Microsoft Azure (MS Azure) cloud computing services give their customers endless opportunities for digital transformation. Whether for streamlining business operations from Office 365 to Salesforce or accelerating development with DevOps solutions, MS Azure delivers value. Obviously this is clear when we review that MS Azure is in the top three public cloud solutions. Moreover 22% of public cloud customers use MS Azure — over 1 in 5 — second only to Amazon Web Services (32%).
Despite this, simply investing in the MS Azure cloud product suite does not guarantee return-on-investment. On the one hand, MS Azure is a highly user-friendly cloud solution and a major drawcard for customers. On the other hand, businesses do need a strategy and expert guidance for planning, configuration, implementation, and scaling. In essence, getting the most out of MS Azure products requires professional input and this means hiring Azure Consulting Services.
Therefore this A3logics guide to Microsoft Azure Consulting Services for planning a roadmap strategy covers:
- Exactly why businesses need a roadmap strategy for cloud services investment
- Why a roadmap strategy developed with Azure Consulting Partner Services will extract maximum MS Azure product performance
- How to maximize the platform with Azure consulting services from Azure Consulting Partners
- Understanding certifications and what to look for in Azure Consulting Partner Services
- Essential objectives businesses need during the Azure Consulting Partner Services roadmap strategy design process
- Case studies of U.S. businesses implementing an Azure roadmap strategy
By the time businesses have read this article explainer, they’ll be meaningfully informed to plan their own MS Azure investment. Now let’s begin covering everything to know about MS Azure Consulting Services for 2024 — the new year ahead.
Exactly why businesses need a roadmap strategy for cloud services investment
To begin, let’s explain what exactly a roadmap strategy is for cloud services and software development investments in general.
The relationship between digital transformation, cloud solutions, and a roadmap strategy
Before we look at features, businesses should understand the important relationship between a roadmap strategy, digital transformation, and cloud solutions. According to McKinsey, any enterprise operating right now needs to be deploying tech across the organization for the competitive advantage. “Digital transformation is the rewiring of an organization, with the goal of creating value by continuously deploying tech at scale.” Further to this, McKinsey asserts that in this era, it’s not just about competition now: it’s about survival.
So digital transformation has the tactical and economic outcome of improving customer and stakeholder experiences while operating with lower costs. Subsequently cloud products dovetail in here as an engine and facilitator of digital transformation. In sum, cloud solutions support businesses to streamline their operations using cutting-edge software and infrastructure configured for their needs. Cloud service providers, particularly public services like the top three — AWS, MS Azure, and Google Cloud Platform (GCP) — are robust innovators. Hence businesses are using cloud systems with hundreds of products designed to work together wherever they are off cloud servers. Without the pressure of their own data centers, remote access for all team members, and scalability, systems grow with businesses. And, ultimately, cloud systems are designed for businesses to grow according to their strategic objectives through efficiency, services, and analytics.
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Why digital transformation planning needs a roadmap strategy
Despite the inextricable outcome of cloud solutions facilitating digital transformation, businesses need to have a roadmap strategy for the process. “To map out the transformation process, you need to understand your current business needs and gaps within your current system from your strategy,” says the Microsoft 365 team. Furthermore, “Creating a timeline with milestones and checkpoints within your digital roadmap will help minimize the risk of failure.”
Cloud platforms are often a key to unlocking solutions identified in business needs analysis — as we’re discussing here. Markedly they’re increasingly a central part of all digital transformation. Since the Covid-19 pandemic, many businesses saw their operations change overnight. Whether it was how they served customers or teams becoming remote or hybrid, tools needed to facilitate workflows and processes. At the same time, many businesses were experiencing comparable challenges, local and global economies were changing, and mass digitization ensued.
Nevertheless, though many of these digital transformation decisions were effective in the moment or for certain problems, integrity was lacking. The scale of change we’re talking about with this phase is happening quickly and it most likely won’t be reserved. By and large, businesses must therefore plan their digital transformation using cloud solutions in highly specific detail. To list, this should incorporate objectives, growth and performance data, challenges and opportunities, and business needs analysis. Following this, businesses have a clear outlook of their position, their goals, and their needs. Crucially then this will inform the roadmap strategy and how cloud solutions are considered and chosen. Unquestionably, this can be used to evaluate the public cloud system’s features, price point, integration options, AI functionalities, and scalability.
