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Microsoft Cloud Adoption Framework for Azure

Proven guidance to accelerate your cloud adoption journey

What is the Cloud Adoption Framework?

The Cloud Adoption Framework is proven guidance that’s designed to help you create and implement the business and technology strategies necessary for your organisation to succeed in the cloud. It provides best practices, documentation and tools that cloud architects, IT professionals and business decision makers need to successfully achieve their short- and long-term objectives.

By using Cloud Adoption Framework best practices, organisations are better able to align their business and technical strategies to ensure success.

Realise your business objectives

Identify opportunities for your organisation in the cloud and realise your objectives using cloud technology.

Prepare your organisation for the cloud

Identify productive and sustainable ways to help your organisation understand and embrace technology changes that will improve business outcomes.

Migrate to the cloud and optimise

Move your digital assets to the cloud and then optimise them – and your operational processes – for excellence with innovative cloud-based technologies.

The cloud adoption journey

There’s no single cloud adoption path that works for every organisation, but the main implementation stages are similar for all organisations and industries: define your strategy, make a plan, ready your organisation, adopt the cloud, and govern and manage your digital estate.

Understand motivations

Understand cloud economics and get the financial and technical tips to help develop your cloud strategy and build your business case.

Identify desired business outcomes

Establish clear business outcomes that align with your motivations. Use this template to align stakeholders and decision makers on deciding which outcomes to prioritise.

Define your business justification

Define your business case and create a financial model to project the business impact of your cloud adoption strategy.

Take inventory of your digital estate

Catalogue all your workloads, applications, data sources, virtual machines and other IT assets and evaluate them to determine the best way to host them in the cloud.

Create a cloud adoption plan

Create your cloud adoption plan by prioritising your workloads based on their business impact and technical complexity.

Define skills and support readiness

Create and implement a skills readiness plan to define support needs, address current gaps, and ensure that your business and IT employees are prepared for the changes and new technologies.

Prepare your cloud environment

Learn how to construct your Azure landing zones with two possible paths: use enterprise-scale, or start small and expand.

Find the tools you need to set up your cloud environment in the Azure setup guide.

Every organisation has unique reasons for adopting the cloud, but there are two main motivations:


This motivation focuses on moving existing on-premises applications to the cloud based on an incremental process. This assumes that your organisation starts with an initial, limited-scope cloud migration effort, before later expanding to move more workloads as you learn from the initial experience and improve your migration processes.


This motivation focuses on modernising your digital estate to drive business and product innovation. Modern approaches to infrastructure deployment, operations and governance are rapidly bridging the gaps between development and operations.

Benchmark and improve your governance

Identify gaps in your organisation’s transformation journey, benchmark and track your governance state over time, and get recommendations for resolving gaps using the governance benchmark tool. Depending on your needs, specific recommendations may include:

  • Relevant documentation for your use case.
  • Skill building courses and learning paths on Microsoft Learn.
  • Partner solutions.
  • Customised guidance from Azure engineering through Microsoft FastTrack for Azure.

Share the analysis with your Microsoft account representative or a partner to learn more about governance solutions.

Establish governance practices

Implement a governance MVP (minimally viable product) to establish initial governance practices based on the cloud governance disciplines of cost management, security baseline, resource consistency, identity baseline and deployment automation.

Identify business risks and define risk tolerances

Identify business risks and your risk tolerance, and mitigate those risks with governance and compliance policies. Implement recurring governance processes to monitor policy adherence.

When you use the Cloud Adoption Framework methodology for management, all workloads are classified by criticality and business value, measured through an impact analysis, which calculates the lost value associated with performance degradation or business interruptions. Using that tangible revenue impact, your cloud operations teams work with business team to establish well-managed cloud environments – with processes and tools to operate and manage resilient solutions.

Some of the key implementation include the following:


  • Enable data collection.
  • Identify operations baseline.
  • Generate alerts.
  • Measure service metrics and generate SLAs.


  • Identify critical operations for business operations.
  • Map operations to services.
  • Analyse services dependencies.
  • Create high-level views for service dashboards.


  • Enable a resilient platform.
  • Balance your resiliency investment for the right level of protection.
  • Recover from failures with minimal downtime and minimum data loss.
  • Evolve to a highly available platform.

Guidance and tools to help you get started

Build your cloud environment with Azure landing zones

Address the deployment and operations needs of your cloud portfolio through scalable, modular implementation options to build out your cloud environment.


An architecture approach and reference implementation that helps you effectively construct and operationalise Azure landing zones at scale.

Start with enterprise-scale

Start small before expanding

Begin by implementing a smaller landing zone. As adoption grows, add governance, operations and management modules to your landing zones.

Start small and expand

Keep your cloud journey on track with assessments

Discover tools and personalised recommendations to help you explore cloud adoption, define your strategy and remove blockers.

Navigate quickly to relevant content in the Cloud Adoption Framework

Identify your cloud adoption needs with an assessment in this cloud journey tracker tool – and find recommendations for your unique cloud journey.

Track your cloud journey

Assess your migration readiness

Use the Strategic Migration Assessment and Readiness Tool to understand your organisation’s preparedness to implement a cloud migration solution at scale.

Get ready for migration

Define your governance baseline

Use this assessment to help you identify gaps in your organisation’s current state of governance. Get a personalised benchmark report and curated guidance on how to get started.

Set up the governance benchmark

Evaluate your workloads with best practices

Use the Microsoft Azure Well-Architected Framework to examine your workloads through the lenses of reliability, cost optimisation, performance efficiency, security and operations excellence.

Assess your workload architecture

Partners are a critical part of your cloud adoption journey

Find a partner to help you at every step of your cloud adoption process.

Documentation and resources

Microsoft Learn

Build your employees’ cloud skills with learning paths.

Learn more

FastTrack for Azure

Get help from Microsoft engineers.

Getting started

Azure Migration and Modernization Center

Start your cloud migration journey.

Getting started

Azure Migration and Modernisation Programme

Get help migrating and modernising your workloads with a proven end-to-end approach.

Learn more

Cloud economics

Check out key financial and technical guidance for cloud migration from Azure experts and best practices from top organisations.

Learn more

Azure customer enablement

Get the most out of Azure with proven tools, guidance and resources.

Learn more

FAQ about Microsoft Cloud Adoption Framework for Azure

  • Although the cloud isn’t new, the Microsoft Cloud Adoption Framework for Azure creates new business management and technology opportunities. The Cloud Adoption Framework provides tools and guidance for implementing not only cloud technologies, but also business, people and process changes, to adopt Azure with confidence and control. As it’s based on best practices and successful customer and partner experiences, the framework is updated regularly.

  • The Cloud Adoption Framework is available worldwide.
  • Because cloud adoption is a company-wide decision, the Cloud Adoption Framework is designed for IT administrators, cloud architects and business decision-makers across your organisations.
  • There’s no single cloud adoption journey: every organisation defines its own path. However, there are several common steps in those journeys, and the Cloud Adoption Framework covers them modularly so you can start wherever you are in your journey. Take the Cloud Journey Tracker assessment to identify your organisation’s cloud adoption path, or find a partner to help you get started.

  • Assessments let you quickly identify the best approach to cloud adoption for your organisation. They provide recommendations based on your needs and let anyone in your organisation review them at their convenience. In addition to pinpointing your cloud adoption needs, these assessments help you define your governance benchmark and evaluate your workloads.

Accelerate your cloud adoption journey

Getting started