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Cloud Migration

Top 3 Cloud Adoption Frameworks: Your Path To The Cloud

What is a Cloud Adoption Framework?

A cloud adoption framework provides a baseline for organizations to use when mapping out their cloud migration journey. Each framework uses a different guiding methodology that offers a distinct view on how organizations should practice cloud adoption.

For example, Google Cloud’s adoption framework employs four themes and three phases to assess the organization’s readiness level, while Microsoft’s framework utilizes eight approaches required to achieve adoption.

What most cloud adoption frameworks have in common is that they strive to align adoption plans with business outcomes. These cloud adoption frameworks offer a collection of best practices, implementation guidance, tools, and documentation chosen specially to facilitate and accelerate the cloud adoption journey.

Related content: Read our guide to cloud migration approaches

In this article:

The Benefits of a Cloud Adoption Framework

Here are key benefits of using a cloud adoption framework:

  • A baseline for cloud adoption—a cloud adoption framework offers a baseline to start with when migrating to the cloud. Most frameworks are flexible enough to enable organizations to develop a migration plan that supports their unique business goals and aligns technical changes with business requirements.
  • A standardized approach—provides teams with actionable instructions they can successfully execute when migrating to the cloud and implement when later managing and optimizing the new cloud environment.
  • Clear and customizable documentation—a cloud adoption framework offers abstract yet customizable documentation and guidance. You can customize the framework for various scenarios, including practical insight applicable in an operational setting.
  • Vendor best practices—if you are using a cloud adoption framework offered by your cloud provider, it will include best practices specific to the vendor’s cloud and detailed documentation.

Key Cloud Adoption Frameworks

Let’s review cloud adoption frameworks offered by the leading cloud providers - Microsoft, Amazon, and Google.

AWS Cloud Adoption Framework

To help organizations plan and execute effective cloud adoption plans, AWS Professional Services created the AWS Cloud Adoption Framework (AWS CAF).

The AWS CAF framework offers guidance and best practices designed to map a comprehensive cloud computing journey that includes the entire IT lifecycle of the organization. The goal is to help organizations achieve measurable business benefits from cloud adoption while reducing risks and increasing adoption velocity.

Here are the phases mapped in the AWS CAF framework:

  • Envision—this phase aims to help organizations create a foundation for their cloud strategy. It includes an Envisioning Workshop that strives to return a constant and measurable value to the organization while connecting business goals and outcomes. It enables organizations to identify technologies and key measures, as well as prioritize their cloud initiatives.
  • Align—this phase strives to help organizations create an executable cloud adoption plan aligned with business goals. It includes a facilitator-led workshop that helps determine the impact of cloud adoption on the organization. It involves assessing key benefits, establishing the best adoption approach, and driving clarity to guide change management across the cloud journey.
  • Launch—the framework offers Action Plans to help organizations develop workstreams for their production cloud deployment and execute cloud projects. AWS CAF Action Plans enable organizations to proactively address the concerns of stakeholders and leverage the cloud for incremental business value.
  • Realize value—this phase aims to assist organizations in recognizing and measuring incremental business value as well as iterating to deliver against plans. The goal is to enable organizations to continually evaluate their cloud strategy, align with desired outcomes, and identify more cloud projects that can help realize ongoing value.

    Learn more in our detailed guide to the AWS Cloud Adoption Framework

Microsoft Cloud Adoption Framework

The Microsoft Cloud Adoption Framework for Azure offers guidance to help organizations create and implement technology and business strategies for the cloud. The framework includes best practices, tools, and documentation. This information can help business decision-makers, cloud architects, and IT professionals achieve cloud adoption goals.

The Microsoft Cloud Adoption Framework for Azure offers guidance for the following methodologies:

  • Strategy—define your business justification as well as the expected outcomes of cloud adoption.
  • Plan—align your adoption plans with specific business outcomes.
  • Prepare—ensure your cloud environment is ready for all planned changes.
  • Migrate—migrate or modernize your existing workloads.
  • Innovate—develop new hybrid or cloud-native solutions.
  • Govern—govern your environment and workloads.
  • Manage—define operations management for your new cloud and hybrid solutions.
  • Organize—align all teams and roles that support your cloud adoption efforts.

Each of the above methodologies is considered an approach to overcoming common challenges. A methodology is a component within your overall cloud adoption lifecycle, while the framework as a whole consists of the entire lifecycle supporting all cloud adoption phases.

Learn more in our detailed guide to the Azure Cloud Adoption Framework

Google Cloud Adoption Framework

Google Cloud offers an adoption framework designed to build a structure on the rubric of people, technology, and processes. The framework provides an assessment of the organization’s cloud adoption journey and supports this review with actionable programs that can help throughout the journey.

The Google Cloud Adoption Framework includes four themes and three phases.

Here are the four themes the framework uses to define the foundation of cloud readiness:

  • Learn—assesses existing knowledge and skill to determine if they can support a move to the cloud. By understanding their state of readiness, organizations can learn whether they need to engage experienced consultants or partners to bridge experience and knowledge gaps.
  • Lead—asserts that the success of a cloud migration relies on teams gaining full support from leadership. Additionally, teams should be self-motivated, cross-functional, and work collaboratively.
  • Scale—determines the extent to which the organization already uses cloud-native services.
  • Secure—addresses the ability of organizations to protect their services from intrusion. It usually depends on the maturity of the above three themes, as well as the security controls and strategies the organization already has in place.

Here are the three phases used in the framework to assess the level of readiness:

  • Tactical—the organization wants to migrate individual systems to the cloud but does not have a consistent strategy for building out into the future. During this level of readiness, the organization’s primary focus is reducing the cost of individual systems by moving each system to the cloud with as little disruption as possible.
  • Strategic—during this phase, the organization has a broader strategy that governs multiple systems. The organization focuses mainly on future needs and scale and has an effective and efficient IT team.
  • Transformational—this level applies to organizations with existing, well-run cloud operations. Organizations at this phase focus on integrating the data and tactics learned from their work with cloud environments. The organization can utilize prescriptive and predictive analytics to transform procedural and technological changes in the cloud.

The Google Cloud Adoption Model helps organizations determine their cloud maturity level by evaluating each of the themes in terms of the three phases.

Cloud Adoption with Cloud Volume 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 the Cloud to learn more.

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Yifat Perry, Technical Content Manager

Technical Content Manager