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Turbocharge Your Microsoft Azure Investment: The Game-Changing Impact of IT Managed Services


Switching your organisation’s IT infrastructure to Microsoft Azure brings several benefits. It boosts your scalability, as you can add (or remove) resources as you react to changes in the market. It makes your business more cost-efficient than traditional on-premise systems, as you only pay for what you use. The Azure subscription model is also super-flexible.  

You also gain a number of technical advantages. Azure delivers state-of-the-art cyber protection, a result of Microsoft’s multibillion-dollar investment in security (1). Azure’s cloud-native setup is ultra-reliable, so you can serve your users 24/7 wherever they are in the world. Finally, the depth of the features Azure delivers (200+ services and counting (2)) means you can be as creative as you like as you differentiate your organisation from your competitors. 

However, to get the most from your switch to Microsoft Azure, you need someone to manage it – and they have to know what they’re doing. In this article, we’ll explain why partnering with a managed service provider (MSP) to run your Azure infrastructure is the best way to maximise the return on your investment.  

Challenges of Managing Microsoft Azure Alone 

So you’ve finally moved all or some of your IT environment to Azure. Now, you can stop worrying about hardware failures and backups on-prem. But the cloud comes with its own management challenges. Let’s look at some obstacles you may need to overcome on your journey to Azure success. 

Azure is Complex 

Microsoft Azure is a cutting-edge technology , and managing it is a serious undertaking. New features are being added all the time (and old features removed) which require different skills to manage. In addition, because Azure offers so many different features, there are many ways to achieve similar outcomes, so you can easily spend too much of your budget on Azure if you’re unaware of the various possibilities. 

Lack of Expertise 

To get the most from your Azure investment, you need to have IT experts managing it. These people need to be familiar with the intricacies of Azure, from how it’s set up, to the myriad of features Azure offers, to how everything in the Azure environment relates to each other and delivers a seamless experience to users. 

What’s more, your Microsoft Azure professionals must stay ahead of the curve. They need to know when Azure introduces new capabilities and understand if (and how) they can help your organisation. They need to appreciate your investment in Azure and the cost vs. benefits of any changes you make. It’s a full-time job—and more. 

Most organisations don’t have that level of expertise in-house right now. It’s understandable. After all, Azure is high-level technology. However, maximising your investment in Azure without that expertise is a huge challenge. 

Security Risks 

Running your IT infrastructure on Azure is better for security than running it on-premise. Microsoft takes security seriously and has invested billions of dollars in developing their cyber security capabilities. Security is a selling point which differentiates Azure from other cloud platforms. However, no platform is 100% guaranteed to be secure, and when you move your IT setup to Azure, you take responsibility for keeping your data safe.  

If you don’t know how Azure’s security tools work or how to set them up and manage them to keep your organisation protected, you put yourself at risk. For example, you must implement authentication and access control, so unauthorised users can’t infiltrate your systems. You must also protect your system against attacks such as DDoS or ransomware.  

Optimisation and Efficiency 

To get the most from your Azure investment, you need to continuously monitor your Azure setup’s efficiency and look for ways to optimise it. 

For example, look at cost optimisation. You should continually evaluate how much you spend on Microsoft Azure and whether it’s all necessary. Are you paying for more users than you need? Are you paying for services you’ve never used? 

You should also regularly look at performance optimisation. Do you have times in your calendar when there are more transactions with Azure than usual? Does that slow down your speed and make you less efficient?  

If you answer yes, you should investigate ways to address it with Azure. 

The Role of IT Managed Services 

Now you know the challenges moving to Microsoft Azure can bring, how can you avoid them? 

The easiest way is to partner with an expert managed services provider (MSP) to outsource your IT and run your organisation’s Azure infrastructure. While MSPs vary in quality and expertise, if you go with one of the best, you’ll gain several benefits. Let’s look at them now.  

24/7 Support and Monitoring 

Any good IT managed services provider will offer round-the-clock support and monitoring to ensure the smooth operation of your Azure services. You may have your own IT support team in-house, but if they don’t have specialist knowledge of the Azure platform, this support is worth its weight in gold.  

