By ProServeIT on October 07, 2022

[Step-by-step] Microsoft Cloud Adoption Framework for Azure: Part 1

The Microsoft Cloud Adoption Framework for Azure is a comprehensive guide that helps organizations align their business, people, and technology strategy to achieve specific business goals. The framework provides actionable guidance to deliver fast results with control and stability. By leveraging the power of the Cloud, organizations can achieve greater agility, efficiency, and productivity. The Microsoft Cloud Adoption Framework for Azure can help your organization realize these benefits.

In this blog, you will find:  

Microsoft Cloud Adoption Framework for Azure

Step 1. How to Define Your Cloud Strategy

Step 2. Put Your Cloud Adoption Plan Together

ProServeIT Azure Assessment & Roadmap

ProServeIT Academy Azure Course

The Microsoft Cloud Adoption Framework (CAF) is a proven business and technical guide to help organizations create and implement ​the business and technology strategies necessary to succeed in the Cloud.​ In this blog, Microsoft Cloud Adoption Framework for Azure: Part 1, you can learn how to define your strategy and plan your business outcomes.

Have you read?

What is Azure? An Executive’s Guide to Understanding Microsoft Azure

Completing an Azure Migration Assessment – Process & Benefits


Microsoft Cloud Adoption Framework for Azure

Microsoft Cloud Adoption Framework for AzureThe Microsoft Cloud Adoption Framework for Azure is designed to help customers create and implement the business and technology strategies necessary to succeed in the Cloud. The framework guides you through how to define strategy, plan for Cloud adoption, be ready for change, adopt and implement desired changes and govern and manage Azure resources. By following this framework, customers can realize the advantages of Azure while minimizing risk and maximizing return on investment.

Evaluate Your Cloud Readiness with Microsoft Assessments

Evaluating your readiness is an important first step in moving to the Cloud. Microsoft's assessment tools can help you get started on your journey, assess your readiness, and find the right path forward for your unique needs.

 ☑️ Cloud Journey Tracker is a great place to start, and it helps you identify your Cloud adoption needs and provides recommendations for your journey. 

☑️ Strategic Migration Assessment & Readiness Tool can help you if you're looking for a more in-depth assessment. It gives you a better understanding of your organization's preparedness to implement a Cloud migration at scale.

☑️ Governance Benchmark is a great way to identify gaps in your organization's current state of governance and get started on the right path with curated guidance.

Step 1. How to Define Your Cloud Strategy?

Microsoft 365 and Azure can help your organization achieve specific business outcomes. To develop a Cloud strategy that will engage stakeholders and achieve these outcomes, you need to consider motivations, business outcomes, business justification and identify the first project to start.

1.1. Find Motivations for Cloud Adoption 💡

Your Cloud strategy is more effective when you clearly understand why you're moving to the Cloud and engage stakeholders across your business to get buy-in for your plans. There are three key motivations for migrating to the Cloud: critical business events, migration motivations, and innovation motivations.

☑️ Critical business events are those that require a quick response, or they could have a major impact on your business. These could include:

• Data center exit
• Mergers, acquisitions or divestiture
• Reductions in capital expenses
• End of support for mission-critical technologies
• Regulatory compliance, data sovereignty requirements
• Reducing disruptions and improving IT stability

☑️ Migration motivations are often driven by cost savings or the need to improve scalability or performance. You may also be looking to retire legacy systems or take advantage of new features and functionality. These could include:

• Cost Savings
• R
eduction in vendors or technical complexity
• Optimization of internal operations
• Increase business agility
• Prepare for new technical capabilities
• Scale to meet market demands
• Scale to meet geographic demands

☑️ Innovation motivations are all about taking advantage of the agility and flexibility that the Cloud offers to enable new ways of working. You may want to experiment with new applications or services to adopt an innovative culture. These include:

• Preparing for new technical capabilities​
• Building new technical capabilities​
• Scaling to meet market demands​
• Scaling to meet geographic demands​
• Improving customer experiences/engagements​
• Transforming products or services​
• Disrupting the market with new products or services

1.2. Identify Business Outcomes 📝

To ensure your organization is deriving the most value from the Cloud strategy, it's important to define what you hope to achieve with the Cloud. This means engaging stakeholders across your organization to document desired outcomes in critical areas such as fiscal goals, agility, reach, customer engagement, performance, and security. By doing this, you can ensure your Cloud strategy is aligned with your business goals and that everyone is on the same page regarding implementation.

