The global health crisis has transformed the way we work and live. Remote work has surged across industries, and the ability to scale and manage your business from anywhere has become essential. As our customers are moving beyond resolving immediate crisis needs, many are thinking about the next set of IT investments that can set them up for long term success. Microsoft is here to help.

Moving to the cloud has clear economic benefits. Convert upfront capital expenditures into operating expenditures and pay as you consume. The cloud scales up and down to meet demand as you need, so you don’t need to over-provision resources to be ready for peak usage and incur expenses on idle servers. Best of all, the cloud improves operational productivity for your staff, so they can focus on priority business initiatives.

When migrating to the cloud, Azure can provide unique and differentiated value that can help you save. Here’s how…

Save money with unique offers and programs

Meeting your business and budget needs has always been a priority for us. We make this possible through unique offers, transparent and competitive pricing, and free cost management tools. Azure is the most cost-effective cloud for Windows Server and SQL Server with offers like Azure Hybrid Benefit and free extended security updates—AWS is 5x more expensive. Lower your migration costs and risk through best practice guidance with the Cloud Adoption Framework for Azure, expert assistance with the Azure Migration Program, and free cost optimization tools.

Having worked with many of you, we have found that a simple ‘lift-optimize-shift’ migration strategy is your best bet to quickly realize cost savings and efficiencies. Start this process with a few simple steps. First, perform an assessment with our free Azure Migrate tool to help identify which workloads are cloud-ready, understand rightsizing recommendations, and opportunities to apply cost-savings offers unique to Azure. Next, migrate your Windows Server, SQL Server, and Linux infrastructure to Azure IaaS (or Azure VMware Solutions for VMware environments) using assessment results. And then keep your workloads secure and well managed on Azure. Customers such as Allscripts and Maersk have used this approach to save money and time.

Drive scale and operational efficiencies and focus on what matters

Many customers are migrating to the cloud to scale their most demanding workloads—for example, e-commerce web sites or health care portals—and Azure SQL Databasedrive cost savings and reliability. Migrating these web applications to Azure App Service unlocks benefits like automated load balancing and infrastructure maintenance, giving your staff valuable time back. There is opportunity to easily assess whether your website can be rapidly moved to App Service with the App Service Migration assistant. And, migrating your website’s database to a fully managed database like Azure SQL Database reduces the management and database administration overhead such as patching, high availability setup, and access control. Migrating to these Azure services requires little to no change to your existing web application and database, so it’s low-risk and cost-effective.

Keep your investments safe with unmatched security and built-in resiliency

Microsoft spends $1B annually on cybersecurity. We have over 3,500 Microsoft security professionals constantly monitoring our customers’ environments through advanced AI, analyzing more than 6.5 trillion security signals to detect and respond to threats with Azure Security Center. Use Azure Sentinel, a cloud native security information event management (SIEM) for end to end threat detection and response across your enterprise.

Azure provides built-in high-availability and disaster recovery options to ensure maximum resilience for your workloads. This includes infrastructure investments such as paired datacenter regions and availability zones for the best possible performance and security, as well as cost effective services like Azure Backup and Azure Site Recovery to keep your applications running during planned or unplanned outages.

Stay flexible with the cloud that’s hybrid by design

We understand that your organization will be in a hybrid state with investments that span multiple environments for the foreseeable future. We also know that you need flexibility to extend your on-premises investments and leverage them as you move to the cloud. Azure Hybrid Benefit enables you to re-use your existing Windows Server and SQL Server investments in the cloud and save money.

If you are ready to make the move and need help, join the Azure Migration Program, where we, along with our partner ecosystem, will help you accelerate your journey in a low-risk, cost-effective way. Learn more by visiting Azure migration center.