Whether you’re interested in building and deploying your own AI solutions, modernising your existing infrastructure, creating an effective multicloud environment, innovating faster or changing the way you work through cloud computing and DevOps adoption, Azure could be the answer.
Here’s why you should consider leveraging cloud-based services and infrastructure to cut down on upfront capital expenses, heighten scalability, strengthen security measures and embed efficiencies within your enterprise.
The undeniable growth of cloud computing.
The growing adoption of cloud services, the increasing complexity of IT workloads, and the rising cost of on-premises infrastructure have seen the average UK business spend on cloud services rise to £565.50 per employee in 2023 (according to a report by the Cloud Industry Forum (CIF)). This data represents a significant increase from the £465.50 per employee average spend in 2022.
Similarly, a report by Gartner found that the UK cloud computing market is expected to grow 21.7% in 2023, reaching a staggering total of £41 billion. Driving this growth is the accelerating adoption of cloud services by businesses of all sizes, which is having a powerful impact on the UK economy as a result. In fact, the CIF report estimates that the cloud computing industry will create 123,000 new jobs in the UK by 2025.
The cloud computing market in the UK is expanding, and the average business spend on cloud services is rising. As businesses continue to look to the cloud to boost IT operations and cut costs, this trend is only set to continue in the coming years.
Azure or AWS?
As the two leading public cloud platforms in the world, it’s no surprise that ‘Azure vs AWS’ has an average of around 10,000 Google searches per month.
So, if you weren’t already clear on the differences or reasons why a business would choose to use Azure over AWS, let’s explore 10 key benefits of enterprises migrating to Azure Cloud.
10 key benefits of enterprises migrating to Azure Cloud.
1. Coherence with Microsoft products
Azure is the natural cloud computing choice for businesses already using and familiar with other Microsoft products, such as Office 365, SharePoint, Windows Server and Dynamics 365. Azure integrates seamlessly with both of these services, allowing companies to leverage existing
2. Hybrid cloud capabilities
For enterprises with existing infrastructure investments, a desire to gradually migrate to the cloud, or a portfolio of specific applications that need to stay on-premises, Azure offers strong hybrid capabilities allowing seamless integration of on-prem infrastructure to the cloud. However, AWS is still transitioning to be more compatible with the hybrid cloud market.
These hybrid cloud capabilities empower businesses to leverage the advantages of cloud computing while maintaining the flexibility and control of their on-premises infrastructure. By fusing on-premises and cloud resources, organisations can optimise costs, enhance security, modernise operations and achieve greater IT agility. Some hy
Just a few of Azure’s cloud solutions include cost-effective backup and disaster recovery, ultra-low-latency networking, high-performance storage, increased operational agility, and unparalleled levels of innovation and security.
Azure’s hybrid functionalities include:
- File sharing
- Content delivery networks (CDN)
- Point-to-point connectivity
3. Global availability
With a global network of data centres, Azure allows businesses to deploy their applications worldwide, helping to boost performance and limit user latency.
Both Azure and AWS have extensive global footprints. However, the proximity of Azure data centres to Microsoft’s vast network can support enterprises requiring region-specific services.
4. Comprehensive compliance
Thanks to its impressive roster of over 100 compliance certifications, including over 50 specific to global regions and countries – such as HIPAA, PCI DSS, and SOC 2 – Azure can confidently bolster businesses to achieve their strict security and compliance requirements.
Microsoft’s hefty investment in security measures makes it a solid choice for enterprises, especially those in highly regulated industries such as healthcare and finance.
5. Cost-effectiveness and Enterprise Agreements
Particularly for companies unable to commit to large upfront IT infrastructure investments or who need to focus on short-term workloads, Azure’s pay-as-you-go, billed-per-minute pricing packages can be extremely cost-effective. Azure also offers a variety of cost management tools that can help businesses track and optimise their cloud spending.
For enterprises looking for tailored solutions and cost savings based on their specific needs, Microsoft offers Enterprise Agreements, which provide flexible custom pricing and terms for large organisations.
6. Enterprise-grade support
With its well-established history of providing high-quality customer support – as well as encompassing a team of more than 3,500 cybersecurity experts around the world – businesses choosing Azure can be confident that their investment is backed by a greater global infrastructure than any other cloud provider.
With enterprise-grade support services, 24/7 assistance and a dedicated technical account manager for larger enterprises, this level of support can be crucial for businesses running mission-critical cloud applications.
7. R&D and innovation investment
Microsoft has become synonymous with its heavy R&D investment and future-shaping innovations, and Azure is one of the most innovative cloud platforms available today.
From Microsoft Mesh (a mixed reality platform that allows users to interact with each other and with digital objects in real-time) to Azure Quantum (one of the most advanced cloud quantum computing platforms available that’s helping to accelerate the development of quantum computing technologies), GitHub Copilot (an AI-powered code completion tool that allows developers write code more efficiently) and Project Premonition (a research project that uses mosquitoes to detect pathogens in the environment and has the potential to help prevent outbreaks of diseases such as Zika, Ebola, and malaria), businesses choosing Azure will align themselves with a company at the bleeding edge of technology.