Key features of a roadmap strategy for digital transformation
- Clear understanding of business needs for strategic growth
- Overview of a figurative timeline for the roadmap and what opportunities and barriers to success exist
- Points around what areas of the business need what types of digital transformation such as database updates and overhauling cybersecurity
- Budget and staff resources for digital transformation that consider implementation costs, hiring technical experts, and product costs
- Objectives for implementation with short-term and long-term goals then how this might affect the timeline. In this case, establishing how long the business can spend in consultation with digital transformation partners and setting up solutions
- Whether the strategy is similar to competitors or market standards. Then objectively assessing other relevant factors and industry solutions that might be public knowledge such as systems peers use.
With these points for drafting a roadmap strategy in place, businesses can then seek consulting services for cloud solutions. This prepares them for preliminary consultations as well as completing critical internal needs audits. Overall businesses may identify issues they weren’t aware of, gain valuable feedback from staff around operational problems, and scrutinize records.
Why a roadmap strategy developed with Azure Consulting Services will extract maximum MS Azure product performance
Thereafter we need to explain why a roadmap strategy for MS Azure is particularly important. As shown above, digital transformation through cloud solutions deployment requires a roadmap strategy.
MS Azure Cloud functionalities to consider in a roadmap strategy
When it comes to MS Azure in particular, the roadmap strategy will need to take into account the platform’s functionalities.
Key MS Azure functionalities businesses should consider when they’re planning any Azure implementations — including scaling — are:
- Evaluating the MS Azure products available including Infrastructure-as-a-Service, Platform-as-a-Service, and Software-as-a-Service
- Establishing systems needs in terms of technical solutions required for associated problems and infrastructure requirements such as leaving legacy servers
- Auditing existing MS products in use and if they will be integrated with MS Azure, such as Microsoft 365
- Reviewing the MS Azure pricing structure and planning budgets according to their price points
- Assessing if they have business goals for scaling, building out operations, launching new products, or restructuring their business model.
Why Azure Consulting Services support an MS Azure roadmap strategy
Though businesses non-negotiably need a roadmap strategy for implementing MS Azure, hiring Azure Consulting Services levels up digital transformation. Obviously businesses can certainly migrate to MS Azure or scale their MS Azure subscription without Azure Consulting Partner Services. Even so there are numerous high-level reasons for hiring Azure Consulting Services. What’s more, their services are inarguably beneficial both for using MS Azure and developing a roadmap strategy for digital transformation.
Azure Consulting Services advance a roadmap strategy because they:
- Complete a technical audit of the business ecosystem and evaluate how MS Azure products can restructure and improve systems
- Deliver a cloud readiness assessment based on business ecosystem audit that maximizes application performance
- Oversee risk-free migration to MS Azure including MS products integration and third-party integration
- Advise on cost-effective MS Azure solutions in line with business budgets and objectives
- Dedicate cloud specialists to ideating, configuring, and deploying
- Remove barriers to using MS Azure functionalities as they can quickly scale systems and add new features
- Offer an Azure-Certified team who have critical understanding and training in MS Azure
- Have experts who can configure custom cloud solutions due to deep product knowledge and access to features uncertified professionals don’t have
- Maintain products as a service so businesses don’t have the on-call burden for MS Azure
How to maximize the platform with Azure Consulting Services from Azure Consulting Partners
So MS Azure Cloud Solutions are a comprehensive suite of products and Azure Consulting Services take business investment even further.
In order to maximize the platform, let’s first look at leading Azure Consulting Services from qualified Azure Consulting Partners:
Consulting and Advisory Services
This service supports businesses to determine their precise needs for investing in MS Azure. Accordingly the consultation and advice is designed to optimize the final solution chosen. All aspects of MS Azure use are covered including hardware, networking, database options, technological strategies, integration, and storage.
