What is Microsoft Azure and how can it help your business?

Many businesses are interested in modernising their IT systems, but the question is how. The word ‘cloud’ is commonly used but rarely understood, yet the shift makes sense within the context of the broader trend towards digital transformation that has been amplifying ever since the dawn of modern tech. So how is it achieved?

With many businesses struggling to keep up with modern advances in technology,

Stuck in the rut of systems from the floppy disk era, many businesses are increasingly investigating cloud-based services to revolutionise their business, increase efficiency and reap the benefits of computer intelligence. Such systems can be complex to get your head around because they are multi-faceted and offer varied services.

Migrating applications to the cloud can be a process but most businesses are finding that with professional support, the transition is benefiting their business hugely. In this blog we will explore the highly popular Microsoft Azure cloud system and explain the ways in which it might be able to help.

What does Microsoft Azure do?

Microsoft Azure is a public cloud, offering both public and private computing services, which allows businesses to manage, construct and put into use services and applications over the internet, wherever they may be around the world and whatever device they may be using.

Rather than having a physically located server and infrastructure in the office, participating businesses pay to tap into the immense resources Microsoft offer, utilising their choice of Azure’s 200+ services.

Azure’s services include but are not limited to:

  • Analytics – Azure allows users to collect and store metrics and has analytical capabilities to allow users to determine what is succeeding and what is failing.
  • Storage & Backup – Azure allows users to store and backup data in the cloud, ensuring that it can be recovered in the case of a disaster or document mishandling.
  • Web and Mobile App Development – Azure allows users to test newly developed applications and brings together app development essentials into one place. Furthermore, it can host applications once they are ready for release.
  • Networking – Azure allows you transmit content to users anywhere around the globe at record speed, plus it can also connect with your existing services.
  • Compute – Create virtual machines which can be used to run full Server operating systems for specific requirements or even virtual desktops for full desktop as a service.
  • SQL databases, artificial intelligence, IoT (internet of things), and more.

Why are so many businesses now using Azure?

Azure brings with it the reputation of the Microsoft name, but there is more to its success story than that. The transition is being brought about because an increasing number of businesses are cluing onto the fact that on-site data centres are a thing of the past, in our increasingly cloud-based and globalised workplaces.

Here are some key reasons motivating businesses to make the change:

  • Affordability – Without the requirement of physical infrastructure within the office space, which requires maintenance, servicing and replacement, costs are lower than ever before.
  • Flexibility – Cloud-based services can be operated and used from remote locations around the world. New updates do not need to be physically purchased; they can be acquired instantly, reducing wait-time. Also, with Azure you only pay for the services you use. It is scalable depending on the success of your initiative, so there’s no risk of buying more or less than you need.
  • The wide range of services – It’s tempting for a business to collate everything into one place and Azure allows users to do that by providing such a wide range of services. It makes migration of existing apps/services to the cloud an easy process.
  • Security – The costs to a business losing all data or not being able to access it for a certain period are incalculable. The immensely high-speeds of the cloud-based Azure and its lack of just one physical base ensures that customers can continue to be serviced during disaster and that information will not be lost. Microsoft Azure is a highly secure cloud foundation offering a range of additional services aimed to increase cyber security utilizing their security experts and artificial intelligence. The cyber security benefits are also significant, as demonstrated by Microsoft’s promptly developed patch to the Meltdown vulnerability. But that’s another story.

How to start moving to the cloud

Anyone can create an account on Microsoft Azure, but with so many elements to this cloud-based computing tech, it can be difficult to know how to fully harness its potential. The other challenge is that Azure is not perfect for everyone; it is just one form of cloud solution, with some businesses finding other options suit them best.

Whether you outsource your IT or merely need support in implementing it, the professional IT consulting services of a modern IT company that specialises in cloud-based tech can be a great first step for ensuring a smooth and successful transition to a full or partly cloud-based workplace.

At Agile MSP, we stay up to date with the latest innovations in cloud-based technology and have provided advice and support to dozens of businesses migrating their services to the internet.

If we can help you transition to cloud computing or if you are merely interested in discovering more about the benefits, please do not hesitate to contact us at sales@agilemsp.com.au or on 1300 247 677.

We can also help with a range of other IT-related services such as asset tagging services Managed IT Services, set-up of infrastructure and project management of IT systems.

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