The phrase ‘changing engines mid-flight’ is over-used and usually in the wrong context. But, it could probably be applied to Microsoft, which has managed to transition from deriving most of its revenues from PCs to Cloud-based services. That’s no mean feat when you are a jumbo-sized behemoth like Microsoft. Especially when your success to date has been built entirely around a Windows / desktop–based IT architecture that’s rapidly falling from grace.
OK. So, its earnings – and share price – took a dip during the early stages of this transition. But, it’s flying high again, largely on the back of its flagship cloud product Azure. Microsoft Azure revenues grew 98% year-on-year for the last year financial year. (Interestingly, revenues from its Windows products grew by just 4% over the same period. Proof – if it were needed – that the engine swap has been successful)>/em>.
Why should UK companies employing 50-250 people care about Microsoft’s turnaround story and its new focus on Azure? (Point of interest: Azure is an English translation of the Persian word ‘sky-blue’ and so more apt than its original name; Red Dog).
Put simply, it’s because thousands of organisations around the world, including an untold number of small to medium-sized companies, have climbed onboard and are now using it to turbo-charge their businesses. (OK. We’ll stop with the aviation-related terms now).
As Microsoft Gold Partners, we’ve helped numerous companies migrate their IT systems from on-premise into the cloud. We’ve built up a considerable amount of knowledge about this subject. In the next few posts, we’ll be sharing that knowledge with you. We hope it will enable you to reap all the benefits that migrating to cloud-based service platforms have to offer, particularly Azure.
In these posts, we’ll examine how to get started, what services to migrate first and how to achieve a successful migration. Naturally, we’re on hand to answer any more detailed questions you may have and there are multiple ways that you can contact us.
Why are we such big fans of Azure and what benefits can you expect to receive from adopting it?
Firstly, it’s very mature. Mature in the sense that lots of people are using it and so there’s safety in numbers. When it comes to introducing new technologies to our clients, we belong to the school of thought that says ‘pioneers are those with arrows in their backs’. And if you’re going to entrust your company’s single most important asset – your data – to a third party, there can’t be any room for introducing any more risk than you have to.
Secondly, we’ve seen the ‘liberating’ effect that moving to Azure can have on our customers’ businesses. This liberating effect translates into greater flexibility leading to increased momentum. More speed or dynamism means a business that’s better equipped to deal with the increasingly turbulent and disruptive business environments they now face.
Migrating your data from a fixed network made up of on-site servers to a hyper-scale cloud service provider makes you flexible. Simply, you can look change in the face, confident that you can adapt to any new circumstances. Microsoft has invested tens of billions of dollars in building and securing facilities and services around the globe. The result? You can scale up or down in an instant. You can shift your IT resources where the need is greatest. Above all, you can access real-time, data-led intelligence about your business that only the cloud can deliver. You spend less time on system maintenance, back up and security and more time on creating competitive advantage through new products or services.
Azure’s customers also enjoy a more flexible pricing model, only paying for the services they require. Their finance teams also appreciate the benefits that come from moving the Capex and Opex costs of owning and operating their own servers into just one Opex cost a month.
Early question marks regarding data sovereignty, privacy and security requirements have now been addressed by Microsoft. You’d have to have a very specific and stringent requirement to prevent you moving to the cloud for one of these reasons.
Last year, Microsoft announced it had opened data centres in India and Africa bringing the total number of world cloud regions to forty. That’s more than its great rivals in this space, Amazon Web Services and Google. This means that companies can deploy their IT solutions anywhere around the globe, always nearest to their customers or business units. By the way, there are two regions in the UK.
We engage with customers in many different ways. If you have a dedicated IT department, you may only be looking for expert advice. If you don’t have the expertise to handle a migration, we can make the journey with you. As a Microsoft Azure Gold Partner, our services mirror the stages that your business will need to take as it undertakes its own transition into the cloud. From consultancy to design and planning, implementation and migration through to training and support. We’re as happy advising as we are implementing. Either way, if you’re not already in the cloud, transition is a must to remain competitive and have a clear view of the future.
In our next post in this series, we’ll address how to get started and discuss which services or workloads represent the easiest to adopt.
If you would like to know more or discuss your data or infrastructure migration to Azure, please call 020 3282 7186 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A strategic thinker and planner with a flair for developing and implementing effective business strategy, Jon has spent the last seven years working closely with Microsoft in the cloud computing and business intelligence space.