By far one of the leading providers of cloud computing, Microsoft’s integrated cloud services have revolutionised the business world through the Azure platform. Used by the likes of eBay, Boeing and Samsung, Microsoft Azure provides impressive levels of scalability, cost-effectiveness and security.
According to Enlyft, a whopping 177,777 companies across the globe are using Microsoft Azure Cloud, with the vast majority being small to medium sized enterprises. Although Computer Software represents its largest user segment, professionals from other industries are now wondering whether they too should consider using this product.
What is Microsoft Azure?
Microsoft Azure is a cloud computing service developed to help businesses achieve their goals and overcome challenges. As a fully flexible IT solution, it provides the freedom to build, deploy and manage applications through a global network and on a consumption basis.
95% of Fortune 500 companies use Azure resources for their cloud computing and infrastructure. As Microsoft continues to expand their market share across more sectors, we take a look at the top 10 benefits Azure offers to businesses around the world.
1. Scalability on Demand
Microsoft Azure is able to easily adapt to the ever changing circumstances of your business. Its flexible features can work both on a manual and auto scaling basis, in line with the demands of application usage. Unlike traditional hosting, scaling in Azure is much easier because you can change to different service plans depending on your needs.
You get a competitive advantage right from the get-go, as you still benefit from the same application performance regardless of the user influx and without having to worry about underutilised on-premise solutions.
Microsoft’s pay-as-you-go model enables businesses to only spend for what they use. Essentially, Azure allows you to access more resources as and when you need them, loading them as a cluster. This means that when you experience the sought-after periods of high volume transactions, you won’t need to spend money on additional hardware and IT maintenance.
With Microsoft Azure, you can get a server configured to your exact specifications in less than 20 minutes, so you will always have plenty of server capacity.
3. Data Backup and Disaster Recovery
With over 50 world-class compliance certifications and 99 years of retention, Azure can protect your data like no other cloud computing platform. It offers single click backup support for SQL database and virtual machines running in Azure.
In the event of service disruption or data loss, Microsoft Azure can recover your data 66% quicker than an on-premise IT solution.
4. Bespoke Industry Applications
High-risk industries like healthcare, financial services and government often require a specific set of applications with unique compliance and security features. With Microsoft Azure, you can address individual challenges from implementing remote access and modernising your financial systems, to optimising customer relationships and enhancing engagement.
5. Improved IT Infrastructure
Through IaaS and PaaS, enterprises can outsource their IT infrastructure and create web applications without having to spend money on infrastructure maintenance. You can partner with a Microsoft Cloud service provider to leverage IaaS and PaaS and build custom enterprise apps on Azure to scale up your business faster.
Ideally, you should always use a reputable Microsoft partner with the exclusive Gold accolade for priority access to Microsoft’s own IT support team.
6. Rapid Deployment
Companies can quickly deploy apps in the cloud, whether they operate privately, or use public cloud services. Hybrid deployment is also available for businesses looking to leverage both cloud and on-premise solutions.
7. Improved Insights
Azure facilitates access to key data insights through SQL and NoSQL data services and built-in support. It also integrates with Excel and more business intelligence features are being added as demand increases. This means you can improve decision making processes and gain valuable insights into what opportunities are available.
8. Secure Identity & Access Management (IAM)
You can considerably reduce hacking risks with Azure Active Directory and its IAM capabilities. Identity and Access Management solutions protect your resources and applications with additional features including Multi-Factor Authentication, Application Proxy and Conditional Access policies.
IAM also removes the downtime for your IT staff to set up accounts and passwords in SaaS applications - users can simply login and access data or apps using just their organisational credentials.
9. Integration with Other Tools
Most businesses depend on other tools like Microsoft 365 or Office 365. Investing in a comprehensive cloud platform like Azure enables you to seamlessly integrate all of your other Microsoft tools and on-premise products into a single integrated environment.
If you’re not a Microsoft user, a full set of hybrid solutions is available through Azure’s BizTalk services which provides integrations across multiple technology platforms, including SAP and Oracle.
10. Automatic Updates
Updates are carried out automatically and in real-time, so that your infrastructure and apps are always ready. You can manage updates for Windows and Linux hardware in both on-premise and cloud environments, assess their status and manage process updates for your servers too.