Moving to the cloud with Microsoft Azure: The what, the why, and the how

Feb 01, 2024

Modern businesses operate with a heavy reliance on IT infrastructure. Data is king, and businesses that are slow to leverage the fast-paced and innovative technology available to them risk falling behind the competition.

With data security, organisational resilience, and scalability ranking high on the priority list when it comes to the latest business technology that executives are considering, it’s no surprise that cloud technology is becoming a frontrunner for investment.
 

In fact, 95% of Fortune 500 companies are already relying on Microsoft Azure for trusted cloud services.

Let’s take a look at what makes Azure a popular choice for business leaders, why companies are moving to the cloud with Azure, and how to create a business case for cloud migration.

What makes Microsoft Azure a popular choice for business leaders?

Microsoft Azure is a cloud platform comprised of over 200 products and services, designed to help you tackle business challenges head on and plan for the future.

Unlike other cloud platforms, applications can be built, managed, and run across multiple clouds, on-premises, and at the edge, with the tools and frameworks of your choice.

As the only consistent hybrid cloud, Azure delivers unparalleled developer productivity, and provides comprehensive, multilayered security including the largest compliance coverage of any cloud provider.

And with industry-specific solutions for healthcare, financial services, government, retail, manufacturing, and more, Azure is the popular choice for business leaders looking for scalable, cost-effective solutions that work with their existing investments.

Learn about Azure here.

Why are companies moving to the cloud with Azure?

Azure offers technical and financial flexibility, efficiencies, and capabilities on the cloud that aren’t possible with on-premises IT infrastructure. With Azure, you can enjoy the benefits of:

  • Reduced datacenter footprint

Streamline operations and focus on what matters most for your business, like expediting app development, by reducing your datacenter footprint.

  • OPEX pricing models

Enable future growth with flexible, pay-per-use, on-demand cloud benefits and take advantage of an operational expenditure model rather than a traditional capital expenditure model.

  • Staff productivity

Reduce downtime and free up your IT staff from maintenance and patching tasks to spend more time optimising and innovating.

  • Sustainability

Build a clean-energy future and make progress toward your sustainability and business goals with sustainable technologies from Azure.

  • Scalability

Scale elastically by delivering the right amount of IT resources - for example, more or less computing power, storage, and bandwidth - right when they’re needed, and from the right geographic location.

  • Security and compliance

Build resilience and meet compliance requirements proactively, with security that’s built from the ground up, backed by a team of experts, and trusted by enterprises, governments, and startups.

  • Availability

Ensure business continuity for mission-critical systems that cannot tolerate interruption in service with high-availability cloud infrastructure from Azure.

  • Optimisation

Boost workload, operational, and cost efficiencies with free, enterprise-grade management tools, cost-saving offers, and innovative managed services from Azure.

How to create a business case for cloud migration

There are several key components to consider when you’re planning a business case for Azure:

Environment scope: As you build out the on-premises view of your environment, think about how your environment scope - from both a technical and financial perspective - is aligned. You want to be sure the technical environment you're using for your plan matches up to the financial data.

Baseline financial data: Common questions you can ask to gather needed financial data are:

  • How much does it cost to run my environment today?
  • What am I spending on servers in an average year?
  • What am I spending in my data center operations categories, for example, power or lease costs?
  • When is the next hardware refresh?

On-premises cost scenario: Forecast your on-premises costs if you don't migrate to the cloud.

Azure scenario for on-premises costs: Forecast your on-premises costs when you migrate to the cloud in an Azure scenario. It takes resources and time to shift your environment to the cloud, so it's important to account for them in the business case. Include all of the core benefits that the cloud provides.

Migration timeline and Azure costs: Forecast the migration timeline and estimated costs for a given environment. Consider how you can optimise and get the most out of your Azure investment. For example, use reserved instances, scale capacity up and down, use the Azure hybrid benefit, and right-size your resources.

A business case isn't just a moment-in-time view. It's a plan that covers a period of time. As you shift to the cloud, your costs begin to decrease. You can forecast the ramp-down in on-premises spending over time associated with your cloud migration plan.

Once on-premises workloads and cost structure have been identified, you can then build out your optimised Azure consumption plan.

As a final step, compare the cloud environment to an on-premises or status quo scenario so you can assess the benefit of migrating to the cloud. The Azure view will show reduced on-premises costs over time, your Azure environment costs, and any costs associated with the cloud migration.

No matter where you are on your journey to the cloud, Delaware’s experts are on hand to help. 

Contact us today to learn more about Microsoft Azure.