Is your organisation one of the 90% of businesses that Forrester estimates have now migrated their operations to the cloud?

The benefits of the technology are clear: with its power to deliver increased productivity, collaboration, and innovation, the cloud is no longer considered an optional extra. Today, it’s as fundamental to the running of a successful business as the typewriter was a century ago. A necessity that enables you to remain competitive, relevant, and gain market share.

Whatever the size of your organisation, the question is how much cloud technology you should adopt, when and where should you adopt it, and how soon to introduce it?

Every business will have a different starting point. Knowing what’s right for you, and which workloads to move first is critical to beginning your journey. Once you’ve moved these to Microsoft Azure, you’re then free to investigate modernising your operations and adding innovation into the mix, leveraging technology like AI.


Unmatched security

Cyber-security is a topic that never seems to the leave the headlines. It’s a core focus for any business; without the defensive protection of the cloud, you leave yourself open to the threat of your IT systems being taken offline – a cost no business wishes to bear. And that’s before we consider the risk of data loss.

If you find yourself a victim of a breach, with sensitive data hacked, the cost is two-fold. In the first instance, you’re liable to be fined by the Information Commissioner’s Office under GDPR. This can be as high as £18 million or 4%, depending on the severity of the breach. However, the second cost is far more worrying: a data breach hurts your reputation, resulting in customer trust spiralling.

Azure’s built-in security measures prevent this from happening – this includes Azure Sentinel, the intelligent security application that fuses AI and the cloud to protect your entire enterprise. We invest $1 billion every year in security measures that protect your organisation. Microsoft’s cloud solution analyses 6.5 trillion threats every day, and with 3,500 security experts, you can be confident we’ve got you covered.


Unparalleled innovation

Don’t let that end of support worry you. In fact, if you migrate to the cloud, you don’t need to ever think about it again.

Azure is the only cloud solution with evergreen SQL. This ensures that you’re always using the most up-to-date version available. No patches, no updates. This is just one of the reasons why Azure is the best cloud to run your Windows and SQL Servers.

When you make the switch to the Microsoft cloud, you’ll also begin a transformation with built-in intelligence to simplify resource management and governance and reduce complex admin tasks. It also offers the only fully managed service for any .NET app.

We have a full commitment to Linux migration and open-source projects and applications like Kubernetes, so you can make the choice that’s right for your organisation.


Unbeatable offers

The Azure Hybrid Benefit brings extra pricing benefits to customers with both Software Assurance and on-premises Windows Server and SQL Server licenses. We know, as a decision-maker, you’ll always have one eye on the bottom-line. That’s why we’ve made Azure the most attractive proposition, without compromising on the top quality you expect from Microsoft.

There’s free extended security updates when migrating Windows Server and SQL Server 2008 and 2008 R2 workloads. Pre-paying your compute capacity on a one or three-year term is another way you’ll save on costs. This is designed to simplify budgeting and forecasting. You can also get started at speed with our Azure Migrate Program, which includes prescriptive advice, resources, and tools for a successful path to the cloud. The program leverages our strong and highly capable partner network to ensure customers move to Azure is successful.

Find out how much you stand to gain by visiting the Azure Hybrid Benefit page and using the Savings Calculator.


Built-in hybrid

Microsoft is the only cloud provider with end-to-end hybrid infrastructure, with 2.5m+ hybrid-enabled Windows Servers through Windows Admin Centre.

Using Azure with Windows Server provides a truly unique hybrid experience, letting you seamlessly operate across your data centre and the cloud. The systems’ are deeply integrated and for a very good reason – by developing platforms that not only work well together, but are made for each other, you’ll discover it’s easy to perform critical scenarios like Backup, Disaster Recovery and migration.

When you move to Azure, you’ll find the most comprehensive backward and forward SQL compatibility with Azure SQL DB Managed Instance. This enables existing SQL users to switch on-site applications to the Azure cloud with little disruption and database changes.


Take the first steps and start your migration journey

There are four core stages to migrating your business to the cloud…

Step 1 – Assess

This is, arguably, the most important stage: planning. Cloud migration tools, such as the Azure Migrate Tool, can be used to assess your inventory and figure out which on-premises apps need to be moved over to the cloud.

Step 2 – Migrate

It’s time to make the move. This is where you’ll use tools like the Azure Migrate Tool and Azure Site Recovery – this essentially automates your migration with next to no downtime.

Step 3 – Optimise

The work doesn’t just stop once you’ve migrated. Now, you can calibrate your apps, so they perform optimally on Azure, while Azure Cost Management helps you monitoring and budgeting.

Step 4 – Secure and manage

Congratulations! You’re now operating in the cloud. At this stage, you’re free to leverage Azure security and management services, to keep your cloud applications running smoothly.


Is it time to modernise your business, make it more secure, and increase the productivity of your whole team? We’ll help you with step-by-step guidance, advice, and all the support you need to accelerate your cloud-based future.


Find out more

Listen to the webinar: Discover why Azure is the right choice for cloud migration

 Download the eBook: Cloud migration essentials

Join the Azure Migration Programme


About the author

Michael Wignall headshotMichael is responsible for all aspects of UK technology strategy including supporting the implementation and use of technology by commercial and public sector organisations and acting as a catalyst for digital transformation. He joined Microsoft in 2008, working in a number of roles including as Government Industry Manager responsible for solutions and partners, and in the public sector team for Microsoft Dynamics. Michael has a bachelor of Engineering with Honours in Software Engineering, a bachelor of Business Management from University of Queensland and a Master’s of Science and Computer Network from Liverpool John Moores University.