12 Reasons Why Enterprise Chooses Azure – and You Should Too!

The Cloud Platform Business Prefers


Cloud technology is rapidly becoming the ‘new normal’ in many industries, with over 77% of all modern businesses utilising it in some form. There are a huge number of providers; each with their own proprietary applications, infrastructure, and services. With so many options, choosing the correct platform can be a challenge for any business.

Azure is a major player in this space. Backed by Microsoft, Azure constitutes a hybrid platform: helping enterprises build effective cloud solutions with over 200 products and services. 21% of the cloud market share belongs to Azure, making it the second largest platform after AWS. Microsoft’s platform is also the preferred solution for top-level enterprise – actively in use at over 95% of Fortune 500 companies.

Here are the twelve reasons why enterprise uses Azure, and you should too:

1: Market-Leading Security

Data has tangible impacts on profits, business intelligence, and enterprise outcomes. Therefore, security is absolutely key for companies both large and small when handling sensitive information. Cloud solutions need to be robust, resilient, and nigh-impenetrable. 

Here, Azure fits the bill – benefitting from an organisation-wide commitment to security. Built following Microsoft’s proprietary Security Development Lifecycle (SDL) practices, advanced cybersecurity considerations are baked into the Azure platform and its services at every stage of their design and development. Outside enterprise, Azure is also the most trusted cloud solution by the US government – being the first provider to adopt new international standards for cloud privacy in ISO 27018.

Active multi-layered security is provided by Microsoft themselves, protecting every component of a cloud solution from physical data centres to online infrastructure and operations. Detailed controls allow cloud technicians to quickly and flexibly protect workloads, with Microsoft Defender for Cloud working non-stop in the background to identify and neutralise threats – even when they originate from extra-Azure locations in hybrid environments. 

Further, realtime analysis of cybersecurity intelligence by Microsoft data scientists means that new threats are rapidly identified and stopped in their tracks. A unique combination of machine-learning, behavioural analytics, and app-based intelligence deliver actionable threat information to ensure up to date and effective security.

2: The Price is Right

As cloud infrastructure grows, so too does the cost of running it. In 2022 enterprise cloud expenditure exceeded budget by an average of 13%, and 32% of cloud spending was considered by businesses to be wasteful. 59% of all cloud projects at major companies during 2022 focussed on optimising use and controlling costs – making expenditure management the top cloud initiative for the 6th year running!

Beyond the stabdard cloud benefits of reducing overhead for business’ on-premises physical infrastructure and IT specialist payroll, Microsoft Azure helps enterprise champion cost efficiency with a transparent pay-as-you-go billing structure that beats the rest of the market. Azure undercuts the pricing of market leader AWS in many areas. For example, Windows Virtual Machines (VMs) offer up to 71% in savings when compared to AWS EC2, and Managed SQL instances cost as much as 85% less than Amazon RDS

Additionally, there are several price reductions available to Microsoft 365 Enterprise subscribers and other power users. For example, dev/test discount rates are offered to Visual Studio subscribers for ongoing experimentation – including fee-free Microsoft software use on VMs and 57% cheaper SQL database usage.

Plus, the handy Azure pricing calculator helps companies plan out their expenditure in advance with incredible granularity. This super high-resolution picture of cloud costs means enterprise using Azure can plan ahead, avoid waste, and judge the cost efficiency of every single product and service they utilise – allowing for detailed budgets that secure profitability. 

3: aaS You Like It

IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) and PaaS (Platform as a Service) are much more than awkward four-letter acronyms! IaaS & PaaS offerings from Azure enable cloud technicians to build solutions on existing infrastructure maintained by industry leading experts at a fraction of the cost of bringing these things in-house – offering significant savings and freeing up dev time. Cloud processes can be further outsourced by tapping the Microsoft partner community for Azure consultants. These options unlock time for decision makers and slice payroll overhead – constituting a potent growth accelerant that is an incredibly attractive option for companies of all sizes.

4: Unparalleled Flexibility

The breadth of hybrid and multicloud connections between the Azure platform and external services is unmatched. Whether your business uses a Virtual Private Network (VPN) , ExpressRoute, a Content Delivery Network (CDN), or an external datacenter –  Azure slots right into your existing stack. Microsoft’s platform provides a stable, reliable vehicle for mobility between private and public infrastructure. Detailed cloud framework guidance from Microsoft engineers themselves helps engineers maximise the benefits of this flexibility – and it’s available free online!

Cloud resources can be managed centrally using Azure Arc. Arc builds and maintains bridges between platforms, environments, and services to construct, secure, and govern apps and infrastructure in hybrid, multicloud, and edge use cases. Arc can be deployed on an extensive range of hardware, IoT devices, and integrated systems – Azure’s flexibility persists from top to bottom.

5: Limitless Scalability

Whether your cloud solution has 100 or 100 million users, Azure offers ductile services that scale efficiently with changes in demand. Additional power can be accessed immediately via the Azure portal without the need for new hardware, provisioning, or code. This allows for endlessly scalable deployments controlled by simple customisable policy – helping Azure customers balance their cost and performance needs.

It is worth noting that, by default, the pay-as-you-go billing model ensures performance can be maintained regardless of usage  by increasing and reducing resources as needed. This does mean increased spend during high usage periods, but also that costs decline when usage is lower. Typically this leads to reduced operational costs and improved performance – but if necessary autoscaling can be controlled, or switched off entirely, at an admin level.

6: You Already Know How it Works!

