand view of how much of an impact the history of Poland has on the present and future markets.

Resiliency is embedded into the DNA of Polish people. Geopolitical tensions, social upheaval, and adversity have impacted Poland significantly over the years—yet Polish people have adapted and rebuilt repeatedly through it all. This resiliency and ability to bounce back has given the Polish market a competitive advantage. Polish customers take on bold initiatives and approach everything with a nimble and entrepreneurial mentality. Businesses in Poland grow and innovate quickly and courageously. There’s a sense of fearlessness in Poland. When it comes time to act, Poles jump right in—courageously taking on new challenges, identifying opportunities, building fast, and facing risk head-on.

How are Polish customers using the cloud? 

Below are just a few of the Polish customers who are at the forefront of digital transformation and have responded to the disruption caused by COVID-19, the Ukraine war, and economic uncertainty as a need to innovate: 

  • CCC Group: One of Poland’s most popular shoe retailers went all in during COVID-19 by using the lockdown and the cloud to reinvent themselves. They have fully transformed from brick-and-mortar to fully omni-channel over the last four years. Learn more about how CCC is using Azure Databricks and Data Lake to drive more insightful marketing campaigns here. 
  • Nest Bank: A local bank that embraces a culture of empowerment, by embracing mistakes, democratizing ideation, and disrupting an age-old financial industry. Their focus is on building simple and secure digital services and payment methods on the cloud for small and micro-enterprise businesses. One method being mobile onboarding in under 10 minutes or less with a selfie.

Bringing empathy and innovation together through community programs 

On my trip to Poland, I had the opportunity to sit down with Tanya Tkachenko, a woman who moved to Poland to flee the war in her home country of Ukraine to build a better life and new community for herself and her son. Upon arriving in Poland, Tanya quickly sought a new career path and found the Cyber Trainees program, organized by the Kosciuszko Institute, a leading Polish non-governmental organization (NGO) that equips students with specialist IT skills, certifications, and internships to allow them to find careers in cybersecurity—a dream industry for Tanya and a field that only has around 14 percent representation by women in Poland.

“The knowledge that I received during that project makes me more confident about the future. I lost my job in Ukraine and now I have a chance to take my career in a different direction. We are very happy there was this opportunity for us, for Ukrainian women to take part in this program because it gave us a chance to move on.”—Tanya Tkachenko

Our conversation left me feeling moved, humbled, and reminded of how critical it is to make technology and the opportunities that arise from it inclusive and accessible for all. 

Learn more

Technology is a powerful tool, not on its own but because of the people and cultures that shape it. As we move into this next era of digital transformation, with AI at the forefront, our mission has never been more important—to empower every person on the planet to achieve more. Everyone has a role to play in creating a better world and at Microsoft we simply want to provide the tools and resources to do so.

Watch the Cloud Cultures: Poland episode today.

Cloud Cultures

Check out the other blog posts in this series, from Poland to Sweden, and more