At its bare bones, Microsoft Azure is a growing collection of integrated cloud services – analytics, computing, database, mobile, networking, storage, and web – enabling faster movement, productivity and cost savings. Azure integrates with existing IT environment’s through a large network of secure private connections, including hybrid databases.

Doubts surrounding the Cloud’s security and privacy are still rife – but they’re totally unwarranted. It should be said, being cautious is the right approach, with Azure however, those doubts can be relaxed. Microsoft are recognised by the European Union’s data protection authorities for their commitment to rigorous EU privacy laws.

When it comes to the Cloud, we should be embracing it and all the potential benefits it holds. Migrating to the Cloud is now the trend in business, but why should you do it? Microsoft Azure (in a service we call ‘Optimised Service Vision’) can free the workforce from monitoring on-premises servers. This then allows for a more empowered, productive and motivated workforce, which can help massively with the running of organisations. Deploying cloud technology can also have a positive effect on cost savings. It could save an organisation a substantial sum of money in the long run – like Derby City Council.


Derby City Council

risual helped Derby City Council on their digital transformation journey. risual defined, designed and moved the Council from expensive on premise IT to the Microsoft Cloud. The results were amazing, with the Council achieving their targeted budget saving of £1.3million, whilst delivering the increased agility, scalability and flexibility that the Council required. Derby City Council were full of praise, noting that risual had “brought a tremendous amount of insight to the solution”.


Why Derby City Council looked for change

Derby City Council were looking to deliver IT services in a different way. They were coming to the end of a large outsource IT agreement but did not want to start running datacentres themselves and they wanted to benefit from the latest IT services. Holding Microsoft Gold Competencies for Cloud Platform, Cloud Productivity and Datacenter amongst others, the Council knew they were in safe hands with risual, who could demonstrate their track record in delivering transformational projects on this scale.


How risual delivered digital transformation

risual used a combination of tactical collocated datacentre racks and the more strategic Microsoft Cloud to provide IT services. Existing services were surveyed and a plan was created to migrate as many IT services as possible to Office365 and Azure services including Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). This plan was carried out over a period of around 15 months and completed successfully so that the outsourced IT agreement could be closed. This left the council in a position whereby they could choose to benefit from any new IT service that is released by either Microsoft or other 3rd party SaaS providers.

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