The last 12 months of pandemic-related shutdowns and the transition to doing as much as possible remotely have led most small businesses in the Dallas-Forth Worth area and everywhere else to adopt a cloud infrastructure.
Companies have been flocking to apps like Microsoft Teams, Google Workspace, and Microsoft 365 in droves. In just a year, between November 2019 and October 2020, MS Teams daily active users went from 20 million to 115 million.
But all this cloud migration hasn’t gone smoothly for many companies. They face disconnected cloud applications from different vendors, duplicate app use, and inconsistent environment security, putting compliance and network protection at risk.
For those businesses that are still hanging on to legacy on-premises systems, they risk problems with mobility and enabling a “work from anywhere” environment, which is becoming a necessity in today’s unpredictable world.
One way that small businesses are taking control of cloud environments to streamline them, get more control, and improve security is by using Microsoft Azure.
What is Microsoft Azure, Exactly?
Microsoft Azure is what’s known as Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). It’s a scalable cloud environment from which you can host and control your cloud applications and activities.
It gives businesses of all sizes the ability to consolidate and streamline their cloud environment by hosting everything from their website and email to custom-built web and mobile apps.
Why Should a Small Business Consider Microsoft Azure?
Better Access Security & Compliance
When you are dealing with multiple SaaS apps from multiple vendors, it’s difficult to control access security and enforce company-wide compliance policies.
It can be time-consuming to try to set up the same policies in each application, and cumbersome for users.
Microsoft Azure has an HTTP-based service called Azure App Service. Through App Service, a company can better control security and user authentication across multiple apps it may use.
This ISO, SOC, and PCI compliant service increases control of security and gives a business one place, rather than several, where a company can set up access and other security policies for a cohesive authentication strategy.
When you’re working with 3rd party cloud services, an outage can leave your company with hours of lost productivity and not much you can do about it except to wait and hope.
Using multiple different cloud apps, hosted in different vendor environments around the world, leaves you more at risk of suffering an outage of some kind from one or another each month.
Downtime costs small businesses an average of over $10,000 per hour.
When you are basing most of your cloud use in a single environment like Microsoft Azure, you gain more reliability and protection from costly downtime. Microsoft Azure has a 99.9% uptime guarantee across its services.
Only Pay for What You Use
Rather than having to invest in an entire server and all the maintenance that goes along with it, using Azure allows small businesses cloud server capabilities on a “pay-as-you-go” basis.
Companies can easily scale up or down to match the space and capabilities they need. Allowing them to keep cloud use affordable.
Transition Custom On-Premises Software to Cloud
Some small businesses are stuck with using on-premises solutions because they can’t find a ready-made cloud tool that does what their custom-designed software can do.
The Azure environment can be used to host this type of software, allowing you to more easily transition from on-premises to a cloud environment.
You also gain the tools and building blocks to create custom software and enhance software with cognitive capabilities through Azure Cognitive Services
Integrated Backup and Recovery
Microsoft Azure allows you to streamline and consolidate many of your cloud activities in one environment, and this includes backup and recovery.
You can use Azure Backup to make complete image backups of your systems and can easily implement:
- Security policies
- Data encryption
- Multi-factor authentication
Continuous Security Monitoring
One problem with using multiple different cloud environments through SaaS vendors, is that it’s difficult to monitor all those environments for security threats continuously.
Through Azure Security Center, you have ongoing monitoring of your entire cloud infrastructure and can be alerted to any security threats and misconfigurations. You also receive remediation recommendations.
The security capabilities you have can handle any type of data regulation that your business is subject to, such as HIPAA.
Better Performing Websites and Apps
Do you ever get frustrated with your web hosting provider due to slowdowns or bandwidth issues?
When you use Azure, you can also use the cloud service to host your own website or mobile app and gain better performance, in large part due to Azure CDN (content delivery network).
Some benefits that Azure CDN provides are:
- Automatically scales up for traffic surges
- Routes data streams to/from the geographically closest Azure servers
- Advanced analytics to monitor traffic and user engagement
Transition to Microsoft Azure With Help from Cloudavize
Cloudadvize can help your Dallas-Fort Worth business with an easy transition to Microsoft Azure for a better, more reliable, and more secure cloud infrastructure.
Contact Cloudavize today for a free consultation to get started.