3 ways to use the cloud to be Ready by Design
- Posted on July 24, 2019
- Estimated reading time 4 minutes
The following blog post was written by Avanade alum Kaytek Przybylski.
It used to be that sticking to what made you a success would keep you a success. You can kiss those days goodbye. Now, doing business the way you’ve always done business is the fast-track to failure. It keeps you from anticipating, and preparing for, what you’ve never seen before: Startup competitors, technological disruption, established companies crashing through industry boundaries to grab a slice of your market, or maybe your entire market.
Think of the car dealer that never anticipated that Costco – yes, that Costco – would become one of its largest competitors. Think of the bank that didn’t anticipate Facebook’s move into financial services. For this type of market disruption, you need to be ready with new digital business models, faster time to market, and increased business agility. To do so, you need the ability to create innovative applications at speed, liberate your talent to do their best, and securely unlock the value of the cloud. That’s being ready – not by accident or coincidence, but Ready by Design.
The cloud is a particularly important aspect of getting ready by design. If you’re not yet using the cloud to its fullest potential for your business, now’s the time to make it happen. And not just any cloud, but Azure, the Microsoft cloud. That’s because Azure, more than any other cloud choice, enables you to change how you do business. You can take advantage of its more scalable, flexible, highly tuned infrastructure; its preconfigured, integrated services that get you to market faster; and its highly effective, easy-to-use tools for more secure cloud use.
Here’s a closer look:
- Scalable, flexible, highly tuned infrastructure. Azure not only provides scalability on demand, but makes that scalability highly cost-effective, with pay-as-you-use pricing. More than raw scalability, Azure provides the infrastructure features that would otherwise cost you in time, money and personnel to build and maintain. For example, Azure includes performance management features that make optimal performance a given and built-in redundancy and disaster recovery features that make the cloud a more reliable and available platform than your own datacenter.
Of course, scaling out, particularly to international markets, is fraught with its own challenges, such as a having to confront a massive set of different, often inconsistent, regulatory environments. Azure helps to meet those requirements, for example with local datacenters around the world to accommodate data residency regulations. Still, international compliance scenarios can be highly complex; make sure you have the right expertise – in-house or via a partner/provider – to take advantage of Azure infrastructure effectively.
- Preconfigured, integrated services. Speed to market is crucial in being ready by design. Azure facilitates this with more than 100 preconfigured services that you can use to support everything from mobility to machine learning and AI, identity to Internet of Things, blockchain, DevOps, media and more. Instead of writing and testing code, you assemble production-ready services in which Microsoft has already invested millions of dollars in development and testing.
With these integrated application services, you can accelerate your innovation far beyond what you could achieve on your own. How much you achieve with Azure also depends on choosing wisely from this array of services and understanding the impacts of your decisions on consumption, portability, security and more.
- More secure cloud use. Most companies are justly concerned about security in the cloud. As cyberthreats continue to grow, those concerns grow too. That’s why Azure’s security capabilities are crucial in making it possible for you to increase your cloud use while reducing your risk. Those capabilities include Azure Active Directory for modern identity and access management, Information Protection, Key Vault, unified Security Center, Distributed Denial of Service Protection, Sentinel intelligent security analytics, Advanced Threat Protection and more.
Security in the cloud is far more than a one time, set-it-and-forget-it proposition. You need an end-to-end approach that takes into account the security of your entire architecture, from design and development through ongoing production use. Avanade’s cloud security solutions, for example, start with a clear assessment of current cloud use and the steps needed for a mature cloud security posture, then follow up by building and implementing core and advanced Azure services with required compliance, governance and controls; modernizing identity and access management services; and transforming app development in the cloud with strong security standards and business processes.
If all this suggests you need to toss your historic investments to exploit Azure, relax. Those investments can get a new lease on life in the cloud, which is especially important if they are proven algorithms or other functionality that’s core to your business. We use a range of options to help clients get to Azure right away while bringing along these investments, such as lift-and-shift, containers and microservices wrappers.
Using Azure’s highly tuned architecture, integrated services and security features really does get a company ready by design for whatever comes. For example, Avanade helped European energy trader Centrica drive a 50% increase in trading volume, get through dev and test environments 95% faster and achieve a 358% ROI. We’re seeing similar results across industry lines.