The computing needs of a small- and medium-sized business (SMBs) have changed drastically over the last decade. To remain competitive with larger enterprises, SMBs require agility, scalability, and cost-effectiveness from their technology solutions. Fortunately, there is a game-changing solution that helps SMBs overcome these hurdles, and it’s called Microsoft Azure.
What is Microsoft Azure?
Microsoft Azure is a comprehensive cloud platform that offers more than 200 services, ranging from web and mobile applications to storage and analytics. With Azure, businesses can build, deploy, and manage applications quickly without investing in the additional underlying hardware infrastructure required to run them. All the storage, databases, and other computing resources are managed by Microsoft and delivered to the user on demand via the internet. That means users can essentially access on-demand computing power by leveraging Microsoft’s global network of data centers.
What are the benefits of Azure?
Migrating to Microsoft Azure offers a number of benefits for small- and medium-sized businesses.
Seamless app development platform
With Azure’s Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) offerings, developers can focus on writing code and creating applications using a wide range of services and tools that cater to different application development needs. It supports various programming languages, frameworks, and tools, enabling developers to work with their preferred technologies. Businesses can choose from a variety of prebuilt templates and solutions to accelerate development, saving valuable time and effort.
Moreover, Azure’s PaaS solutions offer seamless integration with other Azure services, such as databases, AI services, and analytics tools, enabling businesses to create feature-rich and data-driven applications. Once the application is ready, Azure’s PaaS simplifies the deployment process, providing automated scaling and load balancing to ensure optimal performance even during spikes in usage.
One of the most compelling benefits of Microsoft Azure for businesses is the potential for massive cost savings. Instead of investing in a server infrastructure, businesses can basically rent the computing power they need from Microsoft and only pay for what they use. This eliminates significant upfront costs such as buying servers and also reduces ongoing expenses such as hardware maintenance, power, cooling, and staffing costs.
A major obstacle for SMBs is finding a cost-effective way to scale up their computing resources as the demand on their system increases. With Azure, businesses have access to an unlimited pool of computing power, enabling them to quickly expand and contract their resources as needed without any expensive hardware investments.
When businesses need more resources, they can simply request additional computing power, storage, or other services from Azure. The platform’s pay-as-you-go and per-usage billing models make it easy to increase capacity with minimal risk and cost. And when they no longer need those resources, resources can be released and the cost is adjusted accordingly.
Remote data storage
Azure offers two main types of data storage: Azure Blob and Azure Files. The former provides object-level storage for applications and the latter provides file share-based storage. In either case, data stored in Azure is encrypted and sent over an encrypted connection for maximum security.
Azure’s remote storage means that businesses don’t need to set up their own infrastructure or deal with the costs of additional hardware. Since all the data is stored securely on Azure servers, businesses can access it from any device with an internet connection. This is especially useful for backup and recovery applications, as businesses can quickly restore key data from the cloud in case of emergency.
Azure’s reputation as a leading cloud computing platform is attributed to its unwavering commitment to enterprise-grade security. Azure offers a host of advanced security features, such as end-to-end encryption, next-generation firewalls, advanced threat protection, and multifactor authentication protocols. It also comes with an Active Directory that allows businesses to manage user access and permissions.
What’s more, Azure provides a secure computing environment for businesses and ensures they comply with industry-specific regulations such as ISO, GDPR, HIPAA. Microsoft and third parties even regularly audit and monitor the Azure infrastructure to ensure it meets the highest security standards.
Microsoft native integrations
Microsoft Azure’s integration with the broader Microsoft ecosystem is a significant advantage for businesses already using Microsoft products. Azure seamlessly integrates with popular tools such as Microsoft 365, Dynamics 365, SharePoint, and more, creating a cohesive and unified experience. This tight integration streamlines workflows, promotes collaboration across teams, and enhances productivity by allowing users to access and share data seamlessly between Azure services and Microsoft applications.
At Varsity Tech, we understand Microsoft Azure is a great equalizer for small- and medium-sized businesses. Our team of experienced engineers can help you migrate to Azure and optimize your existing infrastructure to get the most out of the cloud. Contact us today for a free consultation.