7 Signs Your Business Needs Microsoft Azure

Updated: February 12th, 2024 Author: Liv Appleton

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Cloud technology has accelerated since the start of the pandemic. 

Cost Implications: Managed IT Services vs Inhouse IT

As technology advances and the shift towards flexible working increases, this adoption is only going to grow.

With the almost instantaneous implementation of remote working when the pandemic hit, businesses that were already utilising cloud computing had the ability to adapt quicker than those that hadn’t. From allowing their teams to access programmes from home to the enablement of accessing data and networks securely, the use of cloud platforms like Microsoft Azure made the transition less chaotic.

Since then, more and more businesses have come to realise how cloud computing can benefit their business beyond the needs brought about by the pandemic. Technological progression, flexible working and improved security are just some of the benefits that have been made possible by cloud technology.

Naturally, if you’ve got limited experience with cloud platforms like Microsoft Azure, it can leave you wondering if it is worth the investment. However, the signs that Microsoft Azure is a key solution that you should integrate within your business may be clear, if you know where to look.

What is Microsoft Azure?

Before we crack on with explaining why your business needs Microsoft Azure, it would be beneficial to offer a quick explanation of what it is. Microsoft Azure is a cloud platform that is made up of more than 200 products and cloud services, which are designed to enable you to create new solutions for your business. The powerful platform includes Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Software as a Service (SaaS), which provides you with the ability to replace or supplement your on-premise servers for more powerful, flexible and cost-effective computing. With Microsoft Azure, you can take advantage of reliable service with 99.95% availability SLA and 24/7 tech support, which limits downtime and an economical solution that enables you to only pay for what you use. Furthermore, security is a dream, with encryption capabilities, built-in security offerings and enhanced backup and disaster recovery.

The list of benefits and capabilities provided by Azure is practically endless, but how do you know if it is the right step for your business? Wonder no longer. Here are 7 key signs that your business is ready for Microsoft Azure to take it to the next level!

1)  Scalability Issues

Managed IT Services Best Practices being discussed between two people on the computer

One of the biggest chains that can tie your business down is restrictive on-premise systems. When the time comes for your business to grow, scaling up your infrastructure and solutions can be incredibly difficult without the adoption of cloud technology. Disruption whilst waiting for new licenses, limited capacity for data storage, and infrastructure limitations can hinder your ability to scale up your business. However, with Azure, you can quickly scale your IT solutions, up and down, as required. From increasing storage capacity to easily adding team members to your network, it can all be managed quickly with little to no disruption to your business.

2)  Compliance and Security Issues

In this modern age, ensuring your business remains secure and compliant with current regulations can be difficult. If you’re finding it hard to ensure your processes are compliant or you’re worried about the security risks when implementing hybrid or remote working, Microsoft Azure can give you peace of mind. The services within Microsoft Azure allow you to take advantage of more than 90 compliance certifications, including over 50 that are specific to global regions, including GDPR in the EU. Further to this, you can also benefit from 35 compliance offerings that are tailored to the needs of specific sectors, such as finance, health and education.

When it comes to cloud computing, security is always a key consideration. However, with Microsoft Azure, your applications, services and data are protected by a wide variety of security tools. Alongside these tools and capabilities, you can also take advantage of a range of configurable security options to customise your security measures to meet the needs of your deployments.

3) Out of Date On-Premise Infrastructure

Restricting your business to ageing on-premise infrastructure can be costly and tie your business down should your IT requirements change, e.g. when you want to expand your business or in response to a crisis, such as COVID-19. As well as the initial cost for hardware, licences and programmes, you also have to find money for the maintenance of the infrastructure, insurance and any specialised personnel that are required to manage this technology. It all adds up and a lot of this cost may be unnecessary. Furthermore, in an attempt to make their IT more ‘flexible’, businesses may invest in unnecessary solutions and hardware, which can cause overspending whilst simultaneously not solving the issue.

Utilising Azure Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and Azure Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) allows businesses to pay for exactly what they need. From simple cloud-based applications to a range of cloud resources, your business can access whatever you need from a cloud service provider on a pay-as-you-go basis, removing the need for the on-premise equivalent. Your business is no longer tied into costly unnecessary solutions, as when you no longer have use for them, you can simply cancel them and remove them. Similarly, if you need to expand your IT infrastructure for whatever reason, whether it’s due to employing a new team member or there is a need for a particular solution, you can simply add it to your contract. With Azure, you can ensure that your business IT infrastructure is always fit for purpose, up to date and cost-effective.

