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Azure Landing Zones: benefits, automations and best practices


Put your best foot forward

In the SaaS world, an Azure landing zone is the equivalent of a building’s foundations. Do it right, and your IT infrastructure will be capable of moving in lockstep with your business so you can scale fast with ease.

But, just like a house, building and installing a landing zone has lots of moving parts which requires investing your time, money and materials. Realistically, you cannot always afford to spare these resources, or you might not have them available. Instead, you often need to focus your resources on those all-important core growth tasks – acquiring customers, growing teams, managing cash, and building your product.

We spoke with one of our DevOps Engineers, Robbie Parekowhai-Gudex, about landing zones, automation, why it matters and the benefits for SaaS companies.

The purpose of a landing zone and where automation wins

An Azure landing zone is a base framework that lays out requirements across several business areas, including security, governance, networking, workload management and access management.

Here are two scenarios where landing zones are particularly useful:

Scenario 1: 

You’re a large, established SaaS company with an existing cloud environment. You’re at the stage in your cloud journey where you need to strengthen your security and governance protocols to align with Microsoft’s best practice guidelines.

Scenario 2: 

You’re a start-up (or smaller) SaaS company migrating to the cloud. As part of that migration, you’re looking at installing an Azure landing zone so that, from day one, your security and governance policies and procedures meet best practice guidelines.

Why go the extra mile with automation?

Landing zones can be deployed via automation and maintained with Infrastructure-as-Code. This allows for a consistent, more scalable solution while mitigating the risk of baseline security and governance policies slipping through the cracks.

Benefits of an Azure landing zone

Here are four ways a landing zone can help your SaaS company scale faster:

1. Save time and money

Whether you’re installing a landing zone to meet legal requirements or looking for maturity in your solution before building a new environment, working with someone who has proven experience with Azure landing zones will help speed up the design, build and deployment process.

Robbie says, “The faster you deploy your landing zone, the quicker you can deliver on your promise to your customers.”

Customer story:

Flipview was ready to scale its product globally. So, it called on us.

They needed an experienced technical partner, with a deep level of Azure experience who they could trust on their journey. Parallo built a secure, readily scalable Azure landing zone to enable Flipview’s international sales. With the addition of a Marketplace listing, Flipview is now able to streamline international transactions without getting bogged down by increasing sales volume.

Read Flipview’s story

2. Tap into broader expertise

For some SaaS companies, landing zones may not be in your wheelhouse, so working with specialists allows you to focus on business areas where you can add the most value. For enterprise-level SaaS companies, the conversation is more about leveraging IT expertise while retaining what you need to stay operational.

“We spend all day working in this area and can build you a landing zone that meets best-practice guidelines and your business needs and goals,” says Robbie.

3. Constant improvement and optimisation

While the key pillars of Microsoft’s Azure Architecture don’t tend to change, the methods of implementing them do. On top of that, every customer is different, and, to some degree, landing zone customisation is needed to ensure the infrastructure works for your business now – and in the future.

Robbie explains how our team studies every landing zone project to find ways to further optimise the process for clients:

“The beauty of deploying many landing zones is we’re constantly learning and finding new ways to adapt our framework.”

4. Automation

Using our knowledge and experience from implementing many landing zone projects, we have created internal automation which produces a robust and flexible landing zone automation. For managed clients, this means their existing landing zones can be updated with new features and capabilities. For new clients, this means they get a highly optimised of our landing zone automation.

“When it comes to Azure landing zones specifically, we build them in code, which reduces double-handling and simplifies alignment with Microsoft’s best practice standards over time.” says Robbie.

Best practice landing zone – plus a team of experts

Many choose to work with a managed service provider (MSP), so they can focus on those all-important core business tasks – acquiring customers, building teams and managing cash.

By automating your landing zone deployment with an MSP, you get access to its resources, knowledge and experience. With a landing zone capable of evolving with your organisation, you can deploy standardised cloud environments quickly while keeping costs low and increasing operational efficiency.

You may choose to engage with an MSP to just deploy a landing zone. However, many SaaS companies back it up with ongoing Azure cloud management services to ensure they stay at the forefront of technology and reduce downtime.

“We can continue to manage your cloud infrastructure and optimise it over time on your behalf, and provide you with experienced advice on the latest and greatest in Cloud technology” says Robbie.

Wherever your SaaS company is in its cloud journey, we can help you find a landing zone solution that suits your business and budget requirements.

Ready to brainstorm the ideal landing zone solution? Get in touch with the specialists at Parallo today.

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