7 Azure Cloud benefits for SMEs

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Cat Mules

There are well established rationales for moving to the Cloud, the benefits of which vary based on organisation size or objectives.

Below we look specifically at what implementing Microsoft Azure drives for SMEs.

1. Fast feedback to frame decisions

The fast-paced contemporary business world means SMEs must scale-up or adjust, as demand and the environment changes. The rapid feedback and testing cycles made available by Azure are in contrast to on-premise solutions that require a financial outlay and an often complex infrastructure.

Azure brings fast-paced agility – organisations that use Azure are able to benefit from speedier development cycles, drawing on insights and feedback. Organisations can test out decisions and explore outcomes of their investment plans based on their top-line business objectives.

Fast feedback is essential in the global business ecosystem. Some of the most high performing and profitable companies such as Facebook operating by the “fail fast and adapt” mantra.

2. Customise solutions

Azure solutions are being developed to be future proof: designed to solve the problems of tomorrow. While the future is highly likely to be Cloud-based or Cloud first, a hybrid solution is still appropriate for many SMEs.

Transitioning to the Cloud is more possible than ever for SMEs. Now Azure can dynamically adapt to individual business’s depending on performance and utilisation needs. Software architects to manually set up and monitor this process will be less needed – the c-suite will be freed up to focus on higher level objectives such as expansion plans.

Flexibility has been a chief consideration underpinning Microsoft’s building the Azure Stack – the Azure extension service. This means organisations can select where their data is placed. Azure Stack users get the same benefits with added patterns and practices. There’s also support for business hardware providers.

If organisations then decide that Azure is the best option for a Cloud-pure transition, the move can be seamless, easy to implement and easy to adjust to.

3. Cutting edge development environment

A cutting-edge development environment is fundamental to Azure, with high quality development tools and services for all platforms and coding languages. It’s a carefully tuned fit to meet the needs of developers and businesses, and it creates room for more and continual innovation.

Figuring out your business model is a learning curve that can be avoided by matching skills across departments. On the Cloud, teams can be deployed who learn on the job.

4. Protect your data

With many SMEs operating internationally, there are often large amounts of data being transferred globally. It sounds risky, but Azure has highly reliable, secure recovery safeguards in place, including:

  • Regional and global fail-over options
  • Hot and cold stand by
  • Rolling reboot capabilities

The recently introduced Privacy Act means that security protocols for large and small amounts of data and high-profile data breaches are essential.  The repercussions of any company taking chances with theirs, or their clients’ data, could be major. The Cloud can provide solutions.

5. Rapid response

Azure’s agility offers solutions that are highly responsive to individual organisational contexts, and rapid. Organisations can deploy, operate and scale according their needs. This is especially crucial for SMEs. Going through constant changes and figuring out where best to drive your resources is time and resource consuming. Azure reduces the delay in the feedback loop.

6. Integrated delivery pipeline

An end-to-end development environment goes beyond simple storage capability. Azure boosts functionality across areas such as:

  • Delivery
  • Integration testing
  • Go live tools
  • Unit testing
  • Source control

Tools from different providers can be used, such as APIs and other extensions.

Even though you can split your data and operations between other Cloud providers and Azure, ideally ensure keep all your tools under one virtual ‘roof’ for the best possible support and implementation.

7. Try – before you buy 

The cost effectiveness of the Cloud is highly competitive. There’s practically no red-tape (albeit compliance is essential). There are often sizeable upfront costs in on-premise solutions. A shift to the Cloud means an end to wasted business finance on under-utilised software.

Flexible expenditure means there are no-up-front costs with the Azure – companies pay for what they use. This empowers them to test and monitor the efficacy of new ideas.

Once SMEs have made the tactical tweaks they need, and found what is most useful and effective for them, they can use the Cloud to scale in areas that make the most impact and produce a much larger ROI.

Have you thought about how a move to the Cloud could benefit your business? Contact our team to find out more and explore the best Microsoft Azure solution for you. Join the Umbrellar Connect mailing list to stay updated on all the latest tech news as well as Microsoft Azure tips and tricks.

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Cat Mules

Umbrellar's Digital Journalist, coming from a background in tech reporting and research. Cat's inspired by the epic potential of tech and helping kiwi innovators share their success stories.


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Microsoft is a technology company whose mission is to empower every person and every organisation on the planet to achieve more. We strive to create local opportunity, growth, and impact in every country around the world.

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