Azure for small business: Is it worth it?

11 Feb 2022
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Azure for small businesses, is the switch worth the effort?

Let’s begin with an all-too-relatable story:

I was once completing an important document for work. It involved hours of research, brainstorming, and collecting analytics. I finally nailed it. The document was ready to be sent. I patted myself on the back.

But then, something happened.

I got distracted. When I got back to the task at hand, ready to email the document, it was gone! Literally, it was nowhere to be found on my laptop. That day, I learned a valuable lesson — to save all my documents on the cloud!

We are all exposed to cloud-based machine learning. For example, when you watch videos online, you’ll probably notice the recommended videos that pop up? That list is cloud-based machine learning in action.

But what is the cloud? And perhaps more importantly, what benefits does it have for your business? Will your team work more effectively if you move your business operations to the cloud? These are the questions we are going to address in this blog.

The “Cloud” Defined

In its simple terms, moving to the cloud means going server-less.

The vast amount of data that companies, big and small, collect and store is stored on remote servers located in data centres around the world, connected via the internet. If your company data is stored on one of these servers, your data is on the cloud.

Is Cloud Computing ideal for Small Businesses?

Yes, and here are 3 simple reasons why:

  • Working on the cloud saves money
  • It saves time
  • It gets work done more effectively

Let’s take each of these benefits one at a time.

Firstly, moving to the cloud means that you no longer need to worry about server breakdowns. The cloud way is a great way to ensure your IT infrastructure’s scalability and security. After migrating your data from various sources, you can drastically cut down on your IT expenditures as opposed to maintaining an on-premise infrastructure.

Migrating areas of your business to the public cloud can cut your Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) by 40%. [Source: Accenture ]

Secondly, small and medium-sized organizations (SMBs) serious about achieving a competitive advantage can leverage cloud services to gain rapid growth without a significant time investment. Serverless infrastructures scale quickly and automatically.

Thirdly, cloud solutions improve the efficiency of team collaboration. When your team can access, edit and share documents in real-time, they can work together more easily.

How to Set Up Cloud Computing for Small Businesses

When SMBs choose to migrate to the cloud, one of the first challenges they encounter is finding the right cloud partner. Here we will list some of the benefits of Microsoft Azure, one of the leading cloud services providers:

1. Cost-effective: As Microsoft notes, “AWS is 5 times more expensive than Azure for Windows Server and SQL Server’’. Microsoft Azure runs as a monthly subscription service that keeps costs predictable. It also exceeds user expectations as it provides other tools like Windows 10 operating systems, Windows Servers, Microsoft SQL Service, and Microsoft 365 that help implement financial governance across your organization’s cloud portfolio.

2. Scalable storage: Microsoft Azure allows you to meet the growing data and performance demands of your business. You only pay for what you’re using and have the ability to change your IT consumption as your business evolves.

3. Seamless integration with other Microsoft SaaS offerings: Azure-hosted apps can integrate with Microsoft’s SaaS tools to increase employee productivity and to provide advanced analytics.

4. Security and Compliant Storage: Microsoft leads the industry in establishing and consistently meeting clear security and privacy requirements that support businesses in even the most highly regulated industries such as banking and capital markets. Azure comes with free, comprehensive security updates so you can be rest assured that your classified documents are in a very safe place.

Is Cloud Computing Right for You?

At first, the prospect of moving to the cloud may seem overwhelming. Data migration sounds like a herculean task. But if you look at the value that cloud technology can bring to your business, you may think otherwise. You must chalk out a step-by-step plan to move to the cloud. As you do, remember to set clear Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to measure the effectiveness of the move. To begin, plan out a staged migration of specific files or teams or departments. This will also allow your team to familiarize themselves with the new system.

If you are still not convinced of moving to the cloud, you may find it helpful to check out this article published in the Harvard Business Review on ‘What CEOs Need to Know About the Cloud in 2021’.

When comparing Amazon’s AWS to Microsoft’s Azure, Azure will come out as a winner for SMBs. Flexible pricing model options, a variety of cloud apps, seamless hybrid integration and a developer tool, Azure is designed to make the transition to cloud computing convenient for smaller companies that have limited IT resources.

Microsoft Azure for small businesses could potentially be a great fit for your organization. And the best part is, you do not have to do all the hard work alone. There is help available. Turn to Cloud IT services experts like Alphavima Technologies, who design and deploy a variety of cloud services to enhance productivity. As a Microsoft cloud-services Azure specialist, Alphavima can help meet your business needs through a suite of integrated cloud services.