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Azure Cloud Adoption Framework: The 9 Methodologies Explained

What is the Azure Cloud Adoption Framework?

The Microsoft Cloud Adoption Framework for Azure offers practical advice on implementing technology and business strategies in the cloud. The framework provides a variety of recommendations, including tools, documentation, narratives, and best practices chosen to guide decision-makers through their Azure migration journey.

Azure’s framework breaks down the cloud adoption journey into nine methodologies. Each methodology covers different aspects, including strategy, plan, preparation, migration, innovation, governance, management, and security. As a whole, the framework can help align business and technology to achieve predefined business outcomes in cloud migration projects.

In this article:

Azure Cloud Adoption Framework Methodologies

The Microsoft Cloud Adoption Framework for Azure outlines the entire cloud adoption lifecycle. The framework uses specific methodologies to help organizations overcome common cloud adoption challenges. The following diagram illustrates the cloud adoption methodologies as a structured process.

caf-overview-newImage Source: Azure

Cloud Adoption Strategy

The strategy methodology aims to help organizations efficiently document their business strategy. It offers guidance on driving cloud adoption efforts that capture targeted business value in a cross-functional model. Once you determine these aspects, you can map your cloud adoption strategy for each cloud capability and business strategy.

Here are core steps this methodology guides you through:

  • Define and document your motivations
  • Document all desired business outcomes
  • Evaluate financial considerations
  • Understand technical considerations

Related content: Read our guide to Azure migration strategy

Cloud Adoption Plan

The planning methodology can help organizations document their technology strategy. It offers guidance on how to prioritize the tasks that have the most impact on adoption efforts. Your cloud adoption plan should map to the metrics and motivations you have defined in the cloud adoption strategy.

Here are core steps this methodology guides you through:

  • Inventory your digital estate according to assumptions that align with your motivations as well as any predefined business outcomes.
  • Establish a plan for initial organizational alignment to support your cloud adoption plan and address any skills readiness gaps.
  • Develop a cloud adoption plan designed to help manage changes across the organization, its digital estate, and all relevant skills.

Prepare for Cloud Adoption

This methodology strives to help organizations prepare for adoption. It involves creating a landing zone to host all workloads chosen for cloud migration or development in the cloud. The goal of this methodology is to guide you through the process of creating a landing zone.

Here are core steps this methodology guides you through:

  • Reviewing the Azure setup guide to understand the approaches and tools needed to create a landing zone.
  • Choosing a suitable landing zone to establish a code-based starting point for the environment.
  • Meeting platform requirements for cloud adoption by expanding the first landing zone.
  • Validate landing zone modifications against the relevant best practices. The goal is to ensure you are using the best configuration for landing zones, both current and future.

Cloud Migration

This methodology can help organizations establish iterative processes required to assess, secure, migrate, manage, and optimize their workloads.

Here are core steps this methodology guides you through:

  • How to migrate your first workload
  • How to act on different migration scenarios
  • Using best practices to address common migration needs
  • Identifying process improvements that can contribute to migration effectiveness

Related content: Read our Azure migration checklist

Cloud-related Innovation

This methodology can help organizations understand customer needs and quickly build innovations that shape how customers interact with company products. It involves building a minimum viable product (MVP) that can deliver value quickly.

Here are core steps this methodology guides you through:

  • Create a hypothesis with business value consensus
  • Build your first MVP
  • Measure and learn from your MVP
  • Expand digital innovation to refine your hypothesis

Governance

This methodology treats cloud governance as an iterative process. It can help guide you through creating cloud governance policies that complement existing policies already set in place to govern on-premises environments. Since cloud estate changes over time, this methodology maintains that cloud governance policies and processes should also be dynamic.

Here are core steps this methodology guides you through:

  • Establish a methodology to help drive progress to end-state solutions.
  • Use the governance benchmark tool to assess current and future states and establish a vision for applying the framework.
  • Establish an initial governance foundation (your MVP) using a small and easily implemented set of governance tools.
  • Improve your foundation by iteratively adding governance controls that address substantial risks as the organization progresses toward the end state.

Cloud Management

This methodology maintains that to deliver tangible business outcomes, organizations need to effectively define and implement the ongoing operations of their digital assets. A cloud management plan can help achieve reliable and well-managed operations of cloud solutions.

Here are core steps this methodology guides you through:

  • Defining business commitments
  • Establishing a management baseline
  • Expanding your management baseline
  • Assessing advanced operations and design principles

Security

This methodology offers a vision of the complete end state, which can help guide the improvement of security programs over time. It provides security best practices, experiences, and models. It is informed by a variety of sources, including:

  • Lessons learned and real-world experiences of real customers
  • Microsoft’s security journey
  • Work with standards organizations such as NIST, CIS, and The Open Group

Manage Organizational Alignment

This methodology maintains that the success of cloud adoption relies on:

  • The work of suitably skilled and well-organized people
  • Alignment of each role with clearly defined business objectives
  • Operating within a well-managed environment

This methodology aims to help organizations establish appropriately staffed organizational structures that can deliver an effective operating model for the cloud.

Here are core steps this methodology guides you through:

  • Define the most suitable organizational structure type for your operating model.
  • Determine what cloud functionality is required to adopt and operate the cloud.
  • Ascertain which teams can provide various cloud functions.
  • Use the framework’s RACI matrix to map responsibility, accountability, consultation, and informed roles for each team.

Azure Cloud Adoption with Cloud Volumes ONTAP

NetApp Cloud Volumes ONTAP, the leading enterprise-grade storage management solution, delivers secure, proven storage management services on AWS, Azure and Google Cloud. Cloud Volumes ONTAP capacity can scale into the petabytes, and it supports various use cases such as file services, databases, DevOps or any other enterprise workload, with a strong set of features including high availability, data protection, storage efficiencies, Kubernetes integration, and more.

In particular, Cloud Volumes ONTAP assists with lift and shift cloud migration.

Download our free eBook The NetApp Guide to Migrating Enterprise Workloads to Azure to learn more.

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Yifat Perry, Product Marketing Lead

Product Marketing Lead

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