Efficiencies, flexibility and long-term innovation using Azure
Migrating to the cloud is an important strategic decision as part of your organisations’ digital transformation. With many focusing on public cloud, they arrive at a decision point: “Which cloud is the best fit for my needs?”. For part three of our Migrating to the Cloud blog series we’ll cover who is using Azure, what they’re using it for as well of the benefits for that use case.
Take advantage of an existing relationship with Microsoft
Microsoft Azure usage is growing rapidly. In July 2017, the company reported its annualised revenue from Cloud Services as USD$18.9 billion. Part of the reason for that growth is that Microsoft have existing relationships across all industries. Across the board there are business cases that can be built and benefits to be realised. For instance, for enterprise organisations, migrating to Azure can be incredibly compelling due to the ability to leverage existing licensing constructs with Microsoft such as Enterprise Agreements. If you already have an EA in place, it allows you to streamline Azure procurement, and take advantage of a direct relationship with Microsoft. If you’re not in enterprise space, there is no need to worry, you can still access EA like benefits via the Cloud Solution Provider program (of which Bulletproof is a Tier 1 CSP).
Do not fear licensing
When assessing Public Cloud, licensing is a concern for any organisation. It’s important to note that all Microsoft product licensing is included in the consumption cost for the virtual machine and/or platform service. If you already have on-prem licensing agreements with Microsoft, you get access to decreased consumption costs for associated services in Azure. Equally you can transfer existing MS licenses to the Azure platform. If you fall into one of these categories, you may be able to enjoy cost savings.
Scale up and down with ease
For many organisations, the ability to capitalise on rapid growth is a welcome challenge. Azure enables organisations to scale up and down quickly and easily by using Azure native technologies. This scalability also ties into the opportunities with regards to pay as you go consumption-based pricing. As Steve mentioned in the first blog in this series, cost is a key driving factor for cloud adoption. Being able to pay for only what you use to minimise wasted cloud spend with Azure can help you drive that conversation internally.
The importance of backup
If you’re weighing up your options for a cloud migration, it’s pretty standard for backup and Disaster Recovery (DR) to be front of mind. When appropriately configured Public cloud is way more secure than most on-prem solutions and Azure’s out of the box capabilities when it comes to DR and backup are formidable. You can take advantage of services like Azure Site Recovery to not only recover your Virtual Machines in the cloud but also for migration or DR. On top of offering these type of services, perhaps the most compelling aspect is that DR can be semi-automated and performed quickly at scale. This means if you encounter a DR incident, you can reduce recovery times using Azure from days to hours or minutes.
Meeting your regulatory requirements
Compliance and regulatory requirements are front of mind for CIOs, CFOs and CTOs, particularly in verticals such as finance, insurance, healthcare, law and government. Whereas previously this may have lead organisations to maintain an on-premises solution, Azure is a real alternative. With the appropriate design and implementation Azure is able to meet a range of key regulatory requirements across APRA, ISO and increasing IRAP/ASD coverage, ensuring a key box is ticked as you begin your cloud migration journey.
Unlocking long-term analytics power
When you’re migrating to cloud, you’re at the beginning of your digital transformation. So there’s a good deal of work to come before you hit the top right of the matrix and unlock game-changing innovation. Even still, it’s too tempting not to dig into the possibilities on Azure. Every organisation wants to harness their data to make better business decisions. With Azure and services like Power BI, you are actually able to transform your data into actionable insights and analytics. Business intelligence is critical because it helps drive better long-term decision making across all business functions. By migrating to Azure, you unlock access to pluggable business intelligence and analytics using Azure’s product suite. Power BI integrates into familiar products, meaning that potentially you’ll be able to start using these capabilities easily with seamless integration.
Before I wrap up, the last thing I want to touch on is the easily interchangeable options available on Azure. By that I mean the ability to mix IaaS, PaaS and SaaS offerings. This provides a degree of solution flexibility and room to manoeuvre that is quite exciting. As an example you could go into Azure as IaaS (your Compute, Storage and Networking needs on-demand) and then switch to PaaS. With PaaS, this can mean a lower TCO and faster path to innovation; while for IaaS it can mean migrating to cloud quicker, while retaining a greater degree of control.
As you can see, there are many different options for migrating to Azure and reasons to migrate. It is an extremely flexible and attractive platform for businesses of all sizes. There are few different threads to it: the resource elasticity and consumption-based pricing; the scalability to grow with speed; and the innovations you’ll gain as you mature in your digital transformation. Migrating to Azure is simply easier than maintaining your own infrastructure, allowing you to focus on organically growing your core business. Join us next week for the next installment in our Migrating to the Cloud blog series as we continue our look into what we see organisations doing at the start of their digital transformation journey.