Microsoft hones focus on enterprise mobility and security with Azure

Microsoft has committed to delivering more products and signing partnerships as cloud and mobility increasingly becomes a focus for many enterprises.

Microsoft has identified that cloud and mobility are two global trends that are driving innovation at a rate that has never been seen before.

Speaking at Microsoft Ignite Australia 2015, Brad Anderson, Microsoft vice president enterprise mobility, highlighted that in order to keep up with these trends the company has set itself three "ambitious" goals: Build an intelligent cloud, reinvent business productivity, and make personal computing more personal.

From an intelligent cloud point of view, Anderson boasted that the company has already paved the way in fulfilling that goal when it decided to launch Azure in Australia. He highlighted that since the launch, the company has witnessed a four-fold increase in the use of the company's public cloud platform, noting 50 percent of all Australian enterprise organisations are now using Azure. In addition, 40 percent of total global public cloud revenue for Microsoft is coming from startups, small to medium businesses, and independent software vendors.

Further to this, the company announced it has partnered up with NextDC and Megaport to deliver Microsoft's Office 365 Express Route to further help customers in their move into the cloud.

In addition, it announced its partnership with six new Australian Azure cloud solution partners including Buttonwood Cloud Exchange, Rackspace, SaaS Plaza, Datacom, Dimension Data, and Data#3.

Anderson went on saying that a core aspect to building in the cloud is security. He pointed out that it is the number one concern for enterprises and to couple that with the growing mobile enterprise environment, businesses need to start thinking about it.

"Corporate data and application is no longer safe behind a firewall. Much of the data is now moved into the cloud ... so fundamentally the perimeter that we've always based our security on has evaporated and we have to figure out what security means in a whole different light to before," he said.

Anderson claimed that when Microsoft launched Windows 10 and Office 365, the company built it with "modern" security attacks in mind. As a result, the company is able to deliver continuous security updates for its customers. He also claimed that the company is reinventing productivity with these products, too.

In addition, Anderson said another consideration for many enterprises has been about enabling the enterprise mobility. He claimed Microsoft has enabled enterprises to do this since the launch of its enterprise mobility suite, which Anderson said is the company's fastest growing product to date.

Part of the consideration of introducing an enterprise mobility environment for any enterprise is security, Anderson said, noting that the company's Cloud Azure Active Directory is one product that can secure user identity across multiple devices.

"Users should have the option to choose any device they want to work on; it's a very personal decision. Some may like Windows, some may like iOS, and some may like Android. But you want to enable your users to choose the device they want to be productive on because you want to remove any barrier and any kind of friction. But in a world where these things are no longer behind a perimeter, what becomes the new perimeter?

"I submit that identity is the new perimeter. Identity is the one thing that is common across any device you want to use, so the way this modern architecture works is that it needs to authenticate, identify the user, identify the cloud, and deliver everything they need to be productive," he said.

Another point that Anderson touched on was the launch of the company's operations management suite and Azure Stack. He highlighted how the two products have been designed to help enterprises further improve productivity and flexibility, and to give them choice.

Aimee Chanthadavong travelled to Microsoft Ignite Australia 2015 as a guest of Microsoft.