What is Microsoft Azure?
Microsoft Azure is a cloud computing platform comprised of over 200 products and services that can be used to build solutions in the cloud. Azure can be used to run websites, store data and build applications through a wide variety of services and tools including platform as a service (PaaS) and infrastructure as a service (IaaS). PaaS is a type of cloud platform service that supports the different stages of web app development from building and testing to deployment. PaaS is a cost-effective way to build and deploy apps as you can purchase only the resources you need on a pay-as-you-go basis, from a cloud service provider – in this case Microsoft. Also available on a pay-as-you-go-basis, IaaS is a cloud computing model where computing resources like servers are provided by a cloud service provider, meaning businesses don’t need to manage physical hardware themselves. In the case of Azure these services enable businesses to build, deploy, and manage applications and services through Microsoft's global network of data centers in an affordable, efficient and secure way.
What is Azure used for?
As a platform comprised of over 200 products, Azure can be used to serve a vast range of purposes. Below we discuss some of its most popular uses.
Custom app development – Azure can be used to build, test and manage custom applications in the cloud that cater to your unique business needs.
Store and manage data – Azure provides a variety of data storage services such as Azure SQL Database, that allow businesses to store, manage and analyse large amounts of data.
AI solutions – Build your own AI-powered Copilot assistant or other AI tools with AI-powered models in Azure AI Studio.
Advanced data analysis – Use advanced analytics tools like Azure Synapse Analytics to analyse large amounts of complex data and generate reports and dashboards that provide powerful business insights.
Cloud migration – Move your important business data to the cloud and future-proof critical organisational infrastructure with Azure tools.
Who can use Microsoft Azure?
The scalability and flexibility of Azure solutions make it accessible to companies of all sizes across all industries. Whether your organisation requires cloud migration services, analytical tools, AI solutions or custom applications, there is an Azure solution that can match your requirements.
Why use Microsoft Azure?
As an innovative, dynamic platform, there are many advantages to using Microsoft Azure. Below we discuss just some of the benefits of Microsoft Azure and what it can achieve for your organisation.
Security – Microsoft is renowned for security and invests a lot of resources into developing and optimising security features in Azure. They provide capabilities such as identity management, encryption, and threat detection to help protect your applications and sensitive data in the cloud through numerous identity and security tools like Entra ID (formerly Azure AD), Microsoft Sentinel and Azure Firewall Manager.
Cost savings - Instead of investing in and maintaining your own physical servers and other infrastructure, Azure allows you to pay-as-you-go for only the computing resources you use. This model can be much more affordable, especially for smaller companies.
Scalability - Azure allows you to easily scale your computing resources up or down based on your needs. Whether you're a small business or a large corporation running complex applications, Azure can adapt to your specific needs.
Flexibility - Azure supports various operating systems, programming languages, databases and devices, giving users the flexibility to use the computing tools they’re comfortable with.
Native integration with other Microsoft tools - If your business is already using Microsoft products like Microsoft 365, Azure integrates seamlessly with these products, creating a more unified IT environment that is integrated, secure and easier to manage.
Disaster recovery – In the fast-paced world of business, even a minor technical issue can have a large impact on operations. Azure offers an end-to-end backup and data recovery solution that can help your business services recover quickly and smoothly in the event of a disaster like the accidental deletion of data.
Continuous Innovation - Azure is constantly evolving and offers access to the most cutting-edge technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, and Internet of Things (IoT). This allows businesses to stay agile and competitive by incorporating the latest technological advancements into their applications and IT systems.