As an IT professional, modernising your company’s technology may well be one of the most important projects you ever undertake. Whether you’ve been brought in as a new hire to upgrade systems, or have been pushing for the project for years, convincing your colleagues that your plans are appropriate, value for money and worth the effort can be a real challenge – especially if not everyone is on board.

And this is where a business case helps. A business case is a document that makes the argument for changing how a company does something. It needs to show that the benefits of the change outweigh ‘business as usual’.

If you’re thinking of migrating your company to Microsoft Azure, the business case is about providing hard evidence that this is worth the cost. So, let’s see what a business case for Azure might look like.

Related: Build a Microsoft Teams business case


You’re in good company

Azure, Microsoft’s cloud computing network, has existed in some form since 2008. Despite customers’ initial concerns about storing data on external cloud servers, it has gone on to become one of the most popular and successful technologies of the past decade (it currently holds a fifth of the entire cloud market!).

Countless businesses, governments, schools and non-profits now use Azure in some form or another– whether directly for its computing power, or through Microsoft’s own SaaS apps like Teams, OneDrive, SharePoint online and so on. By moving your business to Azure, you will be joining tens of thousands of organisations just like yours.

If you are building a business case to move your company to Azure, the following tips can help.


Case study: How Arriva migrated to Azure


Calculate your current direct IT costs

The first step in building an Azure business case is to calculate your current IT costs. This should be reasonably straightforward – contact your finance department and review your contracts with suppliers to work out how much your pay for:

  • Hardware (primarily servers, but also network infrastructure). If all your hardware is on-premises, it was likely bought as a one-off Capex, usually representing tens or even hundreds of thousands of pounds.
  • Software licenses, which are usually sold in batches (10, 50 or 100 seats, for example)
  • Costs of replacement for your IT – as and when you need to upgrade your legacy software and hardware, you will of course need to shell out for this in future.


Estimate the indirect costs from staying on-premises

This one is a little harder to calculate precisely. Nonetheless, with some informed estimates you should be able to draw up a rough annual estimate for things like:

  • Costs of VPNs to support your remote workers
  • Annual productivity losses due to network downtime and inability to work remotely
  • Possible security threats
  • Cost of space for server racks
  • Costs of outsourced IT service management


Calculate the direct costs of using Azure

Next up, you’ll need to calculate the costs of using Azure. To get a ballpark figure, you could begin with Forester’s ‘Total Economic Impact’ (TEI) reports, which give a reasonably good idea of how much you should be able to save by using Azure, or any of Microsoft’s tools that are based in the cloud. For instance, a TEI report into Microsoft 365 for business estimates a 163% ROI over three years.

To get a more specific figure for your business, Microsoft has provided a couple of tools to help you figure out how much your monthly cloud bills will add up to:

The vast majority of businesses find the costs of using the cloud are significantly lower than staying on-premises.


Webinar: How to optimise your cloud costs


Calculate the costs of migrating to Azure

Besides the Azure licenses themselves, there will be other costs that come with migrating to Azure. These include things like:

  • Migration consultants’ fees (contact FITTS for an idea of the costs involved)
  • Any pauses or delays to work during the migration
  • Change management, training and efforts to overcome resistance to change


eBook: Your guide to business change management


Estimate indirect benefits of using Azure

As with the indirect costs of staying on-premises, the benefits of using Azure might not be so easy to calculate precisely, but it is still possible to produce an informed estimate (the Forrester reports can help here). Consider factors such as:

  • Improved productivity thanks to anytime, anywhere access to files
  • Efficiencies thanks to use of cutting-edge software and apps
  • Improved collaboration, thanks to tools like Teams
  • Easy onboarding and offboarding of employees
  • A scalable IT environment which makes expanding the business cheaper, quicker and easier


Create a compelling business case for Azure

Convincing your colleagues and stakeholders that a migration to Azure is the right move requires more than just facts, figures and projections. It’s also about building a narrative that shows them how your business will benefit, and how much more productive, effective and engaged your colleagues will be when working in the cloud.

At FITTS, our experience with cloud technology has shown us time and again how beneficial a migration to Azure can be. To get started, contact us for a free, no-obligation consultation where we can help you build an Azure migration business case.