8. Business-critical machine learning
For companies looking to develop and deploy machine learning applications quickly and easily, Azure offers a wide range of machine learning services – including pre-trained models, machine learning frameworks, and managed machine learning services – which are designed to be accessible, collaborative, and scalable for a wide variety of projects.
Azure’s machine learning capabilities cover a wide range of tools and services, from automated machine learning to advanced AI APIs. Through these intelligent features, developers, data scientists, and engineers are empowered to create powerful machine learning solutions, gain insights from data, and enhance applications.
9. Deeper data analytics
Azure’s business intelligence and data analytics capabilities offer a broad range of services for processing, storing, and analysing data at scale. These services enable organisations to derive valuable insights from their data, make data-driven decisions, and build intelligent applications.
Whether it’s batch processing, real-time analytics, or big data exploration, Azure provides tools and services to meet various data analytics requirements, including:
- SQL and NoSQL data services
- Built-in support for deeper insights
- Blockchain as a Service (BaaS)
- Machine learning
- Cognitive APIs
10. Internet of Things (IoT)
From device management to data ingestion and actionable analytics, Azure’s extensive IoT services support businesses to gain valuable insights and improve operations.
Whether you need to mitigate business disruptions, accelerate time to market, reduce material waste or even monitor air quality within your workspace – Azure’s IoT service capabilities are exciting and expansive.
Azure DevOps solutions.
DevOps with Azure is a comprehensive set of practices and tools that help teams build, test, and deploy software more quickly and reliably. It combines the principles of DevOps with the power of Azure cloud services to provide a complete solution for software delivery.
Capabilities of DevOps with Azure.
Continuous integration (CI):
Catch errors early and ensure code changes are integrated smoothly. By automating the process of building and testing code, developers can check their code changes frequently and automatically trigger a build and test pipeline.
Continuous delivery (CD):
Reduce the time it takes to get new features and fixes to users by automating the code deployment to production process. With CD, developers can automatically deploy their code changes to production as soon as they’re tested and approved.
Infrastructure as code (IaC):
Ensure that infrastructure is consistent and repeatable. With IaC, developers can define their infrastructure in code files, which can be used to provision and manage infrastructure automatically.
Monitoring and logging:
Monitoring and logging are essential DevOps capabilities. They provide crucial visibility into the health and performance of applications and infrastructure while allowing developers to collect and analyse data from various sources, including applications, infrastructure, and users. This data can be used to effectively identify and troubleshoot problems, improve performance, and make better-informed decisions.
Benefits of DevOps with Azure.
DevOps helps organisations become more agile and responsive to change. By automating the software delivery process, organisations can resolve fixes and release new features faster. Equally, automation of testing and deployment can help organisations reduce production defects and improve overall software quality.
Enterprises can markedly reduce resource costs through task automation, while delivering more efficient and effective software solutions. And with boosted collaboration between development and operations teams, team productivity is enhanced, and the software delivery lifecycle is accelerated.
DevOps with Azure is a powerful solution that can help organisations consolidate their software delivery process and conquer their business goals.
Azure DevOps provides robust version control services through Git repositories or Team Foundation Version Control (TFVC). It allows teams to manage their source code efficiently, track changes, and collaborate seamlessly. Developers can work together on code, branch, merge changes, and maintain a complete history of their codebase.
Agile Planning and Project Management:
Agile boards and dashboards provide real-time visibility into task and project progress. Azure DevOps comprehensively supports agile methodologies by offering powerful tools for project management, sprint planning, backlog management, and task tracking. Teams can create and manage user stories, tasks, and bugs, enabling efficient planning and prioritisation of work items.
Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment (CI/CD):
Azure DevOps facilitates the implementation of CI/CD pipelines, enabling automated building, testing, and deployment of applications. Teams can define custom build and release pipelines, automate testing processes, and deploy applications to various environments, ensuring faster and more reliable software delivery. Azure DevOps also supports integration with popular development tools and frameworks, allowing seamless automation of the entire deployment lifecycle.
Testing and Quality Assurance:
With robust testing capabilities – including manual testing, exploratory testing, and test case management – teams can plan, track, and manage test cases, execute automated tests, and gain valuable insights into test coverage and quality metrics. Integrations with popular testing frameworks enable continuous testing and quality assurance practices.
Collaboration and Communication:
Enhance internal collaboration among development, operations, and other stakeholders with features such as wikis, dashboards, notifications, and integrations with communication tools like Microsoft Teams. Share knowledge, collaborate effectively, and stay informed about project updates.
Monitoring and Analytics:
Identify bottlenecks, optimise workflows, and improve overall productivity. Azure DevOps enables teams to gain important insights into the development and operations processes. Teams can track work item trends, monitor build and release performance, and analyse project health using rich data visualisations and reports.
Azure DevOps services can empower your development teams to streamline workflows, automate processes, and deliver efficient, high-quality software solutions. By providing a unified platform for collaboration, planning, development, testing and deployment, Azure DevOps enhances team productivity and accelerates the software delivery lifecycle.
Interested in discussing how cloud computing and DevOps can help your business achieve the agility, digital transformation, and problem-solving capabilities needed to succeed in today’s competitive marketplace? Get in touch with our team today.