It is my belief that the ingredients for a successful digital transformation = 1 part technical expertise + 1 part business outcome + 1 part “why”. Recently, I obtained my AZ-900 certification where the following areas were tested:

    • Describe cloud concepts
    • Describe core Azure services
    • Describe security, privacy, compliance, and trust
    • Describe Azure pricing Service Level Agreements, and Lifecycles

While achieving the certification was extremely gratifying, the process of preparing was just as gratifying.  I learned a great deal along the way and had some key “aha” moments as I understood different core Azure services, as well as different steps you can take to ensure security, privacy and compliance, such as  the difference between Azure CLI and PowerShell and availability sets vs availability zones.

What I learned in preparing for this certification is that Azure has a solution for every scenario.  Whether a hybrid cloud solution makes sense for you because you want to keep your data on-premises to comply with specific industry and/or compliance regulations, or if want to take advantage of economies of scale and be “all in” on the public cloud, Azure can do it.  If you want to leverage Kubernetes, Containers, Microservices, or if you want to automate all the things, Azure can do it. I also learned that it does not have to be all or nothing.  You can start by leveraging DevTest Labs, Azure Site Recovery or Azure AD for authentication.

One of my biggest “aha” moments was understanding the full capabilities of Azure Advisor – the benefits of having performance, cost, operational excellence, security and reliability recommendations sent to me proactively is priceless. Perhaps my second biggest “aha moment” was realizing the multiple layers of defense that can be leveraged to ensure your environment is secure.

Regardless of all the solutions available in Azure, there is one thing that became even more clear to me throughout the preparation process was that in order to succeed, this technical solutioning must be tied to a business outcome or your transformation will struggle to meet expectations.

Finally, I firmly believe that it is more crucial than ever to understand why you are embarking on your cloud journey and what problem you are trying to solve for your customers, stakeholders and users.  What is possible with the power of Azure combined with the business outcomes you are trying to achieve creates endless opportunities.

About the Author:

Chelsea Coster is a Business Development Director at New Signature based in Orlando, Florida.  As a Business Development Director, she helps organizations with their journey to the cloud and their digital transformation.  She has over 10 years of experience in the Professional Services/Information Technology industry. When she is not working you can find her walking with her family, working out in the garage, cooking or attempting to keep her plants alive.