Microsoft Azure cloud services is growing at a rate of 100 percent a year for a good reason.  Today, any small to medium size business starting up does not need a traditional infrastructure such as domain controllers, file servers, backup etc – just look to Microsoft.

A startup can utilize the cloud for all of its computing needs.  Email, collaboration and telephone can be provided by Office 365 for as little as $47.00 per month per user which includes everything from email to dial tone and everything in-between.  Add in Azure AD and you can authenticate your Windows 10 workstations eliminating the need for domain controllers. End points such as workstations and mobile devices, can be managed via Intune which can distribute software, patching workstations and in the case of a lost or stolen devices wipe corporate data.  File server can be replaced with SharePoint and most line of business applicationa offer a SaaS version such as CRM online, Salesforce, etc.

The benefit to business is the ability to be dynamic and scale on demand; lower cost of ownership as no hardware is required; and pay for what you use model is very attractive to most.  Add increased security, lower support cost, higher reliability and the ability to work any time any place, the cloud is an easy choice.

For those companies that have a more traditional environment with onsite infrastructure, the phased in approach or hybrid approach is ideal. Plan out your cloud migration starting with the simple things like email and personal files (One Drive). Once completed, focus on the more time consuming things like file server migration and line of business applications (LOB).  In cases where the LOB vendor does not have a SaaS version, think about moving the server to Azure.  If the LOB runson a terminal server, it will run in Azure.

As users become consumers of information, XaaS is a natural progression for technology, delivery on demand, subscription based services that are scalable and dynamic.