Modernizing IT and Business with Azure Cloud-Based Solutions

New technologies - including social, mobile, cloud, and analytics - have fundamentally disrupted old models of business, across every industry and operation. Leveraging these technologies, digital upstarts, such as Airbnb and Slack, have raced past industry stalwarts and developed new markets.

In response, incumbent leaders are embracing innovative cloud solutions, like Microsoft Azure, to generate new services and improve customer support. Some have transitioned into technology front-runners -- moving workloads to the cloud, building social and mobile apps, and adopting big data analytics.

Nike and KeyBank, for example, have increased app deployment speed and automation with cloud based services and solutions. Meanwhile, others are left behind.

For those not embracing transformation and migrating to the cloud, success and survival are at stake. To make this move, they must do so with a strategic, business and technical driven approach to capture the desired commercial results.

Cross-functional Approach

Digital transformation and cloud migration are best introduced by a cross-functional group. While some choose technical teams to lead the transition, most often there’s a better approach. The best place to start is with desired business goals.

Business outcomes and technical solutions, however, are closely connected. While technology can enable new products and paths, it might not drive the anticipated results. Market entry plans, however, may not have an enabling technical approach.

For successful transformation and IT modernization, it’s necessary to have a cross-functional methodology. In doing so, both sides must present the best possible solutions.  And both must present the barriers and constraints.

Changing competitive landscapes and consumerism are disrupting businesses and creating an imperative to invest in digital transformation,” Eileen Smith, IDC.

Examine Existing Workloads

With realistic technical and business targets as a foundation, teams must first assess existing workloads for migration. For each application, a decision is made – maintain, migrate, or retire. Often migration brings new efficiencies and market opportunities. But this is not always the case.

Two Microsoft tools can help assess the benefits and readiness of workload migration to an Azure cloud platform.

Microsoft Virtual Machine Readiness Assessment – This tool automatically inspects physical and virtual on premise workloads and provides a checklist and steps for future migration. It shows workload configurations that are ready to move. And those that need additional exploration with specific guidance on the next steps of preparation.

Microsoft Assessment and Planning (MAP) toolkit – This separate inventory, assessment, and reporting tool can assess physical and virtual Microsoft based workloads for migration to Azure. Migrations readiness assessments include Windows, Office, SQL Server, and Hyper-V.

Prepare for New Development

In addition to workload migration, successful transformation must include new applications and development operations. In fact, app development has become a focus on which companies compete, regardless of size or industry.

In observing digital upstart’s services acceleration, business leaders have realized the competitive importance of DevOps methodologies.

DevOps combines software development, quality assurance, and infrastructure operations in a single automated motion for each application effort. It also includes information security and on-demand resources that developers need to focus on coding.

When done right, it reduces deployment and test time, ensures better and more secure code, and provides faster product release. Ultimately, increased velocity and quality yields higher customer experience, revenue, and income.

The Azure DevTest Labs is Microsoft’s app development cloud service to help engineers quickly provisioning on-demand Windows and Linux environments from established templates. The service both speeds time to market and control development costs.

Global spending on digital transformation technologies will exceed $1.2 trillion in 2017; +17.8% vs. 2016, according to IDC. And rise to $2 trillion in 2020, with 17.9% compound annual growth from 2015 to 2020.

Developer Control - IaaS, PaaS, or SaaS

With most cloud services, like Microsoft Azure, the provider manages all servers, storage, networking, and virtualization. When enabling developer innovation, however, digital transformation leaders must consider how much VM management to distribute.

To do so, the leadership team must select one or more of the following cloud services.

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) – developer control at the guest OS level as well as data, middleware, and application.

Platform as a Service (PaaS) – relieves developer of OS and middleware management, leaving only data and application.

Software as a Service (SaaS) - removes all data and application management from developers.

Trianz enables Business and IT Modernization

Trianz is a Microsoft Silver Partner and Azure Managed Services Provider within the Cloud Solution Provider Program.

Trianz helps business leaders leverage Azure to transform their operations, designing cloud solutions that enable innovation and agility.

With established templates and engagement tools, Trianz’ certified Azure consultants discover, assess, and analyze clients’ current state, and recommend execution plans for successful cloud migrations.

Using governance frameworks, Trianz designs Azure architectures and migration plans, leads hybrid cloud deployments, and develops test automation and app orchestration that cross on premise and cloud locations.

Additionally, Trianz experts monitor Azure performance and align existing cloud deployments to meet each business’ ongoing needs. Contact Trianz to take the next step and move to Microsoft Azure.

Trianz is Microsoft Silver Partner and Managed Services Provider for Azure. Offerings include:

  • Azure Readiness Assessment & Migration Roadmap
  • Azure DevTest and DevOps environments
  • .NET, Windows & SharePoint application migrations
  • SQL Server and non-Microsoft database migration
  • Azure-native business applications, big data, and analytics
  • Azure workload managed services

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