How Microsoft Azure Powers Global Business
Whether you admit it or not, the world of business has fundamentally changed over the past decade—and the rate of change is only accelerating, particularly for the global enterprise. While the urge to maintain the status quo and resist the pull of digital transformation can be strong, today’s global businesses must heed the call to future-proof their businesses and remain competitive. According to a survey from the Uptime Institute, more than half of senior enterprise IT executives expect the majority of enterprise data to reside in the cloud in the near future.
Luckily, Microsoft’s Azure platform is at the forefront of helping the global enterprise transform and remain relevant in the digital age. Across organizations and entire industries, the cloud is the foundational backbone that modern enterprise is building on, and for the past eight years, Azure has been helping enterprise businesses realize higher efficiency, greater flexibility, lower costs, and better performance for their applications and services.
What is Azure?
As vast and promising as the clear skies it’s named for, Microsoft Azure is a platform of interoperable cloud computing services. Instead of relying on an expensive on-premise server installation, or leasing physical servers from traditional data centers, Azure offers enterprises the opportunity to digitally transform their businesses by moving them entirely to the cloud either via public, private, or hybrid arrangements.
Over 5 million organizations are currently using Microsoft Azure to reap the benefits of the enterprise cloud. And while the cloud is frequently identified as a gamechanger for the modern enterprise, many CIOs, and senior IT leaders have yet to recognize the value that migrating to a cloud infrastructure can provide. Sounds like you? Keep on reading.
On-premise solutions aren’t cheap. When you factor in the initial server hardware costs, the cost of replacement parts to maintain those servers, the power and cooling electricity expenses, the licensing costs for the software to run on those servers, the frequent upgrade costs for that software, and the expense required to hire staff to manage all of that (don’t forget to hire backup staff in case anyone ever wants to take a vacation), the accumulated cost of maintaining on-premise server deployments for enterprise businesses can easily stretch into the hundreds of thousands of dollars, over a relatively short period. If you want to match the level of service cloud infrastructure can provide, you’re paying even more.
…And we haven’t even touched on what the cost of downtime can be if something goes south (with 81% of respondents in this survey reporting that an hour of downtime can cost over $300,000, let’s just assume you won’t find it in your couch cushions.)
Azure pricing, on the other hand, is calculated based on usage alone—either in terms of time, or data—one monthly cost (if you’re curious, you can calculate yours here), no upfront hardware charges, no licensing costs, no additional staff, and SLAs and redundancy to protect against expensive downtime. Still not convinced? In this cost analysis, a three-year cost review clocked Microsoft Azure in at $53,000, while an on-premise solution cost over twice as much at $132,000 (with $99,000 spent in the first year alone.) Twice the cost, at a fraction of the service, with the risk of variable maintenance and labor costs, and suddenly that on-premise server setup doesn’t seem like the most cost-effective solution.
Downtime happens. Either through hardware failure, or human error, or power outage, or force of nature, or act of God, into every server, a little downtime must fall. If your servers fail, your data goes with it, and your entire organization can be brought to its knees until access is restored.
With Microsoft Azure, data doesn’t solely reside on one server in one data center—rather, it’s replicated across a number of different servers, in different centers, ensuring geographic redundancy in the event of a natural disaster or catastrophic event. Power outage in California? No problem—your data can still be accessed thanks to redundancy in over 30 other data centers. Service Level Agreements from Microsoft help to guarantee uptime and provide recourse in the event of an outage or failure so that your enterprise is protected and the risk of downtime is mitigated.
The Microsoft Azure infrastructure was built with scalability and efficiency in mind—and they’ve continued to invest heavily in the platform over the past few years to ensure that new deployments can happen quickly and painlessly, with minimal disruption. With IoT, data and analytics, and business operations layers that can be rapidly deployed, the ability to capture, visualize, and act on data that can help your enterprise achieve operational excellence has never been easier.
Couple this with the fact that enterprise businesses building on Microsoft Azure have faster development cycles and shorter time to deploy, and it’s unsurprising that these businesses are more nimble and agile, and able to iterate and improve faster as a result.
With solutions like BizTalk Server, Logic Apps, Event Grid, and API Management, Microsoft Azure offers enterprises the opportunity to fully integrate their data, applications, and processes by building an API-enabled enterprise—allowing them to operate with speed and agility.
By utilizing Azure’s suite of connection tools, enterprise businesses can break down data silos across locations and departments and easily provide a holistic platform that covers end-to-end business operations. Rapidly accessing, visualizing, and disseminating data gives enterprises the opportunity to operate at the speed of a much smaller organization—and reap the benefits.
Agility, scalability, integration, and redundancy will remain as four critical components of a successful global enterprise for many years—and by building on Microsoft Azure, your enterprise will be aligned with a cloud infrastructure that matches both your needs and your ambition.
The cost savings alone are reason enough to make a move to Microsoft Azure – but the business benefits of utilizing Azure cannot be understated. And choosing a partner with the experience and background to offer Azure Managed Services means you’ll get all the benefits of an Azure environment, without worry. You don’t need a cloud expert on your in-house team with OnActuate because we deliver ongoing support and maintenance for all your Azure services. If you’re ready to move with the future of business, let us help you analyze your true costs and identify the potential ROI. We are ready to explore your specific business environment and goals so you get the best possible solution.