Azure for SMBs: A Q&A with Microsoft MVP Dwayne Natwick

December 1 2021

Microsoft MVP Dwayne Natwick recently hosted a webinar about Azure for small and midsized businesses. MSCloudNews reached out to Natwick for some perspectives on key questions around SMBs' cloud needs and how they differ from larger enterprises.

MSDW: How do the goals of very small companies differ from larger enterprises when it comes to investing in cloud services?

Dwayne NatwickDwayne NatwickI believe that small companies invest in cloud services more to defer the need to make capital investments in hardware and software.  Enterprises tend to be more hesitant to jump right into cloud services for their mission critical applications, especially if they are highly regulated.  Their motivation is probably more geography and the ability to grow globally in a much faster pace than they would by putting equipment in private datacenters.  Small companies see cloud services as an opportunity to have access to more services and a higher compute performance than they would be able to invest in within their own private datacenter.

Are there certain Azure services that are really so "enterprise-grade" that they are out of scope for SMBs?

This is a very interesting question.  One of the great things about using Azure is the flexibility that it provides for consumption of services.  This makes enterprise-grade services accessible to companies with limited capital to spend.  Even services that are expensive at high availability and large capacity can usually be scaled down or used in a limited capacity to make them economical for any size company.  Examples of this are services like App Services and Cosmos DB which even have a free tier that allow for developers to "test drive" these services for use with their applications before committing to a consumption spend.  They can then show the proof of concept of the application to business stakeholders and provide them with the estimated operational expense of the application once in production.

Are there gaps in the services that Microsoft provides for SMBs in terms of partner offerings, pricing and licensing, capabilities, or other areas?

About Eamon McCarthy Earls

As the assistant editor at and, Eamon helps to oversee editorial content on the site and supports site management and strategy. He can be reached at

Before joining, Eamon was editor for at TechTarget, where he covered networking technology, IoT, and cybersecurity. He is also the author of multiple books and previously contributed to publications such as the Boston Globe, Milford Daily News, and DefenceWeb.

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