The advantages of cloud computing: ‘Cloudonomics’ of Azure
There’s a lot of talk about the advantages of cloud computing and the ‘Cloudonomics’ (they say a new word is born every day) of Azure, but let’s get down to brass tacks. Return on investment (ROI). What am I getting for my money?
A business that’s not afraid to grow, that’s what.
Big wins, low costs
A major advantage cited by many is that cloud computing platform like Microsoft Azure can be pay-as-you-go, with billing as an operational expenditure (Opex). This means you can spend your capital on innovating for the future and digitally transforming your business.
And, because you can accurately predict spending, this gives you the data to set up profit and expenditure targets. No more expecting the unexpected.
That’s not all. Yes, it used to be that the Cloud was just about Opex, but as larger organisations have started to get in on the action, new licensing models have emerged. For example, Reserved Instances, where customers can choose to commit to running virtual machines for one or three years to massively reduce the running costs. Organisations with the capital to invest will want to look at a Capex via Enterprise Agreements, where commitment is built-in up front.
Capex or Opex. Little or large. Cash rich or cash strapped. The variety of licensing options available from Microsoft on Azure means there is a model to suit every organisation’s unique setup.
Lean, mean budgeting machine
You’ll find yourself saving on month-to-month Opex payments because Azure is flexible. Unlike with the traditional data centre model, if you’ve only got the management in for the first hour of the working day, then you can spin up just enough capacity to match their needs. Then, when the rest of the staff arrive, that capacity is extended to match user numbers.
Also, you don’t need to keep everything spinning all the time. The average number of working hours in 2017 was about 162 per month out of a possible 730 hours. That’s over 75 percent downtime you’re paying for. Ouch. If you’re paying for over four times more uptime than you need, you want a pay-for-what-you-use system.
Then you can use what you gain here to invest in something businesses often neglect: disaster recovery.
Double or nothing
On premise back-up is the black hole of budgeting. You know you need business continuity processes, but the expense is hardly ever going to look ‘worth it’. It’s only when you experience disastrous data loss that you really see the benefit of backup. Without the right safety net preventing data corruption or loss, such an event could cost you your business.
Cloud backup is the first step for many businesses considering the cloud. It’s the ‘rainy-day fund’. It’s about being resilient. And, you don’t even need to get your senior IT team involved, because Azure makes backup easy to implement at a lower skill level, with automated processes freeing up IT resources and time.
Don’t double up your data centre when you can duplicate your data off-site, securely, with zero infrastructure or additional staffing investment.
The top-secret vault
Speaking of security, it only takes one bad egg to spoil the omelette. Identity and access management is made easy with Azure Active Directory. Keep threats that could take down your business at bay. Whether they come from outside or inside the organisation. Whether they’re malicious or just the result of bad practice. This will save you a headache, if nothing else.
‘Money can be exchanged for goods and services’
Yes, Homer Simpson is pretty quotable. But, beyond the backup and security provided by using a cloud computing platform, there’s a unique advantage to choosing Azure. With Azure, you gain access to a wide range of software-as-a-service applications, products and partnerships.
This is your chance to make valuable connections and access services through the Microsoft Partnership Program. When working with Cloud Direct, for example, your business benefits from the advanced services and broader scope of offerings provided by a Microsoft Azure Expert MSP, one of only 32 worldwide.
It’s not luck, cloud computing promotes business growth
‘Companies that adopted cloud services experienced…a 15.07 percent reduction in IT spending [and] a 19.63 percent increase in company growth’ according to a recent study by the market research company Vanson Bourne.
With the right foundation, you don’t need luck to grow your business. You have all the tools to hand, and you’ve positioned your company to be ready to scale. Cloud computing makes growth effortless. You can focus on getting more customers without having to slow down to let the business infrastructure catch up to your ambition.
Time is money
The ultimate return on investment? Time. Money comes and goes, but what you pay in time you’ll never get back. With Azure, you can save time otherwise spent on sourcing hardware and technicians, data centre power, cooling and maintenance, building and racking servers, disaster recovery and so much more.
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