Microsoft Azure is commonly associated with large enterprises with global presence. While it’s true that Azure is used by 95 percent of Fortune 500 companies, many small and medium-sized businesses in different industries, including government, healthcare, financial services, retail, and manufacturing, have already discovered that Azure can help them achieve their goals as well.
What Is Microsoft Azure and Why Should I Care About It?
Microsoft Azure is a growing collection of cloud services that organizations large and small can use to cost-effectively support their information technology needs while relying on Microsoft to manage the underlying infrastructure.
The cloud services that together make up Azure span many different categories, including compute, storage, and networking—but also analytics, identity management, and the Internet of Things (IoT).
Using these services and the physical infrastructure behind them, organizations can move their internal and customer-facing applications alike to the cloud to benefit from its inherent scalability, flexibility, collaboration efficiency, and other features that are especially important in the new hybrid work environment.
To help you better understand how Azure can help your small or medium-sized business achieve your goals, let’s take a closer look at three specific benefits that all SMBs can appreciate.
6 Critical Cybersecurity Policies Every Organization Must Have
Benefit #1: Affordable Enterprise-Grade Security
SMBs have the same obligation to protect their customers’ data as large enterprises do, but they don’t have the resources to establish an in-house team and staff it with experts who know how to ward off the latest and most sophisticated cyber threats.
Azure has security and compliance in its DNA, providing a dependable foundation upon which you can create anything you want without constantly worrying about issues that have nothing to do with your core business.
Because Azure maintains the largest compliance portfolio in the industry both in terms of breadth and depth, even organizations in highly regulated industries, such as healthcare, can rest assured, knowing that the move to Microsoft’s cloud won’t make it difficult for them to meet compliance requirements.
To give users a comprehensive overview of the security state of their Azure resources, Microsoft provides a unified infrastructure security management system called Azure Security Center. This system integrates with Azure Defender to protect hybrid cloud workloads against threats. These and other security components greatly reduce the risk of a data breach, whose consequences for SMBs can be devastating.
Benefit #2: Backup and Disaster Recovery Made Easy
Data is like gold in our digital age, and all organizations must protect it as best as they can. Unfortunately, data loss statistics show that achieving this goal isn’t easy.
While the most common causes of data loss include hardware failure, human error, software corruption, malware, and natural disasters, the ultimate reason why organizations lose data is insufficient backup and disaster recovery planning.
A large number of organizations still rely on legacy backup systems that are unable to adequately address threats like ransomware. Microsoft Azure comes with a simple, secure, and cost-effective backup service that doesn’t require any infrastructure to back up everything from on-premises data to data stored in the cloud.
Azure Backup, as the service is called, can retain both short and long-term data and secure it both in transit and at rest to protect it against malicious attackers. Files stored in Azure Backup are also protected against malicious and negligent insiders thanks to the features such as soft delete and multi-user authentication.
Benefit #3: Implementation Flexibility and On-Demand Scalability
Migrating a physical infrastructure to the cloud is a daunting journey, and sometimes it’s best to take it one step at a time. With Azure, cloud migration isn’t an all-or-nothing deal.
Businesses that choose Azure as their cloud platform can proceed on their timeline while enjoying a competitive, pay-as-you-go pricing model that eliminates the need for large upfront investments traditional IT initiatives are typically accompanied with.
If you want to, you can first see how well Azure can meet your needs by running a small pilot program before migrating the rest of your business. You can also decide to keep some parts of your business on premisses so that you can enjoy the best of both worlds.
When your needs change as a result of seasonal fluctuations in business or organic growth, scaling Azure resources—and your expenses—can be as easy as clicking a button.
Take Advantage of Microsoft Azure with OSIbeyond
We at OSIbeyond are deeply familiar with Microsoft Azure and its numerous benefits, and we also know that taking advantage of it isn’t always easy, especially if you’re a small business with limited resources.
Regardless of if you’re interested in migrating to Azure or just learning more about it, feel free to schedule a free consultation with us, and we’ll help you determine the best way forward.