• Fiscal outcomes include increased revenue, savings in cost and driving profits
• Agility outcomes include time-to-market and provision time to respond to changes
• Reach outcomes include global access and data sovereignty
• Customer engagement outcomes include meeting customer expectations by reducing • cycle times
• Performance outcomes include having highly available, global applications
• Security & Compliance regulations addressed and implemented

1.3. Develop Business Justification 🛡️ 

When it comes to migrating to the Cloud, many myths and misconceptions are floating around. It is necessary to dispel some of the most common myths including:    

💰 Operating in the Cloud is more expensive: The biggest misconception about Cloud computing is that it's always more expensive than an on-premises solution. But this isn't necessarily true. A Cloud-based solution can be more cost-effective in many cases than an on-premises solution. With a Cloud-based solution, you only pay for what you use. You don't have to make a substantial up-front investment, and you don't have to pay for the electricity or the IT staff.

🕹️ I have less visibility and control over my Cloud resources: When you move to the Cloud, you entrust your data to a third-party provider. But that doesn’t mean you have to give up control of your data, and you can often have more visibility and control over your data in the Cloud than you do on-premises. With a Cloud-based solution, you can access your data from anywhere in the world with an Internet connection.

☁️ Everything should go into the Cloud: Some workloads are best suited for on-premises, such as those requiring high-performance computing or those subject to regulations that prohibit them from being stored in the Cloud. Before moving any workload to the Cloud, you need to evaluate whether it's a good fit for the Cloud. If it's not, then it's best to keep it on-premises.

🔎 Mirroring an on-premises environment will save money in the Cloud: When you mirror your on-premises environment in the Cloud, you often end up over-provisioning resources and paying for more than you need. Instead of replicating your on-premises environment, you should take advantage of the agility and scale of the Cloud to create a new, optimized environment designed specifically for the Cloud.

💳 Cloud is always cheaper: The biggest misconception about the Cloud is that it's always cheaper than an on-premises solution. But this isn't necessarily true, and the key to deciding which is more cost-effective is to do a cost analysis. This involves looking at each option's costs, including upfront costs, operating costs, and exit costs. Once you have all the costs, you can compare them and decide which option is more cost-effective.

🎛️ Moving to the Cloud is like flipping a switch: Another common misconception is that moving to the Cloud is as easy as flipping a switch. In fact, moving to the Cloud can be a complex and challenging process. When you move to the Cloud, you need to consider things like application compatibility, data migration, and security. And you need to have a plan for how you're going to manage and monitor your Cloud environment. If you don't have a plan, then you're likely to run into problems.

🔒 Public Cloud is not secure: One of the biggest concerns people have about the Cloud is security. But the truth is public Clouds are just as safe as private Clouds. In many cases, they're more secure because they benefit from economies of scale. When it comes to security, the key is to choose a reputable and experienced Cloud provider. And you need to make sure you have a plan for how you will secure your data in the Cloud.

1.4. Identify Your First Project 🎯

When it comes to Cloud adoption, there is no one-size-fits-all approach. Therefore, one of the crucial steps in the Microsoft Cloud Adoption Framework is to identify the right project to move to the Cloud. You can choose it by using clearly defined criteria and identified outcomes.

Some factors to consider when choosing your first project include:

📑 First Project Criteria:

Should align with your motivations for Cloud adoption ​
Should demonstrate progress towards a defined business outcome

📈 First Project Expectations:

A project is a source of learning.​
It might result in production deployments, but it will require additional effort first.​
The output of this project is a set of precise requirements to provide a longer-term production solution.

📝 First Project Examples ​for each motivation category:

Critical business events: use Azure Site Recovery as a disaster recovery tool, reducing dependencies on disaster recovery assets within the data center.​

Migration motivations: Start with a noncritical workload and use Azure setup guide and the Azure migration guide for guidance.​

Innovation motivations: Creating a targeted dev/test environment can be a great first project.

Step 2. Put Your Cloud Adoption Plan Together

The Microsoft Cloud Adoption Framework can help you turn your Cloud aspirations into actionable plans by rationalizing your digital estate, aligning your organization, and preparing your people, you can adopt the Cloud in a way that best meets your business needs.

