Is your team spending too much time and money on support, maintenance, and administration of legacy physical infrastructure? Are you struggling to scale your on-premises environments or finding that the cost to operate traditional disaster recovery solutions is becoming cost-prohibitive?
If the answer to any of these questions is yes, it’s time to shift more of your operations to the cloud.
According to Gartner, by 2024, more than 45% of enterprise IT spending will be in areas that encompass moving to the cloud.1 It’s a trend that COVID-19 has helped accelerate, with many enterprises now needing to securely and efficiently support more remote workers and new digital initiatives. More than half of IT decision-makers have reported spending significantly more on cloud services than planned due to the pandemic.2
But why should you select Microsoft Azure over other cloud providers?
If you have an extensive Microsoft footprint already, turning to Microsoft Azure to support your cloud strategy is the most straightforward path. But there are many other reasons why Azure remains the most popular supplier of public cloud services.
At Connection, as we’ve worked with medium and large enterprises to support their migration and ongoing cloud management, we’ve found that these are some of the most significant benefits of using Microsoft Azure:
1. World-Class Security
With new cybersecurity threats emerging daily, security must be a top priority for every enterprise. Microsoft Azure has made security a foundational component of its platform, investing over 1B+ USD in security research and development.
Other stand-out security features included in Microsoft Azure include:
- Data protection: Microsoft uses advanced encryption processes to protect all data stored on Azure, including multi-factor authentication, proxy card access readers, and biometric readers and scanners.
- Threat intelligence database: One of the most sophisticated systems globally, Microsoft tracks more than 8 trillion daily global threats to identify new threats before they impact customers.
- Automated monitoring and threat detection: Microsoft uses automated monitoring of cloud environments and artificial intelligence to identify potential threats, including DDoS and phishing attacks. Administrators are also automatically notified of potential threats and have the visibility and tools to respond quickly and efficiently.
- Threat protection: Azure helps defend your hybrid environments from multiple attacks and threats by natively coordinating detection, prevention, investigation, and response across endpoints, identities, email, and applications.
- VPN gateway: This security service gives you access to several tools to keep data secure while supporting remote workers with access to vital applications, data, and environments.
2. Most Comprehensive Compliance Coverage
Microsoft adheres to some of the most rigorous security and compliance standards in the world. They lead the industry with over 90 global compliance certificates, including over 50 certificates specific to global regions and countries and more than 35 compliance offerings specific to the needs of key industries, such as health, government, finance, education, manufacturing, and media. Microsoft was also the first to embrace the new international standard for cloud privacy, ISO 27018. And its built-in compliance controls make it easy to create, deploy, and enforce compliant environments with internal policies and external regulations.
3. Unique Hybrid Cloud Capabilities
Azure stands out in the marketplace of cloud providers for its unparalleled hybrid capabilities. Its hybrid services facilitate a reliable and consistent platform between on-premises and public cloud. Azure also provides a more comprehensive set of hybrid functionalities, including VPNs, file sharing, monitoring, content delivery networks (CDN), and point-to-point connectivity to improve usability and performance and make it easier for you to migrate apps or data and track usage.
4. Simplified Disaster Recovery and Back Up
As the volume of data continues to increase exponentially, preserving and protecting data has become more complex for IT administrators. Azure simplifies data recovery by allowing you to back up virtual machines, SQL workloads and on-premises VMware with a single click. Additionally, Microsoft helps you keep critical applications running and minimizes downtime through its built-in disaster recovery tools.
Real World Results of Azure Back Up
Download our case study to learn how one advertising agency gained more confidence and control in their back up solution while paying 556% less by utilizing Connection’s Azure Managed Services.
5. Powerful Combination of PaaS And IaaS Services
Microsoft Azure offers Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS). IaaS gives you the advantage of scaling on demand and paying only for what you use and eliminates the complexity of buying and managing your own infrastructure. Azure PaaS offers these advantages as well as access to sophisticated development tools and pre-coded application components built into the platform, which lets you cut your coding time and add development capabilities without adding staff.
6. Built-In Scalability
Scalability is a primary reason many enterprises make the shift to the cloud. Because cloud services can scale on demand, you can minimize business risk from a cost perspective while providing more flexibility to meet variable user demand. Azure makes it easy for enterprises to scale automatically—in or out as well as up or down—to meet workload demands. This gives you the flexibility to expand or decrease server capacity and existing hardware or software resources. Azure supports autoscaling on IaaS, PaaS, and virtual machines (VM).
7. Easy to Learn
Microsoft Azure uses familiar tools such as Visual Studio, ASP, NET, and programming languages like Visual Basic, C++, and C#. Microsoft also provides extensive documentation and certification courses and has a strong network of trusted partners who can help with migration and ongoing management of Azure.
8. Cost-Efficient Pricing Structure
Microsoft Azure’s consumption-based pricing structure allows you to pay only for what you use. This allows enterprises to better manage their IT budgets and decrease infrastructure costs. It can also help cut down on IT administration costs because Microsoft Azure handles ongoing maintenance. However, if you lack the proper service support, your shift to the cloud may be more expensive and take more time than expected, resulting in additional costs. So it’s essential to make sure you have the experience and expertise in-house or through a trusted partner to guide you through your migration.
Make Your Move to Microsoft Azure
Migrating to Microsoft Azure can deliver many benefits to your enterprise, but as with any cloud migration, it’s also an involved process. To ensure you can maximize the benefits of Microsoft Azure, you want a trusted partner who will:
- Make sure Microsoft Azure is the right fit for your organization
- Help you determine which applications, workloads, and virtual machines to migrate
- Assist with configuring an Azure environment and executing a smooth migration
- Ensure you have the right security strategy in place
- Configure monitoring, backups, and disaster recovery so you can efficiently operationalize your new Azure environment(s)
- Fill any technology and management gaps
Connection can help you get the most out of your Microsoft Azure investment. Read our white paper, Optimize Your Existing Microsoft Azure Environment, to learn how we can help you increase performance, reduce overall costs, and more.
 Michael Warrilow, Ed Anderson, Colleen Graham, “Cloud Shift Will Shapte IT Strategies for Executive Leaders Through 2024,” Gartner, Jan. 25, 2021.
 State of the Cloud Report. Flexera. 2020