When you start to look for expanding your business, you always want to invest in smart solutions backed by robust technology. Therefore, there are several questions that you might raise during the consultation and see the role technology plays in solving your business problems. These questions are focused on discussing tomorrow’s possibilities.
Suppose you are looking for a solution with an environment where application management and other features run your mission-critical workloads reliably. In that case, you should Consider Microsoft Azure for small businesses.
Let’s understand Azure, its services, and its benefits.
What is Microsoft Azure?
Azure is a cloud computing service that your business can use for infrastructure and application management. With Azure, you can achieve your goals by developing, deploying, and managing your infrastructure and applications. You have advantages that include language preferences, frameworks, and infrastructure. In deliverables, Azure proves its peculiarity and helps businesses foresee service-based technology requirements.
We have now covered the basics of Azure. Next, let’s look at the benefits cloud computing can deliver to small businesses.
Top 5 Benefits of Microsoft Azure for Small Business
Picking up the service depends on several factors. As a small business, you might not be aware of the bottlenecks that can stop you from walking towards success. It is essential to know all your business requirements and list down questions to ask during consultation. Let’s learn about the benefits and the questions that can give you a clear insight into which service or product to run.
As a small business, you can relate to speed and the cloud as the time taken for a command to complete. Yes, it is a part of speed when you correlate it together. But there are several other factors and aspects that you need to consider before picking up the service. Speed, in this case, can refer to:
- How quickly can teams develop and deploy applications?
- How quickly can you upgrade services by increasing existing application capacity and adding new features?
- How quickly can you restore the data from VMs, off-shore data centers, and backups?
With the increase in business expertise, data, etc., Azure’s flexibility comes into play. When you wish to shine with higher service levels, you can ramp up with just one click to showcase your expertise. When not required, you can ramp down the service at no additional cost.
As a small business, you might want to ask certain questions:
- What flexibility does a business in a specific industry achieve through Azure?
- Is it affecting in any sense if upgrading and downgrading service levels are frequent?
- How does upgrading ensure that the dataset at a third-party data center can be fetched properly?
- Are all the programming languages and frameworks accessible using Azure?
3. Integrated Delivery Pipelines
Creating a digital product or service requires expertise and dedicated resources. Looking at this facet, Azure assures us to deliver an end-to-end suite of services, so you never miss out on an opportunity to win over your competitors without worrying about the A/B testing and deployment.
If you take a closer look at Azure, you can achieve all the technical complexities under one word AZURE as it comes with a full and unified delivery pipeline. However, you might want to ask questions such as:
- What type of integrated delivery pipeline does Azure deliver?
- Does Azure have in-built source control, testing, integration, and delivery launch pad in its environment?
- Will upgrading my one cloud service disrupt another service?
- What other features does Azure deliver, regardless of the aspects we’ve discussed?
4. Disaster Recovery
As a small business, you might look for sophisticated data recovery systems with minimum downtime. So, now you might be willing to know how does it work? Well, Azures deals with some encryption features allowing you to stay compliant and improve your continuity plan in case anything goes wrong. Specific disaster recovery methods and tools can help you assess and safeguard from data loss, such as Backup, Virtual System Testing, and Self Run Dev-Test. You can ask the following questions:
- What are the capabilities of Virtual systems for disaster recovery?
- How much time does it need to recover completely?
- Will third-party tools seamlessly work with Azure?
- What backup methods are available if I subscribe to Azure?
Small businesses are less prone to data hacks, but that does not mean you are entirely safe. Microsoft Azure protects your business from all types of security breaches and threads trying to flee with your data. Microsoft has developed a security control integrated into both hardware and firmware. Microsoft Azure subscribers also get access to over 3500 cybersecurity experts with profound knowledge of cloud-specific attacks. If you are unaware of security questions, you can ask the following:
- What types of compliance certificates have Azure acquired so far?
- What do I get with the recent upgrade from a security point of view?
- Is there any notification system that reminds us to upgrade or perform any leftover security action?
- How does Azure deal with data loss?
These benefits help small businesses trust the product. Before you subscribe to a service, you must ensure all the bottlenecks of your business and list them down. Now, you know the bottlenecks you need to resolve using Azure. Let’s get to know the impact Azure can make on small businesses.
What Can Azure Deliver to Small Businesses?
Small and Medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are the driving force behind the world’s economy. They become testbeds because they are more agile to adapt to the changes and grow eventually. However, cloud technology challenges are different for SMBs, thanks to managed cloud computing solutions that exclude the need to hire a technical expert.
With the increase in startup culture and organizational diversity, there are over 1000 technical capabilities Microsoft Azure can deliver to achieve business ubiquity. We can now begin to look at the services in a closed-packed manner.
VMs, IaaS, and Development Services
Virtual Machines (VMs) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) allow users to launch general-purpose Windows and Linux VMs and preconfigure machine images for popular software. Platform as a Service (PaaS) empowers businesses to publish and manage their apps and websites. For example, suppose you are developing a website. In that case, Azure Web Sites allows you to code in ASP.NET, PHP, Node.js, Java, or Python and deploy using FTP, Git, Mercurial, Team Foundation Server, or upload through the user portal.
Various Azure Active Directories are used for specific purposes, including:
- Azure Active Directory: Synchronize on-premises directories and enable SSO (Single Sign-On)
- Azure Active Directory B2C: Use consumer identity and access management in the cloud
- Azure Active Directory Domain Services: Use to integrate VMs to a domain without the domain controller
- Azure Information Protection: Use to protect information
- Azure Active Directory External Identities: Set of capabilities for an organization to collaborate with customers and partners.
A small business uses Azure to look at mobile engagement in real time and gets highlights of user behavior. You can also enable mobile push notifications for users. In addition, there is a dedicated service called HockeyApp for developing, distributing, and releasing beta-test mobile apps.
Azure storage services provide REST and SDK APIs to store and access data in the cloud. These services include:
- Table Service: A non-relational NoSQL database
- Blob Service: Data stored in unstructured text and binary format for HTTPS to access after request initiation. Blob also ensures a security mechanism for controlling access data.
- Blob Service: Communicate asynchronously through messages using queue
- File Service: Allowing storage and access on the cloud using REST APIs or the SMB protocol
Azure Communication Services offers an SDK that helps create VoIP, PSTN calling, video calling, and web-based chat.
These are the primary services a small business needs to onboard at the elementary level. It will help them create a robust foundation delivering efficacies.
Microsoft Azure delivers dozens of uses, but the requirement for a small business is limited. Nevertheless, the above-written benefits are the most frequent questions small business owners ask us during consultation.
With Azure’s advancements and capabilities, your small business can deliver the service that most fail. Looking at the needs of your business, you can choose the services you find beneficial for your business at the moment. As intelligent cloud technology, Azure has the potential to offer more than you can anticipate.