Currently, the question is not if your business should be on the cloud or not. A market disruptor when it started, cloud computing is now an expected approach for companies worldwide. So prevalent is the cloud services market, that Gartner forecasts this market to grow to $266.4 billion by the end of 2020.
Of the many cloud-service providers, three of them are in a fierce race to the top-spot. These are AWS from Amazon, Microsoft Azure, and Google-Cloud-Platform, also called GCP. Of these, recent data shows that more than 95% of all Fortune-500 companies use Azure as their preferred cloud-offering. With a 65% growth rate YoY, it is definite that Microsoft Azure is making all the right calls on the public cloud-provider front.
So what are the reasons for the huge enterprise-following for Microsoft Azure? On paper, the cloud-offerings provided by the top cloud-providers are more-or-less similar, consisting of servers, storage space, databases, networking, analytics, and machine learning capabilities. But Microsoft Azure surges forward in enterprise adoption, mainly owing to the following reasons.
Enterprise-centric. Microsoft has been serving enterprises for a better part of three decades. They know where and how enterprises find the best value, and they have modelled their cloud-offerings around these. This helps enterprises migrate easily to Microsoft Azure, as against moving to other cloud-platforms.
Pricing advantages. If a business has an existing enterprise relationship with Microsoft, it is entitled to discounts as Microsoft tweaks these agreements to lower the pricing of Microsoft Azure, thus gaining significant benefits from Azure.
Medium learning curve. Azure allows use of existing technologies and technical know-how that existing businesses use, thereby providing users in the business a medium learning curve. This is unlike other cloud platforms, which are perceived to have a steep learning curve.
Better hybrid cloud capabilities. While businesses look to move from on-premise to cloud, there are certain data/applications that businesses are not willing to move to the cloud. Amongst the cloud providers, Microsoft has continuously provided a strong support for hybrid cloud services, thus allowing businesses to bring nearly full public Azure functionality using their own on-premises data centres.
Be future ready. As of mid-2020, Microsoft Azure has added 1000+ capabilities in the past year, and continues to release more enterprise-centric and future proof products to the market
Most global regions covered. Compared to other cloud providers, Azure provides the most global regions of any cloud provider, thus bringing you close to your customers globally. As of this writing, Azure was in 60+ regions and supporting 160+ countries.
Easier integration with existing Microsoft applications
If you are a business that presently uses Microsoft applications, for example Microsoft 365 or Teams, Azure provides easy integration to migrate these applications, and all their data to Azure. This saves businesses a lot of trouble, considering the interoperability concerns that happen when moving to other cloud-providers.
Secure. Microsoft, as a business is committed to keep data on the cloud secure. It has invested $1billion in R&D, hiring 3500 cyber security experts to build capabilities that include over 90 compliance offerings.
By Eljo JP, Chief Business Officer and Jivin John, Sr. Manager, Infra Services at Finesse.