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Why your business needs to consider Azure

With the flip flop of home working still on the cards, many IT providers are now thinking long terms about their client base and how to support them going forward.

In this article, we will detail some of the main benefits your business can achieve by migrating to Microsoft's Azure platform for your business infrastructure.

We promise not to bog you down with technical details but instead hope that this article helps you make the right choices with your current IT providers (or by looking to us as an alternative).

Here are three reasons you need to consider migrating to Microsoft Azure:

Having a Hybrid 1st Approach

With the uncertainty of lockdowns, your business should consider a hybrid 1st approach. The strategy and concept behind a hybrid approach to your IT infrastructure are now standard amongst many other local companies.  

Whatever the solution you provide, it must support remote and office-based staff. The IT solution should be robust enough that it can be maintained remotely.

Microsoft Azure allows for a hybrid approach and can help you migrate fully into the cloud with services like Azure AD Connect, which allows your older legacy (on-premise) servers to speak to Microsoft's cloud services.

Flexibility

Another feature of Azure is the opportunity to scale or decrease IT services with minimal support overhead.

To give you an example of this, let's say the business acquires a competing company.

In the past, there would have been a significant support overhead in onboarding all the new staff into the current IT system. Including considerations around file storage and server capacity.

Now with Azure, servers and services can easily be scaled up or down virtually without the need for capital expenditure on new server hardware.

Legacy Systems

Finally, we have to consider old, outdated servers. What do you do with them? Upgrade to a brand new server and retire the old hardware?

Many businesses are now choosing to migrate services on the old hardware into Azure. Legacy hardware can still be used for both on-premise file storage or another location for redundancy and onsite backups of cloud-related services.

Cloud redundancy is a topic for another day; however, having a backup of such services as Office365 can protect your business in the event of a crypto locker attack or data breach.

If you would like to find out more about how your business can move to Azure cost-effectively, then get in touch with us today.

3 Reasons You Need RMM

Without a doubt, the most popular tool any IT provider has in their remote monitoring and management tool.

As a business owner, you pay an IT support company money each month to keep your staff supported and your systems running smoothly.

The expertise of the IT provider is only half the solution. The other half are the tools under the hood. RMM takes centre stage with most IT providers.

In this article, we're going to cover the three most significant benefits of using an RMM and how it can help your business stay secure and operate efficiently.

1) Patches & Updates

Back in the olden days of RMM - the focus was on storage capacity and CPU utilisation of your servers and workstations. The IT provider would be alerted anytime a server had critically low disk space.  

Nowadays, storage is cheap, and while RMM's still report and alert these types of events, the focus is more on your systems updates and patches.

The RMM tool can manage all those windows updates that Microsoft and hardware vendors push out. The most significant benefit to centrally managing updates is if there's a critical update or a flawed update, they can easily be added or removed to all devices with the click of a button.

2) Remote Access

How many times have you called your IT provider over the last 12 months for IT support? If it's an issue with your desktop or laptop, there's a good chance the technician on the other end of the phone has used an RMM tool to remote onto your PC and take control to fix the issue.

Most RMM's provide a remote support option, and for most IT providers, they'd be lost without remote support tools. The managed services business model would not be viable if a site visit was required for every support issue.

With the recent pandemic, it's become even more critical to have a remote support option.

3) Scripting and automation

Routine tasks that take up time for both the IT provider and staff can be scripted using an RMM.

A practical example of this, next time a new PC is ordered for your business, there's a good chance the office printer has to be set up and installed on the new device.

Instead of going through the laborious (and tedious task) of installing the printer software on the new device, it can be scripted to install automatically at the click of a button.

This saves a massive amount of time for the IT provider, and as a result, your staff get access to new devices faster, which will save you both time and money.

If you'd like to learn more about how we can support your business and save you time and money without RMM, then get in touch with us today.

Is Your IT Net Zero?

Businesses are over the Western world have a new target to achieve - Net-Zero.

Many will look at their operations and the energy they consume as a business but ultimately fail to consider the hidden carbon they are producing just by the sheer act of sending an email or opening a word document.

A quick look over your energy bills tells only a tiny fraction of the carbon story.

With many now fully in the cloud, it's worth investigating just how much carbon is produced by "cloud" services.

Luckily the most popular cloud services such as Microsoft's Azure & Amazon AWS strive for carbon neutrality.

Microsoft has a whole library of information dedicated to its mission to Net-Zero.  

Azure, as a part of Microsoft, has been 100 per cent carbon neutral since 2012. This means they are removing as much carbon each year as they emit, either by carbon removal (carbon offsetting) or reducing carbon emissions.

By 2030 Microsoft aims to be "carbon negative". They want to remove more carbon each year than they emit. 

By 2050, the goal is to remove all of the historical carbon emitted – either directly or by electrical consumption – since Microsoft was founded in 1975.

Azure, data centres and sustainable cloud infrastructure are more than just business – they provide an incredible opportunity to give back to the communities.

Azure has committed to focusing on four critical areas of environmental impact to local communities – carbon, water, waste and ecosystems.

In a 2018 report, a study found that using Azure services can be up to 93% more efficient than having physical servers.

Diving into the detail of this study, the actual energy savings are made by using shared compute resources and higher efficiency hardware, which is tailored for a cloud environment.

A physical server, for example, may sit powered on 24/7, and only a tiny fraction of the resources it's capable of using are actually put to use during the day to day activity.

Whereas shared resources compute power can be pooled to many users across multiple businesses within the datacentre cloud.

It's not all about the cloud, though, when it comes to net zero. There are other factors to consider, for example, the power saving settings on your workstation or laptop.

Now, this may sound like small peanuts; however, if you multiply incorrect power-saving settings across an entire company, the carbon that's produced while a machine is on but not being used can add up.

Having the correct power settings enabled company-wide is something that all good IT providers (including ourselves) can help you manage.

Using tools such as remote monitoring and management (RMM), we can quickly detect incorrect power settings and apply the proper settings to the correct devices.  

Want more information about how we can help your business achieve net-zero? 

Contact us today.

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