The number of organisations who are incorporating cloud-based technologies as part of their businesses models is significantly increasing, whether it is a hybrid approach or a full cloud implementation. With the rise of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML), Microsoft have made announcements that Azure will power multiple new projects in AI and ML.
1. Speed of Microsoft Azure
As we are all aware, speed is a crucial element for all businesses. Microsoft Azure is fast across the board and provides a competitive advantage.
The three elements; Speed of Deployment, Speed of Operation and Speed of Scalability are all provided by Microsoft Azure, leaving leading cloud providers in the lurch as they struggle to provide all three.
2. Increase of business responsiveness
Microsoft Azure allows for an increase of the businesses responsiveness. In turn, this means that faster developments are provided with Azure compared to on-premises solutions.
Azure provides businesses with the ability to become more responsive with feedback, and therefore more interactive with their customers. This frees up time and allows the exploration of technologies to meet business objectives. In the modern day, business agility is more than 'maintaining standard practices', but more about growing a business at a faster pace whilst eliminating the risk of failure.
3. Global reach
Here at Columbus, we work with organisations who are present on a global scale. We understand that they need systems that allow for the data to be easily transferred.
Microsoft Azure dynamically adapt their systems in accordance with their clients performance and utilisation requirements. With this in mind, the number of teams monitoring behaviour patterns is reduced, enabling them to focus on fundamental business objectives.
Build-a-Bear have turned to Microsoft in order to help them to empower employees and drive competitive advantage. With the implementation of Microsoft Azure and Microsoft 365, Build-a-Bear have been able to improve the security control they have over their corporate materials compared to using other cloud solution providers.
"We looked at other cloud providers, but from a business perspective, Microsoft cloud technologies provided the capabilities that our company demanded, all in one highly secure platform."
(Mike Early: Senior Managing Director at Build-a-Bear)
4. Integrated development environment
Microsoft Azure demonstrates the willingness to adjust its systems to the needs of its clients, of which are the daily users of the systems. With the integration of development environment, the learning curb is somewhat reduced with the new systems by avoiding mismatch of skills and by allowing teams to be deployed quickly and to learn whilst on the job.
5. Integration of delivery pipeline
Organisations want to be provided with an end-to-end solution, not just an out of the box package. Microsoft Azure provides a fully integrated delivery pipeline to suit the needs of its clients. Within the pipeline of Microsoft Azure the following elements are available under one brand:
- Source Control
- Unit Testing
- Integration Testing
- Go Live Tools
An integration of a delivery pipeline provides long-term success for a business whilst laying out the foundations of core business models.
6. Ability to implement disaster recovery
Organisations require a solution that will enable them to transfer data on a global scale, with this comes an immense amount of risk. Microsoft Azure helps to reduce risk and aids with disaster recovery.
Microsoft Azure works to recover issues by classifying the order of multi-level applications that may be running on multiple virtual machines from the Azure portal. Azure ensures compliance by testing your organisations disaster recovery plan without implicating production workloads or end-users.
All on-premises applications are still available during outages with the automatic recovery to Azure.
7. Flexible expenditure
An advantage of cloud computing is the ability to be able to test solutions that are cost effective. You can manage your cloud with transparency and accuracy with Microsoft Azure. Providing you with the tools to monitor, allocate and optimise your cloud costs, allowing your organisation to accelerate future investment with confidence.
Constantly monitor your cloud consumption and cost trends and track cloud spend against your organisations budget in order to prevent overspending.
"We have multiple development and test environments in the cloud for our own use and for our reseller customers. Using Azure Cost Management by Cloudyn to manage the cost and size of these environments has helped us all stay well on budget."
(Darryl Grauman, Vice President of Technology Innovation at Weston Comstor)
Microsoft Azure provides a security blanket for organisation's by implementing a secure and seamless logon for all of their users on a B2B and B2C basis.
Azure Single Sign-On provides users with easy access to all of their required platforms without having to remember a complex password. In turn, this reduces the ability of hacking into accounts and enables more control over location and devices.
9. Managing compliance
Organisation's want to be able to focus on their business outcomes whilst adhering to compliance regulations. Microsoft Azure provides organisation's with platforms that suit the requirements of the business.
New GDPR updates have meant that sectors such as finance, have had to update their data for protection purposes, something that Microsoft Azure is capable of doing. Microsoft Azure has created solution that will enable these new updates to be made with limited impact on the organisation.
10. Deployed anywhere
Microsoft Azure can be deployed anywhere on the globe whilst bringing organisation's all of the stated benefits to their customers.
Microsoft Azure utilises a range of hardware providers for their on-premises requirements. Organisation's are given the choice as to where their data will reside and if chosen to go ahead with a full cloud implementation, the transfer of data can become very easy.
Azure meets AI
Microsoft have recently announced that they will be powering multiple new projects through AI. Microsoft is opening up the Azure IoT Edge Runtime, allowing developers to modify and customise the applications. Microsoft predicts that there will be over 20 billion connected IoT devices by 2020, and they want to be the ones to help to get them online to share information in their cloud platform.
The Azure IoT Edge Runtime acts as a platform from which all of Azure's new AI projects will be built upon. Developers are excited about this new opportunity and look forward to being ale to build application that use AI algorithms to interpret, speak, listen and see for edge devices.
Microsoft have recently previewed the Brainwave Project, an architecture for deep net processing that will potentially make Azure the fastest cloud to run on real-time AI.
How can Columbus help your business?
Here at Columbus we use our expertise in order to implement Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Azure insight tools that fit your organisation's demand-planning requirements.
We also provide our own solutions that can be contributed to the Microsoft systems, helping you to manage production and logistics, create lasting value from the supply chain and improves your business processes in line with your objectives and strategies, therefore improving the customer experience through the integration and connection of systems.
We understand that some businesses may want to become more resource-efficient and accurate with their demand planning while other businesses are looking for digital transformation.
We are experts within the Manufacturing, Retail and Food industries and can share insight into technology developments that can help to transform your business depending on your requirements.
Having worked with many businesses within the different industries, we know how to assist you to provide an excellent experience for your people, whether it be in the cloud, on-premise, or in a hybrid environment.