Infrastructure as a service and cloud computing have revolutionized the IT landscape in the past few years, but the truth is that companies rarely jump on board with the latest trends unless they’re compelled to do so—it’s just human nature.
Companies, and the people that operate them, are often content to stroll along the same path they always have with an “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mentality, even if something that will make their lives easier is within reach. Change, after all, generally requires precious resources—time, money, labor—that people are hesitant to expend.
So what kinds of things can encourage or even force companies to look at new options? What could get a company that insists on following tradition to consider switching from an on-premises environment to something like Azure?
In this post, we’ve put together some of the best Azure migration opportunities for you to take advantage of as an MSP in this competitive space.
End of Support
Software end of support (EOS) is a huge catalyst for change in the way companies look at infrastructure. In July 2019, SQL Server 2008 and 2008R2 will go EOS. This means no more updates and no more support, which means leaving your customers wide open for cyber attacks and compliance issues.
If companies migrate to the Azure cloud, Microsoft will provide extended security updates for three more years after the EOS deadline, and the ability to move workloads with no application code change and nearly zero downtime.
Rising Security Concerns
This is a big one. Cyber attacks are on the rise, and hackers are always on the prowl. Companies simply can’t afford to cross their fingers and hope they aren’t a target anymore—everyone is nowadays, and a single attack can cost millions.
Defending against these attacks requires maneuverability, manpower, costly upgrades, and more, which can (hopefully) drive a company to investigate alternative solutions.
Azure does the work for them with Azure Security Center. This platform allows companies to look at their overall security score, get an overview of how they’re doing in terms of security, determine the degree of vulnerability for their information, and even define policies that work best for them.
Azure Security Center also stops threats before they start by integrating with Windows Defender, threat detection for Linux, adaptive network controls, fileless attack detection, just-in-time VM access, and file integrity monitoring.
With all of these ways to protect against cyber attacks, you can easily see why companies would want to switch from an on-premises environment to Azure. It just makes everything more manageable.
Urgent Capacity Needs
As one of the original pitches for cloud computing and IaaS, urgent capacity needs is a tale almost as old as the industry itself. For companies that frequently experience changing capacity needs—such as an influx of website traffic during the holiday shopping season—a solution like Azure can help tremendously.
Adding capacity to on-premises infrastructure is challenging and tedious. Companies often have to purchase new servers and other infrastructure, install the necessary software, set up the necessary hardware, and do a lot of labor-intensive work just to support a surge in activity that might die down in two months. And what happens after that surge is over? The extra hardware (and the time, space, and money it took to set it up) is wasted.
Azure completely eliminates this problem, making adding and removing capacity simple and easy. This allows for flexibility during busy times of the year, and eliminates any wasted resources.
Developing Applications Faster
Speed is everything in the IT world, and companies are pushed harder to develop and release applications at a faster rate to keep up with marketplace demand. With Azure, companies can publish cloud-scale applications in minutes without worrying about infrastructure.
Some customers have touted reducing their development time from between six and eight months to between one and two, and being able to release new features in just weeks. Whether companies are using C#, Node, or Java, these features will apply and companies will be able to gain a significant competitive advantage.
Software and Hardware Refreshes
There’s an old computer commercial where a customer goes out to purchase “Computer 9”—the latest and most revolutionary technology that money can buy. And after shelling out the necessary cash, he walks home proud, only to see a billboard for the new “Computer 10” being erected.
It’s an old joke about IT, but it’s still applicable even in the enterprise space. To stay up to date with security, competition, and employee demands, companies do have to continually refresh their software and hardware—it’s just a fact of modern life.
Switching to Azure can remove this burden from your hands—everything is updated behind the scenes, not costing you manpower or money, and you just continually reap the benefits of the latest and greatest technology.
Things like the GDPR rock the IT world—as soon as new compliance regulations are released, everyone must race to meet the requirements or face legal and financial penalties.
Cloud services such as Azure can assist with these requirements by helping organizations identify and catalog the personal data in their systems. Azure also includes features that can build more secure environments and simplify compliance management.
Azure Security Center even offers a dashboard that will help companies monitor and report on regulatory compliance of their cloud environment; it provides recommendations to help meet standards such as CIS, PCI, SOC, and ISO.
Azure for the Modern MSP
As an MSP, your job is to help companies see these catalysts for change and ease their transition to Azure. Clearly, the EOS is one of the most time-sensitive Azure migration opportunities—acting now can help you gain new revenue streams.