2.1. Digital Estate Rationalization 🗃️

Cloud rationalization is the process of evaluating assets to determine the best approach to hosting them either in the public or hybrid Cloud.

Rationalizing your digital estate means assessing all your assets and determining which ones can be migrated to the Cloud. This can be done using an incremental approach or ‘Power of 10’ where the Cloud strategy team selects the first ten applications to be migrated, which are a mix of simple and complex workloads.

The output of a rationalization effort is a prioritized backlog of all assets affected by the chosen transformation, and you can use this backlog to create a migration plan.

When rationalizing your digital estate, it’s essential to consider the cost of migration. Use costing models from your chosen Cloud provider to forecast expenses for your prioritized backlog. For Azure, we have pricing tools like Azure Migrate, Azure pricing calculator and Azure cost management. Ensure that hybrid is incorporated into your costing models.

2.2. Initial Organization Alignment 🎛️

Implementing a Cloud adoption plan requires some initial alignment of different stakeholders who will make the plan a reality. The Microsoft Cloud Adoption Framework can help you get started by providing guidance on engaging stakeholders and building consensus around your Cloud adoption goals.

To get started, you'll need to align two key teams to successfully implement your Cloud adoption plan: the Cloud adoption team and the governance team. The Cloud adoption team is responsible for executing tasks related to Cloud adoption, while the governance team ensures that processes and controls are implemented. Both teams need to be aligned to create a balance between speed and control by having teams accountable for adoption and governance.

2.3. Skills Readiness Plan 📓

The Microsoft Cloud Adoption Framework can help you assess your readiness and create a learning plan to get your team up to speed. When it comes to skills readiness for migrating to the Microsoft Cloud, it's important to assess where your staff are today and identify any gaps. This will help you determine how best to prepare your team for a successful transition. There are a few key areas to focus on:

• Understanding the differences between on-premises and Cloud computing
• Learning about the unique features of Azure
• Familiarizing yourself with Microsoft 365 tools and applications. 
• You can ensure a smooth and successful transition to the Cloud by taking the time to • upskill your team.

2.4. Cloud Adoption Plan📝

When you translate your strategy and effort into an actionable Cloud adoption plan, you need to consider several steps including:

Prerequisites: Confirm that all prerequisite steps have been completed before you create your plan.​

Define and prioritize workloads: Prioritize your first ten workloads to establish an initial ​adoption backlog.​

Align assets: Identity which assets (proposed or existing) are required to support the ​prioritized workloads.​

Review rationalization: Review rationalization decisions to refine adoption-path decisions: migrate or innovate.​

Define iterations and releases: Iterations are the time blocks allocated to do work. Releases define the work before triggering a change to production processes.​

Estimate timelines: Establish rough timelines for release planning purposes, ​based on initial estimates.​

ProServeIT Azure Assessment & Roadmap 

Microsoft Azure solutions are industry agnostic, provide cost benefits for your organization, and allow you to build a unique Cloud strategy to achieve your short- and long-term objectives.  

If your organization is evaluating Cloud-based infrastructure, start with an Azure Assessment to uncover all dependencies within your current network, understand the cost of running Azure, and discover any potential security risks in your environment.   

Benefits of Azure Assessment & Roadmap 

🗺️ Visually map all the dependencies that exist between nodes and applications within your infrastructure. 

⚠️ Learn how your network communicates with itself and whether outside connections might pose a security threat.

💰 Achieve cost-efficiency. 

ProServeIT Academy: Azure Course

This Azure course is for the "Infrastructure" room of your Technology House. Infrastructure is what we would think of as "traditional IT." While its role in being strategic has been diminished, it doesn't mean it's not important. Microsoft Azure is definitely one of the best Cloud platforms for business. Explore Azure with Bill throughout this semester to evaluate it for your organization.

Bill Kastner, Azure Solutions Architect and ProServeIT Academy's Azure Course lecturer, gives all the information on Microsoft Azure and you can have a chance to ask questions during the classes. Learn more about ProServeIT Academy Azure Courses 2022-2023 here.

Please feel free to comment on this blog your questions and thoughts! We'd love to hear them!


Content from: ProServeIT Academy 2022 Azure Course 1 by Bill Kastner

Edited by: Betty Quon & Hyun-Jin Im

Published by ProServeIT October 7, 2022