Many organisations and IT functions have chosen to migrate to the cloud, forming a backbone of IT strategy, business continuity, digital workplace and even digital transformation plans. There are myriad reasons to move over to the cloud, including reduced costs, increased flexibility, ease of management and the sheer power it can give even small organisations to produce game-changing solutions and exceptional digital workplaces.
Although there are different providers to consider when planning out a cloud migration, many organisations choose an Azure-based migration. For many of the customers we work with here at Content Formula, going down the Azure migration route is a ‘no-brainer’.
In this article, we’re going to explore ten key benefits of an Azure migration. Some of these relate to the general advantages of moving to the cloud, but most are specific to why we believe Azure is the best option for almost every organisation.
Azure is best-in-class
Make no mistake, Azure is a best-in-class option for cloud migrations. Microsoft has invested heavily in ensuring that Azure is leading-edge relating to both Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), providing excellent scalability, performance, controls and services for global enterprises and small companies alike. IT functions also have confidence and certainty that they are investing in a platform that will continue to be industry-leading.
It’s a Microsoft platform
Whilst Microsoft as an organisation can provoke strong reactions in people, it’s undeniable that the company has played a major role in supporting the evolution of the cloud and the digital workplace. Many organisations and IT functions are attracted to Azure because it is a Microsoft platform and aligns with technology roadmaps and digital workplaces strategies that are already based on the Microsoft stack.
Microsoft also drives confidence among IT professionals who are already comfortable working with Microsoft technologies but also want to get solid experience of working with Azure; working on an Azure migration is transferable experience that supports career progression.
Business continuity has always been a key reason for migrating to the cloud. Of course, the COVID-19 pandemic has proved just how critical this is, ensuring that businesses were able to implement remote working at scale and speed through access to the right tools and cloud-based files. Of course, business continuity also covers elements such as extreme weather events, ransomware attacks and issues with on-premises installations. Here, Azure migrations have proved to be a successful pillar of thousands of business continuity strategies.
Digital workplace and digital employee experience strategy
Having a successful digital workplace and accompanying digital employee experience strategy is now a given for most organisations. Here, Microsoft 365 and Azure are at the centre of most organisations’ digital workplace strategies, providing world-class opportunities for communication, collaboration and digital transformation. As a key enabler of a successful Microsoft-driven digital workplace and digital employee experience strategy and roadmap, Azure migration is an option which opens up multiple possibilities to develop a digital workplace.
There’s also a future-proofing element here, as you can be confident that Microsoft will continue to improve and extend the power of Azure to meet future digital workplace needs.
The scalability of Azure is an obvious area of strength. Both a small organisation with fewer than 50 people and a global mega-corporation with a six or even seven-figure workforce can scale-up and scale-down very quickly with the Azure platform. This scalability also ensures IT teams can plan and tightly control their migration with confidence.
Scalability is important. As the pandemic has shown, the world is highly unpredictable, and Azure can more than meet unexpected requirements as well as deal with more planned business restructures. Azure also has robust autoscaling capabilities that reflect daily changes in use which can occur, particularly in global organisations.
Costs are going to be a major driver for any cloud migration. With an Azure migration, there is the potential to massively reduce infrastructure costs for larger enterprises. At the same time, smaller enterprises get access to a platform and its related services, analytics and more at a fraction of the cost that would have previously been possible.
Security and compliance
Microsoft has invested heavily in security and compliance features to ensure that organisational data on Azure has robust, enterprise-grade security in place and that most of the complex compliance, legal and regulatory needs of global organisations can be met. This is reflected in everything from increasing flexibility in the territories in which data is technically stored, to good administration controls for Azure Active Directory (AAD), to tools to help you find personally identifiable information (PII) for GDPR-related compliance. There are also some industry-specific solutions, such as those relating to government institutions. Choosing Azure as your migration platform will give you access to the best security available as well as a strong ability to meet compliance needs.
Another benefit from Azure is that it comes with some strong analytical and reporting features that can help with delivering insights, but also in monitoring the platform. For example, there are dashboards which can reveal insights from big data, give recommendations relating to security and also help with the general management of the platform. As hybrid patterns of work continue with increased use of the digital workplace, we think Azure-driven data insights will continue to grow in importance.
Azure comes with some advanced services and frameworks that organisations can tap into to deliver a variety of digital workplace capabilities, including AI-driven solutions. These continue to grow in sophistication and include translation services, cognitive services with natural language understanding, big data processing and even facial recognition. Developers and increasingly low-code or no-code solutions can easily make instant API calls to these services to deliver sophisticated apps.
The creation of apps is also supported by a library of out-of-the-box integrations in Azure. These cover both widely-used Microsoft tools and popular non-Microsoft applications like ServiceNow. To take full advantage of these integrations, developers can use Azure Logic Apps to build sophisticated workflows that work at scale and lightning speed, and again deliver strong digital workplace solutions. The library connectors also enable rapid development, shaving development time where in the past integrations were much harder and took longer to develop.
The power of Azure
Cloud migration is definitely the direction of travel for most organisations and IT functions. Azure cloud migration is, in our opinion, the best choice due to a wide variety of benefits. If you’d like to discuss migrating to Azure, then get in touch!