More and more organizations are evaluating the cloud for their business needs. According to the Microsoft Office 365 e-book, Trend Report: Why Businesses Are Moving to the Cloud, studies show large enterprises are making heavier use of cloud-based applications than their smaller counterparts. However, small and mid-size businesses are catching up fast.
While only about 37% of small and mid-sized business are using cloud-based apps this year, Trend Report anticipates that number to reach 78% by 2020. They also predict the small and mid-sized business cloud computing and services market will grow from $43 billion to $55 billion this year.
With this in mind, Microsoft began making significant investments in their Azure platform in 2015. According to Business Insider, they plan to spend $1 billion a year on security alone, making it a more stable and secure platform to help drive user adoption.
KnowledgeLake recently earned Microsoft’s Silver Cloud Platform Competency, demonstrating our proficiency in Azure cloud applications and services, as well as our commitment to meet the growing demand for infrastructure and software as a service (SaaS) solutions built on Microsoft Azure. Our document processing solutions leverage Azure virtual machines and Azure SQL databases, driving workloads into the cloud and enabling better business agility.
But before incorporating any evolving technology into your business – especially a cloud platform like Azure – there are many important factors to consider before switching up the way your organization’s IT department functions.
Here are the five most common considerations companies contemplate before adopting Microsoft Azure:
1. “I’m concerned about having a lack of control”
Microsoft Azure provides end-to-end visibility of your resources with its Azure Management Portal, allowing you a personalized experience for monitoring your various resources and performing management tasks. With Azure, you have an understanding of where your enterprise data actually is as well as visibility into who is accessing it – offering a consistent way of exposing your settings, billing information, infrastructure health and usage data.
Azure allows you to easily control your environment by scaling it up or down. Virtual machines can be turned off or removed entirely with ease. Do you need to set up a new server for a test environment? With Azure, this is no longer an operating cost – just spin up a virtual machine to perform your tasks and then remove it as soon as the job is complete. In contrast, decommissioning an on-premises server means dealing with the hardware until it can be sold or disposed.
2. “What about security? Aren’t I safer against data breaches on my own server?”
Security is a top concern when dealing with sensitive documents, which is why IT departments often feel more comfortable keeping those documents in their own on-premises data centers. However, cloud security is advancing rapidly and, in some ways, already exceeds what on-premises options can offer.
Security principles are shared across all tenants in the cloud. This allows for a uniform, ever-evolving model that’s responsive to emerging threats and offers strengthened protection. With this model, Microsoft is more effective at identifying weaknesses and quickly adapting (read more in the Microsoft Azure Trust Center).
3. “My industry requires a heavy amount of regulation.”
Many industries and geographic locations require strict compliance regulations are met. Microsoft Azure implements security measures which allows it to meet a vast array of compliance standards. In fact, Microsoft offers the most comprehensive set of compliance offerings of any cloud service provider.
4. “Isn’t moving to the cloud a large investment?”
By moving content from an on-premises data center to Azure, organizations can see a significant drop in their IT capital expenses – which shift to operating cost. By removing the need for server maintenance, an organization no longer needs to pay to:
- Refresh the hardware (and operating systems) every few years to keep the machines up-to-date
- Maintain backups and costly redundancy safe-guards
- House the hardware — which includes indirect costs like electricity and space
To help control costs, Microsoft allows an organization to set monthly spending limits. Activity will halt when the spending limit is reached. The Azure Pricing Calculator will help you start scoping out your Azure scenarios.
5. “Can I place confidence in my system?”
Microsoft also employs enterprise-grade Service Level Agreements (SLAs) to ensure an organization does not experience prolonged downtime. For example, all virtual machines that have two or more instances deployed in the same Availability Set (machines deployed across Fault Domains) are guaranteed to have 99.95% availability. Read about Microsoft’s commitments for uptime and connectivity here.
Armed with this information, we hope you have a better sense of how Azure can fit your needs and help transform your business.
Learn how KnowledgeLake can help you meet your growing need for infrastructure and SaaS solutions built on Microsoft Azure.