Azure Architecture and Design
An in-depth service that incorporates multi-tier architecture diagrams. Overall this ensures best practice MS Azure use strategically underpinned with each business’ vision and objectives to maximize Azure capabilities. During this service, MS Azure specialists will consider cloud components, technical deployment requirements, and integration touchpoints.
Azure Infrastructure Management
Every part of the business MS Azure infrastructure is managed through this service for optimal performance. Altogether this encompasses virtual networking, network topology, virtual machines, network security groups, application gateways, and subnet configuration. This infrastructure management service is planned and deployed according to business location to ensure MS Azure performance.
Azure Database Management
The database management service ensures the high performance, high availability, cloud back-up, scalability, and optimized costs for businesses. So business needs are met, databases are provisioned and configured with all essential and required features. Management services are offered for many systems including Azure SQL DB, Managed SQL, and Cosmos DB for IaaS and PaaS.
Migrate and Modernize
Since some businesses are moving across to MS Azure, these services ensure smooth and secure migration. Whether they’re moving all operations to the cloud for the first time or migrating to MS Azure, management is comprehensive. Not only are disruptions or downtime eliminated, but also it helps businesses get started with migrated databases, VMs, and databases.
Azure Managed Services
Every business benefits from managed systems and this MS Azure Consulting service monitors, maintains, and optimizes customer cloud solutions. Both the MS Azure environment and workload is managed to affordably maximize performance, security, DevOps, network, databases, storage, and more.
Before looking at Azure certifications, we’ll emphasize that all of these common services fall under the broader Azure Consulting umbrella. Azure Consulting Partners will deliver high-level, evaluation-based collaborative recommendations for their cloud solutions customers. Hence when we say consulting services, the six services above all involve detailed, end-to-end consulting improving Azure access. Thus customers experience detailed consulting care that flexibly personalizes the consulting roadmap design path to cloud solution digital transformation.
Understanding certifications and what to look for in Azure Consulting Partner Services
Notwithstanding Azure Consulting Partner value, MS Azure certification ensures more functionality from the platform’s technology stack. In reality, developers and software engineers with these certifications deliver advanced MS Azure solutions with expert-level development and management. And since TechTarget reports that “By 2024, approximately 80% of enterprises will have multi-cloud environments,” expertise delivers competitive solutions.
Moreover these certificate qualifications are maintained so MS Azure-certified developers and engineers expertise is consistently deepening. For this reason, businesses hiring Azure Consulting Services can be assured that the recommendations and advice are up-to-date.
Equally Microsoft promotes a culture of self-directed and instructor-led learning in their Azure learning paths community. This emphasis on a growth mindset is tied to the same principles of a digital transformation roadmap strategy of maximizing impact. Accordingly this focus results in training and certified skills that expands cloud product functionalities, service delivery, and team performance. This accelerates business outcomes as the MS Azure consultant team members’ expertise is continuously transferred to client cloud solutions.
Leading certifications and roles in Microsoft Azure Consulting Services Cloud Services teams
In the Azure learning ecosystem, professionals gain qualifications in Applied Skills and Certification that then apply to cloud system roles.
Leading MS Azure Roles:
- System Administrators
- Data Engineers
- Solution Architects
- Data Analysts
- Business Analysts
- Data Scientists
- App Makers
- Network Engineers
- Support Engineers
- Technology Managers
- Information Protection and Compliance Administrators
- DevOps Engineers
- AI Developers
Leading MS Azure Certifications and Applied Skills for cloud products
- Dynamics 365
- Microsoft 365
- Microsoft Teams
- Offie 365
- SQL Server
- Microsoft Power Platform including AI
Overall there are hundreds of credentials MS Azure professionals can gain a qualification in. Then they can renew these credentials through further study and exams. According to Microsoft Ignite learning hub, certified developers are “90% more productive and nearly 60% more efficient”. For businesses hiring software development teams with these certifications, this means higher quality services and better MS Azure outcomes.
