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How to Utilize Azure for Your Small Business

Microsoft Azure is the number one cloud-based software service for Fortune 500 companies.  In fact, 90% of Fortune 500 firms use Microsoft Azure.  This represents a huge market share that is the direct result of Microsoft’s dominance in things like quality, reliability, and customer service.  However, just because the heavyweights use Azure, doesn’t mean it’s not completely usable by small- to medium-sized businesses as well.

 

Rather, SMBs are the organizations that can benefit most by implementing Azure.  Growing firms will especially enjoy their scalability, and almost all firms, in general, need their flexibility and utility in order to maximize the efficiency of their day-to-day activities.  Regardless of where you are in your growth as a business, Microsoft Azure is available to make your life that much easier while maintaining and even improving, your organizational effectiveness.

 

We find that many businesses don’t utilize cloud computing services for two main reasons.  First, they simply believe they don’t need it. Second, they think it’s too complicated to figure out.  Let’s walk through some of the situations in which a business might really benefit from using Azure, and then dig into how a firm would go about implementing Azure into their operations.

 

Why You Need Azure Cloud Services

There are hundreds of reasons as to why any given business could use Microsoft Azure.  For example, 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 are getting outdated.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 all of your old software and data, it may be more cost-effective to just implement Azure to boost your computing capabilities.

 

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.

 

Many businesses these days are also becoming more and more decentralized.  As the internet becomes more widespread and with wi-fi coverage being more comprehensive than ever, employees are increasingly opting to work from home or a café rather than solely in the office.  While this can drastically increase both efficiency and overall employee satisfaction, it can also lead to some issues. For example, a business with remote employees needs a fast and effective method for communicating information and transferring documents over the internet.  Azure is perfect for this, as its cloud-based infrastructure allows your employees to work from anywhere, and pick up right where they left off when taking breaks or changing locations.

 

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.

 

It’s also no secret that, in general, real estate costs are on the rise.  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.

 

Getting Started with Azure for Your Business

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.

 

After you have the jargon down, you can go to Microsoft’s Getting Started with Azure page.  There, you’ll find tutorials on a bunch of different things you can do with Azure.  Best of all, these tutorials all take less than 10 minutes to complete, so you can knock them out in no time.  After you get a sense of what you want your first project with Azure to be, you can start your 12-month free trial.

 

Microsoft has a ton of resources and support for Azure.  You’ll never be alone on the journey to more efficient data management, so there’s no need to worry.

 

We at ZAACT specialize in consultations for many Microsoft products, including Azure.  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 our designated Azure page.  ZAACT is here to help with anything and everything Microsoft!