Microsoft Azure is the crux of Microsoft’s Cloud offering and it’s getting more and more popular each year. In the fourth quarter of 2016 alone, Microsoft have reported a whopping 102% growth in Azure revenue, with usage doubling year after year.
It’s also become one of the core elements of our business in the last few years, particularly as it now forms the base for our Intranet as a Service product Unily, enabling us to release features such as Notifications, 1-1 Translation, Forms and more. Having designed and delivered solutions on everything from SharePoint 2007 to Office 365, the benefits of hosting on Azure have become clearer and clearer. Not just for us, but for organisations across the globe including the Hershey Company and Jet. As we look towards 2017, we’ve pulled together our top 10 reasons organisations are moving to the cloud.
1. Agile and scalable
Business growth is often unpredictable. For your IT platforms to provide most value, they need to be able to grow and scale as your business does. Azure excels at this, allowing you to build applications as a cluster that allocates a web application to a set of specific set of processes. With applications being distributed across multiple of servers, they won’t run out of server capacity.
This was a key driver in our decision to transition Unily’s infrastructure from Office 365 to Azure. It gives our clients more flexibility, more ability to customise and extend and better experiences in terms of performance.
2. Microsoft compatibility
For any organisation currently using Microsoft products like SharePoint and Office 365, a cloud infrastructure provider that works seamlessly with existing technology is essential. Microsoft Azure is in a unique position to offer that ease of use to organisations, over providers like AWS. The same Virtual Machines can also be used on-premises, further simplifying processes.
Azure’s speed of deployment, operation, scalability and functionality can’t be matched by an on-premises solution or even a lot of other cloud providers.
4. Elastic hosting
With the complex range of computing and software options available on the market, flexibility is essential. Azure offers IaaS options, allowing organisations to outsource their cloud infrastructure (to us for instance) and only pay for what they use.
5. Secure and resilient
Microsoft is one of the most well-known, long-standing technology companies out there and have proved their capability in the enterprise space time and time again. For many corporate organisations where security and reliability is crucial, this is a big selling point of Azure. Data is also secure, with Azure based on the Microsoft Security Development Lifecycle, a cutting-edge approach for developing the most secure code.
6. Global data centres
For global organisations with employees located in several countries, local data centres to improve speed and up time are important selling points of a cloud infrastructure provider. Azure is backed up by Microsoft’s growing number of global managed data centres, there are currently 30 with 8 additional regions including Korea, France and 4 more locations in the USA coming soon. You can see all Azure regions here. From a user’s perspective, their experience is also greatly improved by having a local data centre.
7. Hybrid capability
Azure also gives users the choice to create hybrid environments, allowing organisations to leverage on-premises resources and the benefits of the cloud without complexity.
8. Economies of Scale
Azure’s pay-as-you-grow model reduces unnecessary costs as you’re only paying for what you use. With their huge customer base, they have also been able to pass on volume discounts to their customers.
9. Simplified Management
Even though the Azure platform has been around for several years now, the services that it offers have been continually evolving, bringing new features to consumers. It has not been standing still from a management point of view either and the IT professional now has a much more advanced API to use in the form of Azure Resource Manager (ARM). You can learn more about this simplified managed in our blog.
From small dev-test projects to global product launches, Azure is engineered to handle any workload. Azure also offers enterprise-grade SLAs on services, 24/7 tech support and round-the-clock service health monitoring. Microsoft also offer support in a variety of languages to support the regions of their data centres.
We work with customers every day to build business cases for Azure, advising on the best strategies for cloud infrastructure that will add value. Take a look here for more info on the cloud infrastructure services we offer and feel free to contact us to discuss your requirements.