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Why Azure Consulting Services credentials are essential in the age of AI
Currently we’re also in the midst of accelerating exponential digital transformation tied to Artificial Intelligence (AI). For prospective MS Azure customers, their cloud suite is already integrated with Generative AI (GenAI) products from Microsoft and OpenAI. In fact, MS Azure has an AI Solutions range designed for businesses to “drive business results and improve customer experiences”.
Because MS Azure is putting so much investment into both innovation and AI integration, businesses should be planning AI use. After all, whether it’s for creative output, customer service, data insights and security, or DevOps, AI is here to stay. Given that, businesses should be prepared to ask their Azure Consulting Services how they should approach and use AI. If an Azure Consulting Services company has AI Engineers then cloud solutions are even more sophisticated in development and deployment.
MS Azure AI Engineer certifications for Azure Consulting Services include:
- Azure AI Fundamentals
- Azure AI Engineer Associate
As AI keeps advancing, these certifications and AI Engineer credentials will advance. Currently MS Azure AI Engineer credentials include machine learning (ML), GenAI, Azure OpenAI Service, responsible AI, and natural language solutions.
Essential objectives businesses need during the Azure Consulting Services roadmap strategy design process
Basically a roadmap strategy equips businesses to digitally transform in a structured, purposeful way. MS Azure is a vital tool for businesses and planning the investment is as important as cloud migration and management. Forthwith we’ll cover five core objectives every business — in all industries — needs as part of their MS Azure roadmap strategy.
Five roadmap strategy objectives for businesses hiring Azure Consulting Services
1. Eliminate latency
Firstly, latency is a global issue for businesses in all contexts. Due to old systems or cumbersome processes, this loses them customers and causes team mistakes. When businesses migrate to cloud services their systems need to become faster and outdated components need to go. Though Azure Consulting Services will include latency analysis, businesses should review every operational process to transform stakeholders’ user experiences (UX).
2. Strategize scaling
Secondly, the scalability of the MS Azure Cloud suite is a core value proposition for customers. Because the product range is always growing in solution ranges as well as individual features, businesses can harness functionality strategically. Even so, without a plan for scaling, businesses can’t actually progress in a logical or cost-effective way. For example, they may aspire to add in robust database systems in the future yet aren’t prepared for costs. In order to plan scaling, businesses need high-level goals itemized in their roadmap strategy. Then their MS Azure Consulting team can advise them in advance how they need to plan for this.
3. Risk management
Thirdly, businesses need to approach any system change — or operational change — with risk management in mind. Undeniably this is true for cybersecurity risk management as well as protecting sensitive business data and adhering to compliance. Prior to commencing an MS Azure Consulting Services, businesses should communicate their risk management priorities. Then when the team is recommending Azure products and designing the cloud solution they can proceed strategically. Likewise if there are legitimate risks that may arise during migration or database configuration, the Azure developers will work conservatively.
4. Human resource support
Fourthly, all areas of human resources should be strategically considered. Indeed this includes planning staff training, evaluating how systems affect productivity and workflow, and prioritizing tools for secure team collaboration. Additionally this also invites input and consideration of all team members so that the MS Azure products support every role.
5. Hybrid and multicloud planning
Lastly, understanding hybrid and multicloud needs positions businesses to approach innovation with a more ambitious and forward-thinking outlook. In particular, this supports businesses that maintain multiple different sites including an on-premises environment. Because MS Azure is a highly robust hybrid cloud system, it’s also an invaluable chance to maximize the solution features.
Three case studies of Azure Consulting Services for U.S. businesses
Now that we’ve analyzed key aspects of commencing the MS Azure Consulting Services roadmap journey, we’ll review industry case studies. These three U.S. businesses have all undertaken digital transformation using MS Azure cloud systems. Below we’ll cover their place in the business market and how MS Azure products advanced their strategic objectives and innovation.
1 . Johnson & Johnson
Global pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson is a true American success story. Whether it’s vaccine development or iconic household products, J&J is recognizable the world over. Because of the extensive scope of their operations and the rapidly changing healthcare environment, their priority is intelligent systems. Therefore they turn MS Azure to embed “Intelligent Automation into the fabric of the organization”. Currently they’re using chatbot frameworks to support their team for training and workload assistance thus sustaining dynamic digital transformation.
