According to Statista, close to 70% of organizations worldwide use Microsoft Azure for their cloud services. While AWS is still the biggest public cloud service provider, Microsoft is rapidly gaining on AWS due to their large market share with Windows and Microsoft 365 collaboration tools.
Microsoft Azure’s cloud computing platform is varied and vast, covering over 200 product offerings ranging from server hosting to more tailored services, like for specific data management workloads or Internet of Things (IoT) applications.
Why Consider Azure for Small Businesses?
1. On-Demand Scalability
Azure pricing is based on a consumption model, meaning you only pay for what you use each month and you can reduce, increase, or pause that spending at any time.
Put another way, it can scale on demand. This puts tremendous power in the hands of a small business owner who is often grappling with uncertainty and tight budgets. Additionally, the initial capital costs are low and any costs incurred are operational expenses.
2. Green IT Investments Made Easy
There are multiple onramps and easy ways to “lift-and-shift” aging or problematic portions of your technology or infrastructure into Azure.
Rather than replace an old server with another one and deal with eWaste and shipping costs, you can upgrade in a more environmentally friendly way by transitioning to Azure.
Recent studies have shown that Azure data centers are 98% more efficient than on-premise data centers that are run by private businesses, governments or schools. Additionally, there are even further efficiencies (and cost savings) that you can achieve by leveraging controls to power down services or computing power at off-peak times for your business.
While we would recommend working with a team of IT experts like Net Friends while moving your on-premise resources into the cloud, there are lots of reliable options available to accomplish your goals with minimal downtime or risk.
3. Compatible with Hybrid Work Models
Azure unlocks your ability to achieve “Anywhere Operations” so that your staff can work from wherever makes the most sense for your business, and your core processes are more durable thanks to multiple single-points-of-failure being addressed with Azure.
As more and more of a small business’ core infrastructure moves into the cloud, the business becomes less restricted by the geography and limits of their office and staff locations.
4. Compliance & Cybersecurity Advantages
A fourth reason to consider Azure is to capture compliance with regulation. Azure is a leader in meeting all sorts of security frameworks, significantly easing the burden of small businesses on a tight budget to ensure their security and privacy controls are in place.
Many customer opportunities that a small business might try to win or retain will be far easier to secure on Azure vs. on a solution a small business might try to create or host themselves.
5. Business Continuity Guaranteed
The last reason to consider Azure is resiliency. Simply put, Azure has more infrastructure and options available to keep the lights on. While some additional redundancies are only available if you pay more (like the ability to replicate your infrastructure across two geographically distant data centers), even working within a single region in Azure brings with it enormous power, network, and computing redundancy and alternative pathways to keep your systems up and running.
Explore Azure with Net Friends
Azure provides so many more benefits, from speed, flexibility, and robust security to more backup and recovery options than any on-premise solution a small business owner could build on their own. If you are interested in exploring Azure further, reach out to Net Friends and we'll help you explore your options!