Four ways to take your apps further with cloud, data, and AI solutions from Microsoft

Companies today demand the latest innovations for every solution they deliver. How can you make sure your infrastructure and data estate keep up with the demands of your business? Read the tips below, and join our upcoming webinar on transforming your business with a modern data estate.

1. Prioritize data

Data is at the core of modern applications. Two key trends that help organizations extract the most from their data are:

  • The adoption of cloud technologies and
  • The ability to reason through any data with artificial intelligence (AI)

Organizations that modernize and harness cloud, data, and AI can outperform their competition and become leaders in their fields.

Microsoft understands the importance of maintaining a modern data estate. Tools like the new Azure Database Migration Service empower you to seamlessly migrate from a wide-range of data sources to Azure with near-zero application downtime. If you have a large number of databases, consider migrating to Azure SQL Database Managed Instance, a fully managed PaaS solution that has full compatibility with SQL Server, back to version 2005. This enables a true lift-and-shift of legacy SQL Server installations to Azure with few or no application code changes.

2. Make cost-effective choices

While there are many savings to be realized by modernizing with the cloud, not all clouds are created—or priced—equally. Do your homework to find the optimum combination of features for your investment.

For example, you’ve likely already invested in SQL Server on-premise licensing and Software Assurance. If so, you qualify for the Azure Hybrid Benefit—a perk that’s exclusive to Azure and enables significant savings for your migration. With Azure Hybrid Benefit, you save on the cost of the license in Azure.

AWS is 5 times more expensive than Azure for Windows Server and SQL Server. Why run them anywhere else?

3. Monitor—and plan for—software lifecycles

Older relational databases and infrastructure solutions may become more vulnerable to attacks and loss of data due to lack of access to critical security updates. This may incur unexpected costs for your business and, in many cases, negatively impact brand image. Your business is also likely impacted whenever new market standards and important industry regulations roll out, like the recent General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) mandate. All this means you’ll want to keep a close eye on your software ecosystem and identify gaps early, before they become major issues.

If your company still relies on SQL Server 2008 and 2008 R2, which reach the end of support on July 9, 2019, or an earlier version of a database platform, now’s the time to plan for the future of your data estate. Get started by watching this free on-demand webinar.

4. Learn from your peers

It’s often helpful to see how businesses like yours have navigated the path to data estate modernization. Organizations like AllScripts, Thomson Reuters, and AccuWeather are already leveraging the cloud to host their business-critical apps and data. And companies have also found success with cloud migrations to mitigate aging software—read their stories.

Data management and analytics technologies are ubiquitous, and yet most companies in the market are not using modern tooling for business analysis and insights, operating on legacy database systems. Executives choose to continue with old technology because it meets minimal requirements, and transitions can seem scary. But avoiding advanced and proven options to modernize does a huge disservice to your business and customers. These four tactics are your starting point—take these first steps to start your business transformation.

Register for a free webinar on January 24, 2019, to learn more about the new features and products that can help you optimize value and overcome challenges in modernizing your data estate.