Cloud PlatformTaking advantage of cloud-based services is a cost- and time-effective way for SMBs to ensure they are offering their customers a comparative experience to the heavy hitters in their industry. Regular fluctuations in growth and development can have a major impact on IT needs, and cloud computing offers the flexibility SMBs need to adjust to their varying demands. When it comes to cloud service implementation, the platform you choose can be just as important as the services you select. Today, Azure and AWS (Amazon Web Services) are two of the largest and most developed cloud computing platforms.

Each offers a variety of benefits to users, but it’s important to choose the option that best fits your needs. Read on to find out how these established cloud platforms compare and which is better suited to helping your SMB grow.

Which Platform Is Easiest to Use?

Computing ConceptWhen it comes to usability, Azure is an easy choice. Azure is offered by Microsoft and integrates easily with the other Microsoft programs that many SMBs already use. From a development standpoint, the platform’s familiar setup allows companies to set up their cloud computing quickly and confidently. AWS offers greater customization options. However, the platform requires a much steeper learning curve and is likely to be less intuitive for developers who are not already familiar with it. This is an important distinction for business owners who may not have the budget for an IT professional on staff.

Which Platform Offers the Most Flexibility?

The needs of most SMBs are constantly changing, so it helps to have a wide variety of apps available to assist with growing needs and to have the ability to incorporate them quickly. AWS and Azure both offer excellent app deployment options to developers. AWS has the edge when it comes to configurations once you become familiar with the platform, but Microsoft has the advantage regarding available cloud apps. New features are being added to Azure regularly as Microsoft leverages its development knowledge to create the most comprehensive cloud experience for its platform clients.

What about Hybrid Cloud Options?

Microsoft recognized the need for hybrid clouds early on, understanding that some companies may not be ready to fully convert to the cloud. Not only do hybrid clouds allow these businesses to have the best of both worlds, but they can also make the transition seamless when implementing a full cloud conversion. Therefore, SMBs that prefer a hybrid solution will find significant support with Azure, making the integration much easier. Amazon has recognized this need and is working to catch up in this area, but AWS still lacks in hybrid support when compared to Microsoft.

Which Platform Has the Best Price?

Best PriceThis question can get tricky, because the best answer is: It depends. When comparing the cost of service between platforms, AWS appears to be the lower-priced option, but Azure offers a few advantages that help balance out the playing field. Both Amazon and Microsoft offer options to pay as you go, but there are important differences in how those systems are structured. For example, AWS charges users by the hour, while Azure users pay by the minute. This can make the charges for Microsoft more precise, eliminating payment for minutes that aren’t being used. Heavy users may find the flat monthly rate offered by Azure to be the best option.

For companies that already use Microsoft Suite, the brand’s Enterprise Agreement can offer further savings, helping to balance out the cost between both cloud platforms. Businesses that are looking for the most economical option will need to evaluate their individual needs to determine which platform offers the most savings.

Choosing a cloud platform for your SMB is an important step in company efficiency and improving the customer experience. Growing companies will benefit from the flexibility and advanced IT capabilities a cloud-computing platform provides. To maximize this potential, find a platform that balances usability, cost and available features. When comparing Amazon’s AWS to Microsoft’s Azure, it’s clear that Azure holds the advantage for SMBs. Offering flexible pricing options, a variety of cloud apps, seamless hybrid integration and a developer-friendly platform, Azure is designed to make the transition to cloud computing convenient for smaller companies that may not have the resources for a full IT department. For more information on these services and to find out how cloud computing can help your business, contact our specialists at one of our Eire System locations.