Business leaders working in any industry are likely to be familiar with the name Microsoft Azure. But despite having been around for over 10 years and continuing to grow in popularity each day, there still remains plenty of confusion over what Azure is, what it’s used for and how it can help your business.
Make no mistake – Microsoft Azure is capable of simplifying the workflows, upgrading the firepower and expanding the possibilities open to companies working in all sectors.
For those still unsure of what it means, the Microsoft Azure specialists here at silverlimes have created this guide to what Microsoft Azure can offer you, your business and your customers.
So, what is Microsoft Azure exactly?
At heart, Microsoft Azure is a cloud computing platform which serves as a rival to Amazon Web Services (AWS) and the Google Cloud Platform. It allows businesses to easily migrate their operations to the cloud, as well as pick and choose from hundreds of tools and services to more efficiently streamline how they function.
Compatible with open source technology, Microsoft Azure also lets you use your own bespoke programmes to meet your needs in the best way you can. This allows you to access services and support in a manner that is highly efficient, affordable and scalable. You only ever pay for the services that you actually use on a rolling monthly basis.
What is Microsoft Azure used for?
Given the wide array of services, apps and tools available on Azure, it’s difficult to narrow down its uses to a specific definition. One of the most basic but most common uses of Azure is simply to leverage the virtually limitless potential of the cloud computing capabilities it offers – with access to more servers than you could ever need, you’ll never have to worry about scaling up or down again.
As well as making use of server capacity, many Azure subscribers take advantage of the ability to build and host virtual machines and databases in the cloud, which keeps the information that is integral to your business at once safe and instantaneously reachable from any internet-connected device. The reliability and security of Azure’s infrastructure means that many companies use its storage capabilities as a backup or disaster recovery site in case of an accident on their own premises.
What is Azure Cloud Services?
The above uses merely scratch the surface of what Microsoft Azure can do for you. With hundreds of different cloud services available, divided into a number of different subcategories, the possibilities open to you are vast and many. Here is a snapshot of just a few:
- Analytics – These services allow you to use machine learning to interpret information gathered by big data and the internet of things to create actionable insights into your business practices.
- Artificial intelligence (AI) – This hugely impressive raft of tools leverages AI to analyse images, scan text for positive or negative connotations, comprehend speech, create predictions based upon a data feed and more.
- Backup and disaster recovery – These solutions allow you to safeguard your sensitive information in the event of accidental loss or deletion, allowing you to recover everything you need in a timely and organised manner. It can also integrate with your onsite disaster recovery strategy.
- Compute – Compute services give the power to build, operate and monitor virtual machines and databases within the cloud. They can be accessed by anyone with the relevant login credentials from any device, anywhere.
- Development – This suite of services is ideal for application developers who wish to share their own code with others, test out new innovations and identify potential issues. Azure works with a variety of programming languages.
- DevOps – The DevOps solutions allow you to oversee and orchestrate all stages of an application’s journey into being, from planning and development to delivery and performance, enhancing efficiency and expediting apps from the drawing board to practical employment.
- E-commerce – Perfect for e-commerce platforms, these services let you monitor site traffic, analyse conversion rates, optimise sales funnels and create a better user experience (UX) for your customers and higher profit margins for your business.
- Migration – This area of Azure’s services can give you an estimate of the workload and financial costs involved in migrating from onsite servers to the cloud, as well as facilitating the migration itself.
- Mobile – These solutions enable developers to efficiently create applications for mobile devices, equipping them with the tools necessary to carry out the work and the support required when they run into problems.
- Security – The resources devoted to cybersecurity employed by Azure dwarf those of any single company, meaning you can use their encryption tools, firewalls, virus detection programmes and other security features to shore up your own defences.
All of the solutions above are merely the tip of the iceberg when it comes to uncovering the huge range of tools, programmes and applications that Azure offers. It might be more helpful to identify what requirements your own business needs, then determine the relevant services that will help to fulfil them.
Setting up Azure today
Are you ready to embrace the awesome power of Azure and take your business to the next level? It’s time to call in the professionals. At silverlimes, our Microsoft Azure consultants are fully versed in all aspects of this incredibly powerful cloud computing platform.
That means we can work with you to identify the areas of your business which will benefit most from Azure, then put in place a targeted approach to leveraging that potential. To find out more about how we can help you, get in touch via 0116 319 4402 or firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange a friendly and informal discussion of your business needs and wants. We’re waiting to hear from you.