Microsoft Azure – bringing big benefits for small businesses
What is Microsoft Azure?
Every day, more and more organizations are leveraging the cloud. Gartner predicts that more than $1.3 trillion in IT spending will be affected by the shift to the cloud by 2022. However, with so many options available, it can be hard to decide when, where, and how to use cloud services. Microsoft Azure is one of the best cloud storage options for small businesses today. So what exactly is Azure, and how can Microsoft Azure be used for small businesses?
Azure is a lot of things. Azure is Microsoft’s “As-a-Service” platform for providing information technology resources and services via the cloud. When we say “As-a-Service”, normally there’s Software-as-a-Service, Platform-as-a-Service, and Infrastructure-as-a-Service. Azure actually encompasses all of those things.
What are the benefits of Microsoft Azure for small business?
The biggest benefit of using Microsoft Azure for small business is their Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS).
The benefit of Azure’s IaaS as opposed to using on-premises storage would be the flexibility. Flexibility in resources allows you to start small and grow, and not have to anticipate capacity or demands down the road. For example, when you’re buying servers and storage for your company, you have to buy the servers, anticipate how much memory you’ll need, CPU you’ll need, software licensing, storage needs, backup, security software and more.
With Azure you’re able to move capital expenditure (CAPEX) over to operational expenses (OPEX), so you can start small with what you need now, and increase later on, or decrease if you need to. If you had a piece of software that you stopped using, with Azure you can shut that down and it stops charging you immediately. Whereas if you had done that with a physical infrastructure, you shut the software down, but you still have the physical piece you had to account for sitting there basically being wasted. You’re not getting any money back for it even though you might not be using it.
Are there any times when Azure is not recommended?
There are times when it’s not a good fit. Sometimes when you plan to move everything from on-premise to cloud, if you compare the costs it doesn’t end up being cheaper. If a business already has a place to put physical equipment, it might not make sense for them financially. If it ends up costing say, 30% more to move everything off premise, it may not be as big of a concern as when they first wanted to move everything to the cloud. The client has to be strongly into the idea of flexibility and paying only for what you need, even if that ends up costing a little bit more, for it to make sense to use Azure.
Bring your business up with Azure
Microsoft Azure is definitely worth considering when a small business decides to go for the cloud, especially if they already use Microsoft products like Windows or Microsoft Office. If migration is performed properly, Azure ensures the high availability and security of your infrastructure assets and reduces your IT costs. Otherwise, you may incur considerable expenses from a resource-hungry and poorly organized infrastructure.
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About Plow Networks
Plow Networks is a leading IT services provider, connecting businesses to technology since 2012. With deep expertise in network, cloud, and end user support services, we partner with clients to leverage technology in ways that simplify operations and fuel growth. Plow Networks is based in Brentwood, Tennessee.