Business Value and Quantified Benefits of Microsoft Azure for SQL Server and Windows Server Workloads
April 27, 2023
Marius Coscodari

Cloud has become a critical technology for organizations seeking to enhance their business agility, streamline operations, and introduce new products and services. And at, we know that better than anyone, given the experience and expertise on the matter of our +250 software engineers and business analysts that work for our partners from various industries, such as retail, travel, healthcare, banking, foodtech, fintech, manufacturing and many more.

With this technology’s ability to rapidly provision resources, scale dynamically, and deploy globally, the cloud has sparked a new era of innovation. In fact, IDC predicted that cloud infrastructure spending had surpassed non-cloud infrastructure spending for the first time in 2022, reaching a staggering $90.2 billion.

To better understand the impact of migrating, modernizing, and running SQL Server and Windows Server workloads in the cloud, Microsoft commissioned a study by IDC. Through in-depth interviews with Microsoft customers, the study found that Microsoft Azure has emerged as a flexible, high-performing, and efficient cloud platform for hosting critical SQL Server and Windows Server workloads.

The participants reported positive experiences with Azure, highlighting its agility, performance, and efficiency in supporting their most crucial workloads.

Business Value Highlights

Study participants described Microsoft Azure as a cost-effective and efficient platform for migrating, modernizing, and running many of their most important SQL Server and Windows Server workloads.

They reported achieving cost savings and operational efficiencies and establishing robust hybrid IT environments with Azure, while also driving innovation, enhanced operational performance, and improved business results:

Platform for business growth based on faster time to market (distribution, United States): “Traditionally, when there was a new sales initiative that needed an application built, it took four months before we could start drawing revenue against it. With Azure, it now only takes one month, so we’re getting three months of additional revenue. Because we can build faster, the business grows faster, which in turn creates more revenue.”

Resiliency, disaster recovery, strong security (healthcare, Singapore): “The most significant benefit for us is resiliency because Microsoft has multiple datacenter locations. This means we can design some applications that need high availability with disaster recovery at the same time. That’s what Azure can do for us that the rest cannot do.”

Faster time to market through faster access to compute/storage capacity (manufacturing, United States): “If the business decides that they want a new bell and whistle for a given application, then we’re faster to market — 10% faster with Azure — because we’re not deploying to on-premises hardware with the associated lead time standing that hardware up.”

IDC forecasts that Microsoft customers who are running SQL Server and Windows Server workloads in the Azure cloud will reap substantial benefits with an average annual value of $271,500 per 100 users ($30.31 million per organization) in the following areas:

  • IT staff productivity benefits: Teams responsible for IT infrastructure, security, and database administration (DBA) will have reduced day-to-day workload due to enhanced IT agility and performance. Development teams will also benefit from improved productivity. IDC estimates that these teams will achieve annual average efficiencies and productivity gains worth $133,900 per 100 users ($7.82 million per organization).
  • Business productivity benefits: The ability to offer more robust services and functionalities to customers translates into winning new business and retaining existing customers. IDC calculates the value of net revenue gains to be an average of $124,800 per 100users per year ($7.29 million per organization).
  • IT infrastructure cost reductions: Microsoft Azure provides a more cost-effective foundation for running equivalent SQL Server and Windows Server workloads compared to legacy on-premises environments of study participants. IDC estimates an annual average cost savings of $10,300 per 100 users ($0.63 million per organization) in IT infrastructure expenses.
  • Risk mitigation - user productivity benefits: By reducing the frequency, duration, and impact of unplanned outages, study participants face lower operational risk and experience less loss of productive employee time and revenue during outages. IDC calculates that the productivity and net revenue gains from risk mitigation will amount to an annual average of $2,500 per 100 users ($0.15 million per organization).

Average Annual Benefits per 100 Users ($ per 100 users)

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