When it comes to security, your MSP should be the first responder, being the first to see any threat and take the initial steps to contain it before it can do more serious damage. This comes from constantly monitoring your service health, backups and security tools, with actionable alerts directed to their service desk. Other providers may only provide a reactive security service, but good ones take a proactive approach to security, seeking out threats rather than waiting for them to happen. 

Proactive Maintenance and Optimisation 

Your Microsoft Azure infrastructure should never be ‘set it and forget it’. Once you’re up and running, you should always be looking for ways to spot minor problems before they become major ones, as well as ways to improve your setup. 

A good MSP will constantly monitor performance and capacity in your Azure environment. If something’s not right, their experts will receive an alert to investigate. This minimises costly downtime, detecting potential issues such as spikes in CPU or network bandwidth demand before they cause disruption to your services. 

However, the best MSPs will go one step further, taking a proactive approach to optimisation. They’ll collect the raw data your Microsoft Azure tools generate, analyse it and deliver insights and recommendations to help you manage your Azure environment more efficiently and securely.  

Cost-Effectiveness and ROI 

While minimising downtime due to performance issues and cyber threats helps organisations save costs, your MSP should be able to go one step further and help you increase productivity from your Azure infrastructure. 

Your MSP (if they’re any good) will help you get more from your investment, ensuring you’re paying the right amount for the right resources and jettisoning anything unnecessary. On the other hand, if a lack of capacity is holding you back, your MSP will recommend the best way to scale.  

Outsourcing IT and working with an IT managed services provider is much more cost-effective than employing people with the same expertise in-house to do the same jobs. Partnering with an MSP gives you access to a group of knowledgeable people who work on Azure full-time. Even if you had someone internally with that knowledge and expertise, you could likely only justify a slice of their time to fulfil this work. 

Expertise and Experience 

A good MSP will be staffed with Azure experts who work with organisations (and Azure setups) like yours daily. They’re likely to manage and support a large number of Azure environments, delivering them deep experience and broad market knowledge to underpin the advice they give. 

When you live and breathe Azure, you stay ahead of the curve so you know what’s new and how it may benefit your organisation. Make sure you work with an IT managed services provider that takes the time to get to know your business and will make those recommendations that deliver better outcomes. 

Focus on Core Business Activities 

Let your MSP’s technical experts run your Azure infrastructure so you can continue doing what you do best. A good MSP employs people with the skills to manage as much of your IT system as you wish. And if you want them to run your entire setup, that shouldn’t be a problem. 

The longer you work with an MSP, the more they become a trusted partner, almost an extension of your team. Your success becomes their success. While you focus on your organisation’s goals, your MSP ensures you have the technical capacity to achieve those goals.  

While some MSPs are too big to truly devote themselves to your unique requirements, a good MSP will give you one single point of contact, who you can call any time you need them. That person will then take care of everything inside the MSP, so you don’t have to chase a lot of different people. When you’re busy, this efficient way of working becomes a significant benefit. 

Scalability and Flexibility 

As your marketplace and customer demands change, you need to be able to adapt. Partnering with an IT managed services provider helps you stay flexible so you always have the technical capabilities you need.  

If you hire more people, or focus on various short-term projects, your MSP will help you add resources so everyone can focus on their tasks rather than IT worries. On the other hand, if you need to scale back, your MSP will revisit your resources, ensuring you don’t pay for what you don’t use.  


Switching from on-premise IT to Azure (in the cloud) delivers several significant benefits to your organisation. However, getting the most from your investment is a complex and time-consuming task. If you don’t have the time, the budget or the expertise in-house, outsourcing your Azure setup to an IT managed services provider makes perfect sense. A good MSP delivers more than simple IT support; they become a trusted partner of your organisation. 

At Doherty Associates, we’re experts at getting clients cloud-ready and migrating their systems from on-prem to Microsoft Azure. But when they’re up and running on Azure, we really come into our own.  

As an experienced IT managed services provider, we can take on as much (or as little) of your Azure system as you wish. Whether it’s Azure cost management, monitoring, security, networking or anything else, we’ve got the experience and expertise to maximise the ROI from Microsoft Azure.  

Everything we’ve told you a best-of-breed MSP will do for you in this article? We’ll do that. 

To find out more, visit our Microsoft Azure service page.  


1 – Nasdaq – – How Microsoft is building its security business 

2 – Microsoft – – What is Azure? 

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