Azure usage continues to grow – but organisations need channel help to succeed

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It continues to gain traction whilst still being significantly behind the market leader; but what underpins this growth? A new study from NetEnrich has found that while Microsoft Azure continues to see impressive usage figures, companies have to rely on channel providers to help them make the most of their implementations.

The survey, which garnered the views of more than 80 IT professionals in large and midmarket companies, found 46% of respondents were running at least half of their IT infrastructure and workloads on Microsoft’s offering, with 62% operating a multi-cloud environment which includes Azure.

Yet the survey found it was difficult to get everything done on their own. More than two thirds (67%) of respondents said they were ‘very likely’ to enlist the services of a managed service provider (MSP) in the next year, with the primary benefits of such a move being security and backups, followed by discovery and inventory of IT resources.

The biggest perceived benefits of Azure were a reduction in total cost of ownership, on-demand availability and business continuity, according to 47% of respondents. Despite leaning on MSPs, almost two thirds (64%) said they plan to purchase tools in the coming year to help with Azure migration and management. “Microsoft Azure is clearly growing its position in the public cloud market as companies of all sizes look to modernise infrastructure, deploy new services quickly and reduce costs,” said NetEnrich senior VP Justin Crotty.

As Synergy Research reported when all the main players’ most recent figures were filed earlier this month, AWS had seen minimal change in market share between the fourth quarters of 2015 and 2016; if anything, the figures went slightly down, at around 40%. But the three nearest challengers, Microsoft, Google and IBM, saw their combined share go up 5% year on year, now to just over 20%.

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