The Microsoft Cloud Adoption Framework (CAF)

What is it?

The cloud adoption framework is a set of tools, documentation, best practice guides and other content which is designed to help organisations successfully adopt cloud technologies and processes.

What does it look like?

There isn’t a one-size fits all approach when is comes to following the CAF, but the following six stages would be common to most implementations:

  • Define Strategy
  • Plan
  • Ready
  • Adopt
  • Govern
  • Manage
Microsoft Cloud Adoption Framework

What happens during each of these stages is described in greater detail below:

  • Define Strategy – Understand the motivations behind wanting to adopt cloud technologies and identify the expected business outcomes.  Identify first cloud adoption project.
  • Plan – Map out the current digital estate, assess the skills gaps and covert the goals outlined in the strategy stage to an actionable plan.
  • Ready – Setup your cloud environment by deploying the first Azure Landing Zone and prepare for change based upon the agreed cloud adoption plan.
  • Adopt – This stage is divided into two parts migrate / innovate.  Migrate relates more to ‘lift-and-shift’ scenarios where virtual machines are replicated from the on-premises environment into the cloud.  This forms part of an iterative cycle where the workloads are assessed and migrated in batches.  Innovate refers to the modernisation of legacy solutions to take advantage of cloud native technology.
  • Govern – Existing IT policies are reviewed and governance processes are evolved in line with the adoption of the cloud workloads.
  • Manage – Manage, operate and monitor workloads.

Both the govern and manage stages happen in parallel to plan, ready and adopt.

Where do you start?

All the information on the Microsoft Cloud Adoption Framework can be found here. But the best place to start your journey to the cloud is by using the Strategic Migration Assessment and Readiness Tool (SMART). This assessment consists of 17 questions which cover topics such as: business strategy, partner support, technical skilling and governance.  After completing the assessment, you are given an overall score and a heatmap for each of the cloud migration topics. Separately to this, you can also view a set of recommendations on how to improve your score.

SMART Result Summary
SMART Recommendations

So, what are the next steps?

Why not take the SMART assessment today and get in touch with an Azure Expert MSP partner, like ourselves, who incidentally are only one of 72 companies globally to hold this accreditation, and start your journey to the cloud.

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