As we continue to see a rapid migration of infrastructure and services to the cloud, we list the top 10 reasons why cloud is changing the consumer and business landscape:

1. Cost: an on-prem solution requires the continuous purchase & maintenance of hardware.  A public cloud offering negates such cost – as IT management is handled off-prem.  Saving estimates range anywhere between 35-65% depending on hardware investments.  Companies can now channel those funds towards business innovation instead of IT assets. 

2. Service Availability: outages not only affect a customer’s productivity but can also violate SLAs with the customer’s customers.  Cloud providers are far better equipped to ensure availability to the end-customer.

3. Efficiency: virtualization of servers will continue to proliferate in order to optimize hardware utilization.  Microsoft System Center and Hyper-V facilitate the best possible management of hardware assets.

4. Security: service providers for cloud must adhere to strict security and privacy standards for ISO, HIPAA SOA and SAS compliance.  Trustworthy online services through Microsoft cloud assure data is managed exclusively by the customer. 

5. The Latest Software: outdated on-premise software versions and compatibility issues become issues of the past.  Customers can become markedly more productive with the latest software available to them. 

6. Apps: Apps represent the real end-customer value of any hardware device, whether it is the phone or PC.  Consumer and business apps downloads will continue to grow exponentially as they have done so over the past 3 years, requiring a reliable platform to house them such as Windows Azure.

7. Pay for What You Use: apps should have variable costs depending exclusively on their usage. 

8. Scale: Consider how many servers have crashed due to unforeseen app demand.  An off-premise solution means you can scale new workloads when the business needs incremental IT assets. 

9. Familiarity: Customers tell us they want to keep using the same products they’ve trained and become accustomed to…such as Office and Sharepoint. Microsoft cloud delivers that familiarity with the added benefits of access-anywhere & reliability. 

10. Choice: ultimately cloud is not a one-size fits all.  Certain customers will want to maintain their data on-premise leveraging the benefits of private cloud, others will want to relieve the burdensome cost and move to public cloud.  Microsoft ensures choice and flexible offerings are available to best fit a customer’s business.