So, you’re thinking about moving to Microsoft Azure. You’ve heard it mentioned and aren’t sure what exactly it is, and how it can help you. Microsoft Azure is a cloud-based computing resource which delivers three key functions; Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Software as a Service (SaaS).
In case you were not already aware, Microsoft Azure is a crucial tool for eCommerce businesses. Moreover, no matter what you sell, you need secure and scalable eCommerce solutions that can meet the needs of your customers and your business.
Accordingly, running an eCommerce store involves engaging with customers through customised products and offers, and processing transactions quickly and securely, all while focusing on fulfilment and customer service. Additionally, if your company provides software or other digital goods on a subscription basis, then it is often beneficial to use Microsoft Azure alongside a subscription management tool similar to FastSpring.
That being said, today I will discuss the benefits of using Microsoft Azure, and things to consider before taking the plunge and moving to the cloud.
What are the benefits of Azure?
Some of the major benefits of using Microsoft Azure revolve around the speed and ease with which you can rollout a system. No more expensive hardware costs or lengthy delays while you wait for it to arrive. With Microsoft Azure, you can have your infrastructure in place in minutes, and increasing the resources you use as needed.
Pain-free transition to the cloud – The idea of moving your entire IT infrastructure to the cloud can seem daunting but rest assured it is easier than you might think and can be done in small chunks. When you start a new project, you could consider having it on Microsoft Azure, which can be completely self-contained or integrated it into your existing on-premise IT infrastructure, the choice is yours. It is a simple and easy way to start deploying your business’s IT services to the cloud.
Pay for the time you use – If you need a specific service online, say, for a new project your business has just won, then you pay for the resources that you need for as long as you need them. If your needs change then you can quickly and easily adapt the services that you pay for, up or down, to take account of that change.
Close integration with existing tools – Many of us rely on Microsoft products and services to do our day-to-day business, including on-premise applications like Word, Excel and Project or online solutions like Office 365, so investing in a cloud platform that seamlessly integrates with Microsoft products makes sense. Perhaps it would be wise to offer microsoft office training to employees so they can gain a better understanding of the software they’ll be dealing with. Cloud integration does not just have to be about applications. Your business can integrate virtual machines in Azure with their on-premises infrastructure.
Always available – As with all cloud services, one of the key benefits of Microsoft Azure is reliability. Microsoft is one of the most credible and reliable long-standing brands in history and they power some of the world’s most recognizable and widely-used online services, boasting 99.95% uptime.
How safe is my data? – Security is one of the biggest obstacles to business’s adopting cloud services. The idea of having sensitive business data “floating around out there” makes people nervous. When Microsoft designed Azure they did so with security in mind and have taken extreme measures to ensure that not only is your data physically secure but they implement policies that ensure access to your data, electronically, is very strictly controlled, designing their compliance framework to meet regulatory requirements. In fact, the biggest threat to the security of your data is your own business!
Ready to make the move to Azure?
One final thought. The transition to Microsoft Azure can be simple, quick and cost-effective, but only if you take the time to understand what it is your business wants to do and why? Diving in without knowing what to expect from Azure is likely to lead to delays and complications while your competitors, who have taken the time to carefully plan their transition, reap all the rewards of cloud technology and perhaps get a leg up on you.