According to Gartner, global spending on Information Technology (IT) requirements is projected to reach $3.79 trillion in 2019. This expense is an increase of 1.1 percent from 2018. In a move to reduce costs, more companies are shifting from traditional (non-cloud) to cloud-based alternatives like Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform, and Microsoft Azure. This growing market is driving the need to hire expert Azure consultants.
Is Azure Suitable for SMEs?
Most Fortune 400 companies are already using Azure. As reported by Microsoft Chief Financial Officer Amy Hood, the company has reached multi-million-dollar commercial cloud agreements for Azure in the fiscal year 2019.
For small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), however, the biggest attraction of Azure is its considerable savings.
- With servers, storage, and databases accessible on the cloud, SMEs are “renting” hardware resources instead of maintaining their own data centers.
- Azure’s full integration with Microsoft’s application development tools leads to faster development for SMEs.
- More SMEs choose Azure for its ability to host both legacy and cloud-based workloads. The gradual transition from their legacy systems to Azure reduces daily operations.
What are Azure’s Best Features?
All businesses, including SMEs, require the following features to operate smoothly:
- 24/7 Availability. All businesses need to be available all the time for their primary operations. Azure has several reliable solutions to recover data and applications.
How is this achieved? You must store data in multiple data centers across the world. Azure’s site recovery service ensures that critical applications stay online. Secondary locations have replicated workloads.
In addition to this, Azure has a traffic management system that routes data to different data centers in case one region fails due to calamities.
- Flexibility in Adjusting to Volume. Most businesses have their peak seasons. Azure supports SMEs by adjusting according to the volume of demand.
Another significant advantage of Azure is that it regularly monitors and analyzes the utilization of cloud resources. On a per-need basis, companies work with Azure consultants to increase or decrease resources. Using Azure results in huge savings, and companies pay only for what they need.
- Fast Development. Before the cloud, development and testing took a lot of time, slowing down innovation initiatives.
Azure, however, is the best environment for development. They have at least three development and operations (DevOps) features:
- Microsoft Visual Studio Team Services supports collaboration among development teams. It is free for up to five users.
- It has integration with other traditional DevOps tools.
- DevTest Labs is a cost-effective test environment wherein developers, and quality assurance teams can work together.
With cloud testing, developers are free to test all possible scenarios without having to purchase additional equipment. Besides, Azure provides developers with a great variety of templates and tested solutions.
- Data Protection. Every business has data security as its top priority. One of the concerns about working in the cloud is its level of security.
To address this, Azure has a multi-factor authentication system, a two-step verification process.
Working with a combination of Azure’s cloud tools and having a commendable consultant onboard, companies can increase their return on investment and scale-up in their industries.