As Microsoft’s cloud market share has risen, the Azure cloud has matured, providing greater business value across its vast product line. Microsoft also has established partnerships with a number of technology brands—many of which you may already use.
If you’re considering cloud platforms, there are some key ways in which Azure can benefit your bottom line now while helping you identify and manage future business opportunities. Let’s take a closer look at some of the top reasons that your business may benefit from the Azure cloud platform.
1. Great customer support helps speed adoption
The online documentation for each Azure product supplies both learning tracks and reference material for DevOps to take hold in your organization. There’s also a team of over sixty cloud advocates helping businesses big and small take advantage of the full gamut of products and services in Azure. Microsoft values the developer community’s stewardship of Azure: Most of the products and extensions to those products have source-code projects maintained in GitHub.
2. Quick organizational ramp-up gets you to market faster
Gone are the days that Microsoft would solely push Microsoft-only technologies with their product offerings. Yes, .NET languages and tools are first-class supported in Azure. But, if your organization builds applications in Java, Node.js, or Python, then your developers will be at home working in Azure. No Windows? No problem. Microsoft embraced open source development and Linux back in 2015, and the results are showing in Azure today. You can find the Linux distro of your choice among Debian, Red Hat, Ubuntu, and others. Your operations specialists may also take advantage of the great UX found in the Azure Portal as well as the Azure command-line interface to manage your cloud resources. Because your entire organization’s skills matrix will align well to Azure, you should be positioned to bring your ideas to market faster.
3. Robust analytics & intelligence powers better decisions
Azure enables you to bring strategic decision-making into your business through its many AI and analytics products, designed for both data science professionals and BI analysts. Scalable services that fit your diverse data needs include HDInsight Hadoop with Apache Spark. The Power Query M functions that analysts work with in Excel are now available to scale across big data via data wrangling in the Azure Data Factory. Another standout among these products is Azure’s Machine Learning, which employs a DevOps approach. Beginners can jump right into Machine Learning using the Azure Machine Learning Studio, while experienced users have the option of working with hands-on tools like Jupyter Notebooks, TensorFlow, and Python programming.
4. You won’t get stuck in a box
With Azure, you can meet your business’ unique technology goals without getting locked into costly infrastructure and software contracts. The Azure cloud platform provides a holistic set of products for your business, including hybrid and private cloud offerings running many fully-supported open-source and commercial solutions. There are options suited to your organization’s level of cloud maturity and needs: from custom app dev of PaaS to newly announced Azure Arc on-prem management of IaaS. Azure products also integrate smoothly with products from Microsoft competitors like Amazon, Google, Oracle, SAP storage and services—among many others. Salesforce even announced the use of Azure as their budding relationship with Microsoft grows—to the benefit of everyone’s product experience.
5. High-level data security protects your business
Securing your data in someone else’s data center is a big concern for some businesses. Azure was designed with security in mind and meets over 70 security standards or regulations, including GDPR, HIPAA, FERPA, and ISO 27001, which can be assessed in the Azure Compliance Manager. In addition to running its own resources at these standards, products and services are available to help you achieve your own security standards during development. Azure Active Directory assists with user identity and authorization and the Azure Key Vault provides a platform for securely storing your application secrets. Network security features of Azure from the virtual to the physical hardening aspects give your business the value of infrastructure not easily attainable in your own data center. Your revenue is protected from reputational damage, downtime, and employee productivity loss when leveraging the isolated network and threat protection of Azure.
We know that Azure isn’t the only cloud platform out there, and what you’ll need for your business depends on many factors. But one of the main reasons business leaders pick Azure is for its inherent flexibility. This isn’t early 2000s Microsoft we’re dealing with—the company’s vision has evolved over the past five or six years, making Azure the open and customer-centric platform it is today. That means you’ll be able to adopt it quickly, so you can realize the benefits of the cloud now while scaling into the future.