Currently, one would be hard pressed to find an organization in any industry that doesn't take advantage of the transformative power of the cloud. Every type of workload from email to data storage to critical application access and beyond is being migrated to off-premise environments, and for good reason.
RightScale's 2016 State of the Cloud Report showed that businesses large and small aren't just using the cloud – the typical organization now has several cloud environments in place. What's more, adoption has been on the rise for years and will only grow in the near future.
In today's cloud market, there are a handful of leaders vying for the top spot. Among them is flagship technology provider Microsoft, offering a range of cloud-friendly applications backed by its Azure platform. These tools provide numerous advantages for businesses, and are helping Microsoft's cloud service become one of the fastest growing in the world.
Cloud solutions: Today and into the future
RightScale's most recent report painted a vivid picture of just how impactful the cloud has become for today's enterprises. As noted, a hybrid approach has become increasingly popular, with average cloud users running and experimenting with six cloud environments overall, including both public and private platforms. In total, the vast majority of companies operate under this structure, with 82 percent of enterprises having a hybrid cloud strategy in place.
"Average cloud users run and experiment with six cloud environments overall."
Adoption is continuing across the board, with additional cloud platforms being added and more workloads being shifted to these environments. RightScale researchers found that private cloud adoption increased to 77 percent this year, a 14 percent rise compared to 2015. Virtualization of assets is increasing alongside adoption, with 17 percent of organizations having over 1,000 virtual machines in public cloud environments and 31 percent of businesses supporting over 1,000 VMs in private clouds.
The report also showcased an interesting finding: Security is no longer the top obstacle when it comes to adopting and leveraging the cloud. While data concerns drove this issue to the top of the list year after year in the past, a lack of resources and expertise has now overtaken this challenge.
"Even the most security conscious respondents – enterprise central IT teams and security pros – no longer see security as the #1 challenge," the report noted.
Turning to the experts
For this reason, more and more companies are turning to expert solution providers to manage and maintain their cloud environments for them. This approach is not only less costly than taking on these responsibilities in-house, but also ensures that only trained professionals configure and control these important infrastructure assets.
This landscape, in addition to a range of other factors, is boosting the adoption of hosted solutions and is helping to drive up the market for technologies that aren't just impactful, but familiar as well.
Microsoft: Climbing the cloud ladder
In the IT world, few names are more widely known than Microsoft. The technology provider has led the pack in multiple marketplaces for decades, and is now working its way to the top of the cloud sector.
According to recent findings from the Synergy Research Group, Microsoft is now the second largest cloud provider in terms of market share, conceding only to Amazon Web Services. While AWS may have taken the top spot overall, Microsoft overtakes when it comes to year over year growth, experiencing a 100 percent expansion compared to Amazon's 53 percent.
What can Microsoft offer?
Besides having an exceedingly successful and familiar solution portfolio – including flagship tools like Office 365 – Microsoft's cloud service providers other key advantages as well:
- Adaptable: SaaSPlaza contributor Harnish Haldane noted that Microsoft's Azure cloud platform is incredibly flexible and can adapt to suit even the most quickly evolving organizational needs.
- Customizable: The technology's flexibility and scalability also make it one of the most customizable platforms available, enabling enterprises to establish tailored cloud environments that take into account their unique requirements.
- Cost efficient: Although a benefit of any cloud solution is its ability to help keep costs down, Microsoft exceeds in this arena. Besides offering pay-as-you-go models in addition to monthly and longer-term contracts, Microsoft's large user base enables the company to provide considerable discounts. What's more, Haldane predicts that as competition in the cloud market continues, Microsoft will ensure that the cost of its solution is one of the most attractive.
- Hybrid support: If RightScale's finding are any indication, hybrid strategies will only become more crucial in the enterprise landscape. Whereas AWS has a rigid, "cloud only approach," Haldane noted, Microsoft's Azure allows companies to easily establish a hybrid infrastructure as well as build hybrid applications.
Overall, Microsoft offers a range of benefits with its cloud services, especially when paired with leading cloud-based applications like Office 365. When these technologies are deployed alongside the expert consulting and assistance of a top Microsoft partner like iT1 Source, the advantages only grow.
iT1 Source has been recognized as a top Microsoft cloud partner, enabling us to provide your business with the best in Microsoft solutions. To find out more, contact iT1 Source today.