Some of the most familiar tools and languages in the tech world are used to develop cloud native applications and manage devops in Azure – including ASP.NET, C#, Active Directory, GitHub, and Visual Studio. This means the learning curve for developers, engineers, and architects migrating to Azure is often surprisingly gentle; allowing users to quickly get to grips with the Azure environment and easily deploy the right cloud solutions. 

If you do get lost, documentation is extensive and free – supported by a huge community advice network that can answer questions requiring even very use-case specific advice. A structured certification pathway offers further guidance, allowing Azure adopters to grow their skills whilst also improving their saleability: with certifications working to improve success on LinkedIn and bring in bigger clients.

7: Microsoft

Say what you will about his tastes in water, but Bill Gates is a giant in tech. His company Microsoft is one of the leading providers of digital infrastructure, and a large market share means they have a presence in almost every business. 

Consequently, your organisation is likely already using one of Microsoft’s offerings – be that Office365, SharePoint, or Visual Studio. It makes sense to choose a cloud provider whose offerings gel with existing products, meaning for many businesses Azure will be the best option: offering a cohesive environment and simple integration with the tools possessing greatest staff familiarity. If your company is already using Microsoft services, it’s possible you also have an enterprise agreement  – this could offer further reason to work with Azure by netting you huge savings on services and operations. 

The ubiquity of Microsoft in business also means there are numerous specialists out there able to support enterprise in cloud migration, development, and maintenance. Furthermore, vendors working on Azure often have an extensive qualification list, featuring certifications backed by Microsoft’s own experts – this helps businesses quantify skill level and avoid unproductive partnerships.

8: Detailed Analytics

Impactful managed SQL and NoSQL (Cosmos) databases allow Azure to offer a powerful foundation for all analytics needs – whilst saving money on experts, hardware, and software. Combine this with a set of services that let you access Machine Learning, Cognitive Services/APIs, hyper-scale telemetry, and enterprise-grade analytics engines and it is clear that Azure forms a solid backbone for any modern analytics pipeline. Whether you’re seeking actionable business intelligence for internal needs, or looking to build effective data pipelines for a client – Microsoft’s Platform has you covered with industry-leading products like Data Factory, Event Hubs, Synapse Analytics, and Chaos Studio.

Further, powerful logging capabilities provided by Azure Monitor mean users can collect detailed analytics on their own infrastructure – allowing for quick and accurate assessments of cloud ecosystem health. Automated alerts help make these insights actionable, permitting rapid responses to problems including outages, low performance, or security risks.

9: Who’s Who?

When working with cloud, many businesses struggle with identity and access management protocol. Without careful attention, sensitive information can be broadcast to an entire organisation, or necessary data locked away in storage that stakeholders can’t immediately access. Implementing these permissions can take a lot of time, and it can be complicated to amend them later down the line without a dedicated and streamlined system.

Azure mitigates this risk with robust, reliable, and user-friendly access controls via Azure Active Directory. Data governance is made simple and ductile – allowing for affordable and flexible identity management that drives innovative and agile business initiatives.

10: Around the World in 40 Datacentres

Microsoft Azure has over 40 datacentres spread across the globe. Besides being an interesting theme for a globetrotting sightseeing tour, this international footprint offers some practical advantages. Global dispersion of physical infrastructure allows Azure users to make flexible choices on centre location – meaning customer service, legal compliance, and service speed can be secured for a multinational userbase.

This offers further benefits in terms of mitigating service failure risk – discussed below.

11: Disasterproofing

A global footprint means Azure’s infrastructure is highly decentralised. As a result, downtime risk is substantially reduced – with jobs able to be to run from a plethora of back-up sites, maintaining continuous service delivery. 

Additionally, Azure boasts a cost effective tri-service disaster recovery platform consisting of Azure Backup, Azure Site Recovery, and Azure Archive Storage. These solutions provide a simple and secure way to shield users from data loss, get things back up and running quickly after a disaster, and lock away rarely used but important data in a robust and affordable archive.

All this means that, with Azure, the business risks posed by failures in cloud infrastructure are fully mitigated, and backed by multiple failsafes.

12: Databricks & MLflow

Databricks, the lakehouse company, provide an eponymous zero-management unified analytics cloud platform built around Apache Spark™. Here at Distributed Analytics, we’ve benefitted from the unique data management capabilities of Databricks, and we recommend it to many of our clients as a bulletproof analytics and ETL option. The Databricks platform uses the Azure Active Directory security framework to easily integrate with the entire Azure stack – pulling from Data Warehouses, Blobs, Data Lakes, and Event Hubs using existing credentials for authorisation. If your organisation currently uses Databricks, you’ll be pleased to find a unified and effective companion in Azure – allowing you to supercharge your processes with seamlessly connected infrastructure. You can even connect your existing analytics tooling instead of getting to grips with Azure’s Data Lake Analytics and HDInsight tools. 

Further, MLflow-Databricks integration means Azure users can easily access and implement advanced machine learning analytics using distributed datasets within dispersed teams. Azure infrastructure supports key MLflow products like Track and Repository – allowing model data ingestion or output delivery whilst preserving performance and controlling costs.

Closing Thoughts

Microsoft Azure offers substantial benefits to an incredibly broad customer base. Cost efficiency, high performance, and great integration with the Microsoft services universe make it the preferred platform for major enterprise. But a gentle learning curve, transparent pricing, and certifications that beget return on investment also make Azure a great choice for smaller businesses – meaning it pays for any organisation to give Azure a try. At Distributed Analytics, we have worked with all the major cloud platform service providers – and definitely agree that for many enterprise client use cases Azure is the best option. Check out Microsoft’s free trial today and see if Azure could be the right choice for your business!

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