With August well underway, IT decision makers are looking at what lies ahead for their enterprises in the last quarter of 2015 and into the new year. As a part of this forward-looking IT vision, strategic planning will include how to best position enterprise IT infrastructure to support the business. Among the areas of concern will be questions of how to use hardware and software in the most cost-effective manner while keeping pace with industry technology trends as a way to stay competitive.

One trend in particular is cloud migration from in-house infrastructure to cloud IaaS. In fact, in the next year alone, more than 65 percent of enterprise IT organizations are expected to commit to a hybrid cloud solution, according to data from the Independent Director’s Council.

Furthermore, research from 2ndWatch reveals that 54 percent of businesses will commit at least 15 percent more budget dollars to cloud services in the next 12 months. That means that those who have decided on hybrid cloud solutions are slowly committing more and more to the cloud, until eventually they house all of their infrastructure and applications on these IaaS and PaaS platforms. For the enterprises making this commitment to the cloud, the choice of cloud computing platforms is critical. Here at AAJ, we have a strong belief based on decades of industry expertise that Microsoft Azure is the best cloud platforms.

Here are five cloud migration areas that Microsoft Azure addresses better than any other solution on the market:

  • Economy and scalability: As an IT decision maker, you’ve likely already determined whether your organization needs to cut costs or is ready to grow in 2016. In either case, Azure’s pay-as-you-go services will allow you to scale as you need. Azure is unique in that it provides per-minute billing, meaning you’ll be charged for the services you use in the same way you’re charged for utilities (like electricity) at home. Second, Azure has made a commitment to match competitors’ prices on popular infrastructure services, meaning you’re guaranteed the lowest price.
  • Cybersecurity: In 2014, enterprises suffered nearly $100 million in payment card data breaches, according to 2020 Outlook. Furthermore, 83 million employee records, 53 million email addresses and 4.5 million healthcare records were stolen in three separate personal data records breaches. Clearly, cybersecurity needs to be top of mind for enterprise IT departments moving forward. Microsoft Azure provides advanced security measures to counter these threats. In fact, Azure is the first provider to be recognized by the European Union’s data protection authorities and was also the first major cloud provider to adopt the new international cloud privacy standard ISO 27018.
  • Global connectivity: Today, telecommuters—or those who work remotely—make up 2.6 percent of the American workforce. That’s 2 million workers, according to the New York Times. This number has grown 79 percent since 2005 and is expected to continue to grow, with companies’ work-at-home benefits increasing more quickly than any other benefit. This means you’ll need IaaS that allows access anywhere at any time. With Microsoft Azure’s worldwide network of Microsoft-managed data centers, including more countries than leading competitors AWS and Google Cloud, you can rest assured that your employees will be able to connect when they need to as your enterprise continues to grow in size and reach.
  • Migration at your own pace: You may look at your quarterly earnings and see that in 2016 you’ll need to scale costs. And a move to the cloud would provide financial relief. However, you might not be ready to abandon your data center just yet for any number of reasons. With Azure, you’ll be able to partially migrate to the cloud, creating a hybrid solution, so you won’t have to make any major IT decisions like purchasing new infrastructure (a major budget drain) that might not be the right fit for your enterprise.
  • Competition: Did you know that 57 percent of Fortune 500 companies rely on Azure? That’s because Azure offers all the benefits above plus enterprise-grade SLA service and24/7 tech support. What’s more, it is one of the most powerful business tools when it comes to integrating existing services. For instance, with Azure, you won’t need to abandon central enterprise applications such as Microsoft Office 365, Outlook or SharePoint. With the success of Azure adoption to date, further growth is anticipated. Therefore, Azure offers businesses the ability to stay competitive, by leveraging the same tools—and the playing field.

Moving to the cloud can be a difficult decision, but it is a strategic one if you’re business is looking to finish strong in 2015 and excel in 2016. Once you’ve decided to migrate, you’ll be assured of the best tools to succeed when you install Microsoft Azure. To learn more about how we can help you implement this new system, click here.