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It’s time for every business to fully embrace the cloud. The first step is to understand the situations in which your business can truly benefit from using Azure. So, in this blog we ask: what is Microsoft Azure and what are the benefits for SMBs and startups. 

What is Microsoft Azure? 

Microsoft Azure is an ever-expanding set of cloud-based computing services which allow organizations to operate efficiently and securely in the cloud. Azure has been a key player in helping businesses make the move from on-premises to the cloud, but that is really only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to its potential. With the flexibility and range of services on offer, Azure can be tailored to any business’ requirements, such as enabling hybrid or multicloud environments for example.  

 

Microsoft Azure is the number one cloud-based software service for Fortune 500 companies. In fact, 90% of Fortune 500 firms use Microsoft Azure. However, just because the heavyweights use Azure, doesn’t mean it’s not great for small- to medium-sized businesses as well. There are many benefits of Microsoft Azure for small businesses 

 

In fact, SMBs can benefit most by implementing Azure. Likewise, there are many advantages of Azure for startups. Growing firms will especially enjoy its scalability and flexibility. Regardless of where you are in your growth as a business, Microsoft Azure will make your life easier while maintaining and improving your organizational effectiveness. 

Why You Need Azure Cloud Services

There are many reasons why any given business could use Microsoft Azure technology. 

 

Computing capabilities

 

You might find that your hardware (servers, computers, etc.) are getting outdated.  Rather than committing huge amounts of capital to purchasing new hardware, having it installed, and then reinstating your old software and data, it may be more cost-effective to just implement Azure to boost your computing capabilities. 

 

Organizational efficiency

 

Another reason why you might need Azure is organizational efficiency.  Firms that use Microsoft Azure find that they can reduce their overall IT expense by a considerable margin.  This is a direct result of Azure’s fantastic ability to make IT processes faster and more automated, which reduces the need for hiring new IT staff as your company grows.

 

Remote working

 

Many businesses these days are also becoming more and more decentralized. Remote working has become a core aspect of modern working, but it comes with some issues. For example, a business with remote employees needs a fast and effective method for communicating and collaborating online. Azure is perfect for this, as its cloud-based infrastructure allows your employees to work from anywhere.

 

Security 

 

Azure also prides itself on its reputation for security.  No other cloud services company can compete with Azure when it comes to both the effectiveness and the affordability of their security. In fact, Azure comes with free, comprehensive security updates to ensure your classified documents never find their way to prying eyes. 

 

No need to for real estate

 

It’s also no secret that real estate costs are expensive. As a result, many firms are finding it difficult to justify expanding their physical offices. This is especially the case when a company is looking to buy into a larger datacenter. They just can’t find a cost-effective way to do it. This is another way in which Azure can be a huge help to small but growing businesses. By investing in Azure, a business can completely forgo having to commit capital to real estate and hardware.  

 

With Azure’s extremely reasonable pricing, it just makes no sense for a smaller business to build a data center itself.

 

It’s pretty clear that Azure is a huge boon for businesses of any size. Of course, many businesses will still elect not to use Azure, and choose instead to commit valuable time, effort, and money into traditional computing expansion and maintenance methods.  They do this because they feel that Azure it too complicated. Luckily, getting started with Azure is a lot easier than a lot of executives think.

 

The main benefits of Microsoft Azure for small businesses 

A comprehensive summary of every business benefit of Microsoft Azure would require its own blog, so we are going to focus on a three of the most important for small businesses. 

 

  • Grow faster with flexibility and scalability – It is crucial for growing businesses to build their success upon flexible and scalable foundations. One of the main benefits of Azure for startups and other SMBs is that there is flexibility around cost and usage, so that you can tailor your cloud spend to your growing business. Microsoft Azure allows you to scale your cloud environments and infrastructure as your business grows. 

 

  • Improve efficiency with streamlined IT – Another benefit of Azure is that it can enhance your organizational efficiency.  Firms that use Microsoft Azure find that they can reduce their overall IT expense by a considerable margin. This is a direct result of Azure’s fantastic ability to make IT processes faster and more automated, which reduces the need for hiring new IT staff as your company grows. 

 

  • Boost stability with disaster recovery – we have already touched on security in the section above. Businesses using Azure benefit from Microsoft’s first-class enterprise-grade security services. Here we are going to focus on one core aspect of this, disaster recovery because it has wider consequences for business operations. It doesn’t have to be a security threat that leads to data breaches, data loss, or downtime. Customers across industries expect seamless experiences. Azure can ensure the show goes on, by allowing you to access cloud backups quickly and securely, so that downtime is reduced to a minimum.  

 

Getting Started with Azure for Your Business

Now that we have answered the question “What is Microsoft Azure?” and highlighted the benefits of Azure technology, we imagine your next question might be: “How do I get started?” Well, ZAACT is here to help you unlock the benefits of Microsoft Azure. 

 

First, it’s imperative that you be up-to-date with some of the terminology used in cloud computing.  Words like server, virtual machine, data analytics, and serverless app, along with Azure specific terminology can all seem very daunting at first.  Luckily, running a quick search online for any term you don’t recognize is a very fast and effective way to get the vocab down. Doing so will make the rest of the process much easier.

 

At ZAACT we specialize in consultations for many Microsoft products, including Microsoft Azure for small businesses and Azure for startups.  We have free initial consultations as well as a bunch of reference resources that are completely free to view. To learn more about our experience as a certified Microsoft partner and our expertise in Azure, check out the designated Azure page.  ZAACT is here to help with anything and everything Microsoft!