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Microsoft Cloud Adoption Framework for Azure

Proven guidance from Microsoft 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 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 Cloud Adoption Framework best practices, organizations are better able to align their business and technical strategies to ensure success.

Achieve business goals

Get expert guidance as you plan and execute organizational and technical changes while mitigating risks.

Manage organizational changes

Find sustainable ways for your organization to embrace cloud technology.

Adopt technologies for business growth

Discover and learn to implement secure cloud technologies that scale to grow with your business.

Secure your environment

Capture risks, plan controls, set your security baseline, and operate safely with proven guidance.

Establish governance and optimize costs

Establish budgets, monitor cost allocation patterns, set policies, and implement controls to optimize your cloud spending and deployment.

The cloud adoption journey

There's no single cloud adoption path that works for every organization, but the main implementation stages of a secure methodology are similar for all organizations and industries: define your strategy, make a plan, ready your organization, 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 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 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 organization 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 organization 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 modernizing 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 organization’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.
  • Customized 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 a business team to establish well-managed cloud environments—with processes and tools to operate and manage resilient solutions.

Some of the key implementations include the following:


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


  • Identify critical business operations.
  • Map operations to services.
  • Analyze service 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.

Guide the development of your security program with a vision of the complete end state from the secure methodology. Use it to gain clarity on security processes, best practices, models, and experiences. The key components of the secure methodology include:

Risk insights

Integrate security insights into risk management framework and digital initiatives.

Business resilience

Ensure your organization remains operable during attacks and quickly regains full operational status.

Asset protection

Protect sensitive data and systems and continuously discover, classify, and secure assets.

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.

Assess your cloud environment

Begin the cloud adoption process by reviewing your Azure platform readiness. Assess your plan to create a landing zone that will host the workloads that you build in the cloud or migrate to it.

Conduct an Azure landing zone review

Build a strong, scalable foundation

Get help constructing and operating Azure landing zones at scale with a proven architectural approach and implementation guidance.

Deploy the Azure landing zone accelerator

Keep your cloud journey on track with assessments

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

The Cloud Adoption Strategy Evaluator will provide you with a framework to understand different areas needed when building your cloud strategy and business case, and guide you to actionable next steps.

Find the best apps and data modernization strategy for you. Accelerate time to market and deliver innovative customer experiences with an accurate assessment of your internal- and external-facing apps.

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

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

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

Maximize your cloud value with Azure enablement resources

Achieve your business goals and get ongoing value from the cloud by taking advantage of a comprehensive set of tools, programs, and resources.

Documentation and resources

Microsoft Learn

Build your employees' cloud skills with learning paths.

Learn more

FastTrack for Azure

Get help from Microsoft engineers.

Get started

Cloud Adoption Framework e-book

Learn the questions to ask in Building a Digital Operating Model with the Microsoft Cloud Adoption Framework for Azure.

Download now

Azure Migration and Modernization Program

Get help migrating and modernizing 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 organizations.

Learn more

Azure Well-Architected

Learn how to design and build well-architected cloud workloads.

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. Because 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 companywide decision, the Cloud Adoption Framework is designed for IT administrators, cloud architects, and business decision makers across your organizations.
  • There's no single cloud adoption journey: every organization 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 organization'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 organization. They provide recommendations based on your needs and let anyone in your organization 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.

Partner with an expert

Get expert help at every step of your cloud adoption process.

Accelerate your cloud adoption journey

Evaluate your business strategies and receive curated guidance from Microsoft Assessments.

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