Cloud Adoption Framework: the Key to Successful Cloud Migration

Microsoft has drawn up the Cloud Adoption Framework for Azure, which provides guidelines to help you succeed in migrating to the Cloud.

Published: 23 January 2020

Microsoft has drawn up the Cloud Adoption Framework for Azure, which provides guidelines to help you succeed in migrating to the Cloud. Although there’s no single path that can be applied to every organization, the main implementation phases are the same for all organizations. We’ll explain these phases in more detail below.


1. Define Your Strategy

First of all, you need to be clear about why you want to migrate to the Cloud. What are your main motivations? Is there a critical business event forcing you to switch, such as a data center exit or regulatory compliance changes? Do you want to save costs or be able to respond more quickly to market demands? Or do you want to explore new technical capabilities? Classifying your motivations will help you develop the most effective strategy.


In addition to the motivations, you want to have a clear view of the company's objectives. Based on these objectives, you can justify which results have the highest priority. After, you make a financial model to establish the business outcomes of the Cloud migration.


2. Make a Plan

To make a plan, you use the 5 Rs of Cloud Rationalization as defined by Gartner: Rehost, Refactor, Rearchitect, Rebuild, and Replace. How? You record all your workloads, applications, data sources, and VMs, and decide how best to host each asset in the Cloud.


You establish the migration plan by assigning priorities to these workloads based on the impact on the company and the technical complexity. This results in a sequence of workloads that will transfer you individually to the Cloud in the best possible way.


3. Ready Your Organization

The third step is to prepare your organization for the digital transformation. It is advisable to set up a Cloud Strategy Team with team leaders from IT, finance, and other areas, as well as development teams. Together, you can prepare your employees for future changes and new technologies.


The Cloud Strategy Team has the knowledge and skills to make choices regarding hosting, role-based access, cost management, governance, compliance, and security of the environment.


In this phase, you also create landing zones to host the workloads you want to build in the Cloud or migrate to the Cloud. These landing zones are made on the basis of the above choices.


4. Migration to Cloud

Finally, it’s time to migrate your digital assets to the Cloud. At its core, a migration consists of four simple phases: assess, migrate, optimize, and secure and manage.


Assess: You evaluate an existing asset and make a plan for migrating it.

Migrate: You replicate the functionalities of an asset in the Cloud.

Optimize: You balance the costs, performance, and access of the asset.

Secure and manage: You make sure that the asset is ready for ongoing activities.


You go through these four phases for each asset you defined in step 2.

If you’d like to know more about Microsoft’s Cloud Adoption Framework, feel free to contact us. We’d be happy to tell you more about the above phases and how we help your organization succeed in migrating.