What is the Microsoft Azure Cloud Adoption Framework?
The Microsoft Cloud Adoption Framework (CAF) is a set of Azure guidelines and best practices designed by Microsoft Azure partners, solution architects, and customers. The CAF’s goal is to help organizations align technical and business strategies around Microsoft Azure to drive long-term, sustainable business outcomes.
Vetted by over 200 organizations and robustly supported by Microsoft, the CAF is something every Azure user needs to start using.
How it Works: The CAF Framework
The CAF consists of a curated set of tools and documentation that’s broken down into six stages that loosely correspond to the typical cloud journey. They are the strategy, plan, ready, adopt, govern, and manage stages. The six modules of the CAF help businesses map out their cloud journey into discrete stages, ensuring IT professionals, cloud architects, and decision-makers have a consistent framework in which to work and form expectations.
It’s important to note that, while the CAF is often explained as linear, the fact is that the six stages represent an iterative, cyclical process. It’s common for organizations to jump in and out of stages as they make progress in different areas or need to go back and address workloads in earlier stages.
Here’s an overview of each stage:
Strategy: This phase is all about the “why” behind your cloud adoption. What are the business and financial justifications behind your migration? What outcomes are you expecting?
Plan: The plan phase is where you map out your cloud adoption based on business goals, workload priorities, and your current digital estate (licenses, Azure services, state of your data, etc.). It’s at this stage where you’ll assign internal and partner team members to your strategy team.
Ready: Get prepared to head to the cloud! Processes, people, and your IT environment all need to be readied for the change. To accomplish this, we’ll use landing zones and replicable mechanisms to begin migrating the workloads you prioritized in the “Plan” phase.
Adopt: Whether you’re shifting existing workloads to Azure or looking to create something entirely new, this is the phase where implementation really begins. It’s here that you’ll start to see the outcomes you set as goals in the strategy phase come to fruition.
Govern: Based on your goals, industry, and current IT policies, we’ll define a cloud governance plan. The priority is to ensure adequate governance now, in a way that enables agility in the future when priorities, processes, and your cloud estate change.
Manage: Manage, monitor, and optimize your Azure environment to maximize your ROI and deliver on your expected outcomes. In the “Manage” phase, it’s all about building an operating model that consistently delivers excellence.
The Top 3 Benefits of CAF
There are many benefits to be gained from following the CAF, but here are our top 3:
1. Follow a battle-tested, well-supported framework: The CAF has already been used by over 200 organizations, many of which have provided Microsoft with significant feedback. Additionally, Microsoft has demonstrated their commitment to CAF, which means you can count on their support through the framework for years to come. This level of support is invaluable for anyone looking to maximize the value of their Azure investment.
2. Proactively manage cost and compliance: When migrating workloads to the cloud, it’s not uncommon for organizations to go too fast, too soon. This can lead to all sorts of problems with security, cost, and regulatory compliance. The CAF dramatically reduces this problem. This is due to the safeguards in place at each stage of the framework to ensure scope creep, cost, compliance and security are always attended to before moving onto the next phase – or next workload.
3. Better identify the end-to-end requirements for achieving technical and business goals: By breaking down the Azure journey into six components – all of which are heavily documented and supported by Microsoft – setting and hitting KPIs is a much more realistic process.
How to Begin Using CAF Today
To begin leveraging Azure CAF today, check out these resources:
• Understand where you are in the cloud journey with the Cloud Journey Tracker.
• Validate your governance gaps and determine what next steps to take with the Microsoft Cloud Adoption Framework Governance Benchmark.
But above all, give the team at Hanu a call. Our cloud migration framework is designed to fit perfectly with the Azure CAF. Contact the Azure Cloud experts at Hanu today. We’re happy to answer any questions you might have and get you started with Azure CAF.