What CIOs Need to Consider when Modernizing on Azure

Azure Cloud Services

Thinking of Modernizing on Azure? 5 Things for CIOs to Consider

What CIOs Need to Consider when Modernizing on Azure

Successfully moving your organization to the cloud means answering a lot of questions first: Which of my applications are the best candidates for migration? How should I prioritize? How can I migrate with minimum disruption and expense? And of course: Which cloud do I migrate to?

If you’re a CIO who’s trying to decide between Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud and Amazon Web Services, SoftwareONE can help you clarify your choice. We work with all three hyperscalers, so we can provide a vendor-neutral perspective to help you decide.

If you’re leaning toward Microsoft Azure, here are five considerations we’ve found to be helpful:

Which Technologies are You Comfortable With?

If you’re a Microsoft-centric organization, Azure is a logical choice for a few reasons. Although on-premises Microsoft technologies are not identical to Azure, experience of them can make onboarding simpler. Because the terminology, console and many other things are similar, you’ll find Azure provides an easier learning curve for teams that are already familiar with Microsoft approaches.

Azure is also tightly integrated with other Microsoft technologies. So, for example, you’ll find strong support for technologies like Microsoft SQL Server if that’s your current database platform. Other vendors are integrating Microsoft technologies too, of course, but Azure does this by default with a much tighter native integration.

What Other Technologies do You Need to Integrate?

Another reason to consider Azure over other hyperscalers is Microsoft’s strong support for other technologies such as Oracle and Linux.

Oracle users can encounter many complications when they’re looking to migrate their systems to the cloud. But Microsoft has done a lot to reduce the potential for such problems. Just this past July, for instance, Microsoft and Oracle released Oracle Database Service for Microsoft Azure, which lets Azure users easily manage Oracle database services through high-speed, low-latency connections to the Oracle cloud.

Previously it was also common to assume that Azure was a Windows-only platform, which is far from the case. Commercially it can absolutely be a great choice for Windows workloads, particularly if you can take advantage of Microsoft’s Hybrid Use Benefit, but Azure can also be a great platform for Linux workloads. The reality is that more Linux workloads run on Azure than any other OS, including Windows.

What are Your Development and Service Needs?

Another Azure advantage comes from its support across the full development lifecycle – in particular, through Azure DevOps and GitHub, which is owned by Microsoft. These make it easy for developers to build end-to-end solutions with fully integrated CI/CD pipelines.

Depending on where your users and customers are, geography is also a consideration. Although all three hyperscalers have extensive global footprints, Azure’s global infrastructure provides fast connectivity and 200-plus data centers across many regions and availability zones. Those locations can be a factor that helps you decide which cloud service is best for your workloads.

Security is also a vital consideration. Microsoft invests many millions of dollars a year on security and provides integrated security on Azure through tools like Microsoft Sentinel and Microsoft Defender for Cloud. It also makes it easy to connect to third-party security monitoring tools. All of this reduces integration headaches when it comes to cloud security.

Ready to Begin Your Cloud Migration?

SoftwareONE can help you chart the right path with the help of one of our Starter Packs, an Application Discovery and Assessment and our Cloud Migration Services.

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Think About How Azure has Evolved

In the past, some tech startups and greenfield customers viewed Azure as less advanced and less cool than Google or AWS. But that’s not the case today.

In fact, SoftwareONE is seeing more and more organizations starting their cloud journeys on Azure from day one. Azure not only provides simplified onboarding for companies accustomed to Microsoft tools, but also supports extensibility for complex cloud use cases through infrastructure as code, APIs and management tools like Terraform.

Depending on your requirements, Azure can also be substantially more cost-effective than other cloud platforms. Again, because SoftwareONE is vendor-neutral and works with all three hyperscalers, we understand how to make the most of Azure’s flexible purchase options, discounts and financial incentives.

What About the Multi-cloud Option?

Because the cloud makes it so easy to switch services on and off as needed, some organizations believe there’s value in using more than one hyperscaler at once.

It’s true that large enterprises might have a range of complex requirements where this approach makes sense. But for most of the medium-sized businesses and small enterprises that SoftwareONE serves, this tends to be needlessly expensive and complicated. It’s better to identify the one cloud provider that best meets your requirements and focus on it as your primary platform. That doesn’t mean other platforms cannot be used if there is a very specific use-case or requirement, but narrowing your security, compliance and cost focus for the majority of your workloads to a primary platform can dramatically simplify your cloud operations approach.

Despite the constant hype in the industry, if you haven’t started your cloud journey at all yet, don’t think that means it’s too late to begin – there are still many organizations like yours in the same situation. The good news is, with SoftwareONE you’ll have a lot of past migration experience to draw on, which will help you to avoid some of the pitfalls that early adopters of cloud encountered.

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  • Cloud Services, Application Services, Cloud Journey, Cloud with Confidence [Path to the Cloud]
  • Cloud, Migration, Application Modernization, Azure

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Gordon Davey

Global Azure Cloud Services Leader

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