Microsoft Azure has become ubiquitous with modern computing, and often it is easy to think Azure simply means ‘Microsoft Cloud. I.E. “We need to move to Azure” is the same as saying “We need to move to the cloud”.
This is absolutely not the case, and Azure is more akin to a brand of computing than one particular thing, and you don’t actually need to be in the cloud to consume some of it. The below diagram demonstrates the breadth of services available in Azure. With over 70 services, it’s actually easier to think of it in terms of solutions.
The below is a screenshot of a slide used by our consultants when explaining the various solutions within Azure.
It is easier to think of Azure as a Supermarket for IT, which has huge resources to provide everything you need in one place. Before supermarkets, if you required something, you would have to go to multiple providers across the high street and often only one provider would have what you need, meaning prices would be very high. The unlimited availability of Azure and multitude of services means that running costs are lower as they are ‘buying’ computing power in bulk, just as supermarkets buy stock in bulk.
This model ultimately leads to a more convenient and cheaper process for the consumer. As a business, you decide what solution your organisation needs, be it improved backups, data and analytics or development solutions and you can head off down the aisle to purchase the things you need. Microsoft are becoming the only platform that can offer this full stack of services in one place, and even allow you to use some of the services on premise through Azure Stack.