Microsoft Cloud Adoption Framework for Azure

Proven guidance from Microsoft to accelerate your cloud adoption journey

What is the Microsoft Cloud Adoption Framework for Azure?

The Microsoft Cloud Adoption Framework for Azure is proven guidance that’s designed to help you create and implement the business and technology strategies necessary for your organization 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 the Microsoft Cloud Adoption Framework for Azure best practices, organizations can better align their business and technical strategies to ensure success.

Realize your business objectives

Work with a partner or on your own to identify opportunities for your organization in the cloud and realize your objectives using cloud technology.

Prepare your organization for the cloud

Identify productive and sustainable ways to help your organization understand and embrace technology changes that will improve business outcomes. Also, prepare existing digital resources, as needed, for moving to the cloud.

Migrate to the cloud and optimize

Move your digital assets to the cloud and then optimize 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 organization, but the main implementation stages are similar for all organizations and industries: define your strategy, make a plan, ready your organization, and adopt the cloud.

define your strategy, make a plan, ready your organization, and adopt the cloud.

Understand motivations

There are many reasons and motivations for cloud adoption, and understanding them is key to developing an effective cloud adoption strategy.

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 prioritize.

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

Catalog all of 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 prioritizing 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 prepares for the changes and new technologies.

Prepare your cloud environment

Set up a landing zone in the cloud to deploy prioritized applications.

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


The migration motivation focuses on moving existing on-premises applications to the cloud based on an incremental process which assumes that your organization will start with an initial, limited-scope cloud migration effort. This effort later expands to move more workloads as you learn from the initial experience and improve your migration processes.


This motivation is focused on modernizing a 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 organization’s transformation journey, benchmark and track your governance state over time, and get recommendations for solving gaps with 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
  • Working directly with Microsoft through Microsoft FastTrack for Azure

Use the governance benchmark tool and share the analysis with your Microsoft account representative or a partner to learn more about governance solutions.

Identify business risks and define risk tolerances

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

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.

Drive business stability

Define the following three essential business stability requirements:

  • Criticality for defining the required level of operational support.
  • Impact for defining your performance expectations around your scalability, availability, and resiliency needs.
  • Commitment for establishing and tracking cost and performance.

Microsoft Learn

Build your employees’ cloud skills with learning paths.

Learn more

FastTrack for Azure

Get help from Microsoft engineers.

Get started

Azure Migration Center

Start your cloud migration journey.

Get started

Azure Migration Program

Get help migrating your workloads to the cloud.

Learn more

Learn more about the Microsoft Cloud Adoption Framework for Azure or find a partner to get started.