4) Not So Flexible Working

Azure Security Best Practices

With Azure, you have access to reliable device management both on and off-site. Your team can securely access business applications, files and programs from anywhere, just as they would in the office with Azure Virtual Desktop. Your team can work just as securely away from the office without requiring specialised remote VPNs with the use of Multi-Factor Authentication and a range of security features provided by Azure.

5) Make the Most Out of Microsoft 365

Many businesses use Microsoft 365 for productivity and to manage their business processes, but without Azure, it’s unlikely they’re getting the most out of it. Azure takes Microsoft 365 to a different level, as it provides you with a secure and cost-effective software solution that is effortlessly scalable. Naturally, as your business expands and you need to enrol more users into your network, data management becomes more complex. With Azure, data management processes are streamlined, with built-in encryption, data management and security applications and solutions that make it easier for you to keep your data protected. With Azure and Microsoft 365, you have an incredible productivity solution with secure data storage.

6) Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning

AI has become a hot topic in recent months, thanks to developments in the technology that have worked their way into mainstream media. However, beyond artificial intelligence’s common uses in automating text, Azure offers complex and in-depth AI tools that allow users to develop automated processes to perform a whole plethora of tasks that businesses can find useful. These include activities such as language and tone analysis, computer vision and software development to name but a few. 

On top of this, Azure’s AI tools can aid its own machine learning processes, which help businesses further analyse and take advantage of data as wide-ranging as everyday business processes to in-depth consumer data. In turn, this data and the conclusions taken from it can be put into effect quickly, allowing businesses to pivot their plans as necessary to boost revenue, productivity and overall business output.

7) System Integration and Hybrid Environments

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While Microsoft Azure is an all-encompassing platform offering hundreds of tools businesses can use to their advantage, that isn’t to say these tools need to replace a business’s existing systems. On the contrary, Azure can be onboarded to work alongside and complement existing systems, so businesses can enjoy the best of both worlds and continue utilising methods of working they’re used to while enjoying the benefits of new technology. This hybrid cloud approach means businesses can access essential creative and collaborative tools hosted on-site or off-site. 

Azure Stack allows businesses to host the platform on their own office-based hardware, while the Azure Arc app opens the system up to be implemented in any suitable environment – including cloud environments. Your business could onboard Microsoft Azure as part of a migration to a hybrid structure, creating opportunities for greater collaboration between office staff and remote workers, while allowing all involved to access the tools they need to do their jobs, no matter where they are based.

Take Advantage of Azure with Elite

Think your business is ready for Azure? Take advantage of this incredible platform with expert help and advice from Elite. Whether you’re looking to implement secure flexible working, improve security or scale your business, we can help you not only integrate Azure into your business but to get the most out of it. We’re proud to be a Microsoft Gold Partner and Tier-1 Microsoft Cloud Solution Provider, which means our team of specialists are capable of helping you to utilise Azure to meet the needs of your business both now and in the future. So, if you’re ready to find out how Azure can take your business to the next level, get in touch with us today!

Microsoft Azure Frequently Asked Questions

When was Microsoft Azure first introduced?

Microsoft Azure – formerly known as ‘Windows Azure’ was first launched back in February 2010. Since then, the platform has undergone significant renovations and updates as time and technology have progressed, to offer users and businesses the very best in software and infrastructure tools and services. While it could be considered primitive in its initial form compared to today’s standards, the platform is now home to many computer, storage, data, communication and development services, amongst a host of other enticing features.

What type of businesses use Microsoft Azure?

As the world’s premier cloud computing and creative solutions platform, Microsoft Azure is used by some of the world’s biggest and best-known businesses across an array of specialities. These include such titans as LinkedIn, LG Electronics, Verizon, Adobe and Intel to name but a few. While many of these top names are closely linked to technology, creativity and communications, businesses of countless backgrounds can find handy tools within the Microsoft Azure platform to drive their success. Speak to an Elite Expert today to find out more.

Will Microsoft Azure become outdated anytime soon?

As Microsoft Azure is constantly monitored and updated by industry experts working for the world’s premier computer technology provider, it is highly unlikely Azure will become outdated as a platform anytime soon. In fact, as the world expands, processes change and our understanding of more complex technology progresses, Microsoft Azure will likely keep being updated with the tools that are relevant to business success the world over. As a Microsoft Solutions partner, Elite Group are in a prime position to offer expert advice on Azure – get in touch with us today if you’d like to know more about how it could benefit your business.

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