2. The Broadway League
Beloved in New York City and among global arts lovers, the Broadway theater district is one of America’s national treasures. Accordingly The Broadway League that represents Broadway’s professionals is the essential organizational force behind influential and groundbreaking theater. When their team recognized colossal ongoing threats affecting their operations — including marketing, sponsorships, and security — Microsoft cloud solutions became essential. With Windows 11 Pro, they’ve transformed their systems making them faster, more secure, and accessible.
3. REI Co-op
On the whole, REI Co-op is a vivid example of businesses using MS Azure Cloud solutions for digital transformation. The leading U.S. outdoor apparel, equipment, and services company had a formidable undertaking migrating systems and overcoming latency. Nonetheless they were able to highly successfully move 170 locations and more than 2,500 employees onto the MS Azure system. From migrating to MS Teams from Skype to offering staff mobile connectivity with MS Teams Phone, they’ve elevated stakeholder UX. What’s more this is helping teams stay more connected, work more efficiently, and gain real-time insights in every workday.
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In conclusion, MS Azure Cloud Systems are a vital solution in any digital transformation roadmap strategy. In fact, Microsoft envisions that they can help every business operate more effectively while integrating existing Windows tools. This means businesses can confidently migrate to end-to-end cloud systems to make their operations more intelligent and connected.
Overall businesses should know that organizations of all sizes can use a roadmap strategy for any kind of digital transformation. This means small and medium enterprises (SMEs) through to large corporations. Advantages gained are invaluable in any organization — big or small and startup or multi-generation family business.
Essentially though improved access to MS Azure is fundamental to gaining the most value from this cloud services subscription. Undeniably expert Azure Consulting Partners are central to taking MS Azure solutions from working to wonderful. Starting with an A3logics MS Azure Cloud services consultation, businesses can be digitally transforming via a roadmap strategy.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Can businesses use Microsoft Azure without Azure Consulting Services?
While businesses can definitely use Microsoft Azure (MS Azure) without Azure Consulting Services, there are two reasons it’s not advisable. Firstly, maximizing platform functionalities is significantly advanced through expert advice and management such as from A3logics MS Azure Cloud Solutions. Secondly, experienced MS Azure Consulting Partners are official Microsoft partners and their teams hold Azure credentials. With this partnership, these consultants can provide more extensive and advanced configurations. Moreover their qualified teams have proven their MS Azure skills through Azure training that equips them to deliver sophisticated configurations.
Will Azure Consulting Services help businesses undertake digital transformation?
In short, MS Azure Consulting Services are designed to support the planned process of digital transformation. With their expert processes proven through solution delivery and founded in certifications, MS Azure Consulting teams oversee end-to-end cloud migration and management. Altogether this includes initial consultation, evaluating business needs, configuration, deployment, and maintenance. Additionally the process of digital transformation is structured around a roadmap strategy to ensure migration, set-up, security, and scaling.
What qualifications should Azure Consulting Services companies hold?
Generally speaking, businesses hiring Microsoft Azure Consulting Partner Services should look for teams with Azure certifications and skill credentials. Overall these qualifications demonstrate that the MS Azure services are delivered through a team with deep training, experience, and knowledge.
Currently, key qualifications include these official Azure certifications for:
- System Administrators
- Solution Architects
- Data Analysts
- DevOps Engineers
- Data Scientists
- Business Analysts
- Data Engineers
- AI Developers
Can Azure Consulting Services integrate Cloud AI products?
At present, a software developer offering Azure Consulting Partner Services can integrate Azure AI Solutions. Specifically, these are MS Azure’s AI products though all of MS Azure Cloud suite now uses AI. In order to gain maximum Azure AI functionalities and capabilities, businesses should look for a company with Azure AI certifications. Then their MS Azure Cloud Platform will have expert configuration consistent with Azure AI standards, recommendations, GenAI and ML functionalities.
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