• 6 min read

Designing your cloud strategy to maximize value on Azure

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to be challenging to adjust your business strategies to maintain productive operations and processes. You need new ways to increase efficiencies, optimize costs, and adopt new technologies at a faster rate. Your digital transformation is more critical than ever, in these trying times.

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to be challenging to adjust your business strategies to maintain productive operations and processes. You need new ways to increase efficiencies, optimize costs, and adopt new technologies at a faster rate. Your digital transformation is more critical than ever in these trying times.

Microsoft stands with you, our customers, moving quickly to adapt to the ongoing pace of global change. We believe technology will enable your success and allow you to adapt to and meet these challenges. Our goal is to provide a clear path for you to achieve benefits from the cloud, meeting your distinct business, security, and cost management requirements. We continue to invest in customer-proven, comprehensive guidance and learning resources, enabling you to successfully adopt Microsoft Azure and create ongoing cloud value across your organization.

At Microsoft Ignite, we are focused on three areas to help you:

  1. Successfully achieve more value from the cloud.
  2. Adapt your cloud journey to meet your needs.
  3. Build expertise to confidently use Azure.

Successfully achieve more value from the cloud

Microsoft’s technical guidance is based on industry best practices and the successful cloud adoption experiences of our customers and you can use this proven guidance to enable your entire organization to achieve cloud value. Onboard stakeholders, prove your organization’s cloud value, and reach your business goals with resources to guide your cloud journey—develop and deploy well-architected workloads and execute the operations of your company’s cloud adoption strategy.

  • Plan your cloud journey with a clear path forward using the cross-team, organization-wide “people, process, and technology” approach of the Microsoft Cloud Adoption Framework for Azure. This technical guidance and industry best practices offers business process-centric templates, assessments, and customer-tested documentation across your cloud adoption journey.
  • Configure and optimize your Azure environment for scale, security, governance, networking, and identity to enable application migrations and greenfield development with Azure landing zones. Modular Azure landing zones are based on common cloud design areas—enabling you to establish guardrails and policies for your environment’s compliant security and governance.
  • Deploy and optimize your workloads and implement best practices across your entire cloud estate. The newly released Microsoft Azure Well-Architected Framework provides technical guidance specifically at the workload level across five pillars; cost optimization, security, reliability, performance efficiency and operational excellence. You can use Azure Advisor to evaluate resources deployed on Azure, offering you personalized, actionable guidance to continually optimize your Azure resources. And starting at Microsoft Ignite, Azure Advisor is previewing Advisor score where you will be able to understand and improve your current optimization posture according to Azure best practices with a prioritized list of the most impactful recommendations for your deployments, and report on your optimization progress over time.
  • Manage costs and unlock your cloud value while making use of cloud tools like Azure Cost Management + Billing that analyzes, manages, and optimizes your cloud spend. We recently announced that you can now manage and analyze both your Azure and AWS spend from a single location with the Azure Cost Management + Billing connector for AWS. You can also enjoy favorable licensing terms and save with Azure Hybrid Benefit, Azure Spot Virtual Machines and Azure Dev/Test pricing or pay in advance to receive deep discounts with Azure Reservations. Also new in preview, Azure Hybrid Benefit features are now being extended to Red Hat and SUSE Linux customers, for easier cloud migration, more integrated Azure user experience, and greater Linux subscription portability.
  • Adopt agile software development methods and securely ship code, faster. With remote work being the norm in many countries, you must change how you support developers with processes to increase productivity. Developers write code, keep systems running, and deliver continuous value to customers. Your teams can collaborate openly, implementing Azure DevOps across your organization, using GitHub, with the Microsoft Cloud Adoption Framework for Azure, and the Microsoft Azure Well-Architected Framework. Azure services are a key part of Microsoft’s support for building resilience in your development teams and our commitment to keeping you up to date extends through our entire DevOps product line which includes the imminent availability Azure DevOps Server 2020.

Adapt your cloud journey to meet your needs.

Every organization has unique business challenges during the journey to cloud adoption. You may lack the necessary expertise needed to accelerate digital transformation, or you might encounter difficulties along the way. Microsoft Partners and programs provide access to a variety of resources and Azure technical expertise to meet your unique business, industry, and security requirements. Together, we will enable you to adopt the cloud at your pace—tailored to your needs.

  • Accelerate with Azure advanced specialized partners and Azure expert managed service providers who offer expert technical assistance, advice, and support to enable success on Azure. You can find partners with expertise in all phases of the cloud adoption lifecycle, that follow the Microsoft Cloud Adoption Framework for Azure to accelerate your cloud journey.
  • Get technical assistance with the Azure Migration Program for proactive guidance and expert help at each stage of the journey to successfully migrate infrastructure, databases, and application workloads with confidence. You can access free migration tools, step-by-step technical guidance, training, and help in finding a migration partner.
  • Move efficiently with FastTrack for Azure (for qualifying projects) for rapid, effective design and deployment of cloud solutions, with tailored guidance from Azure engineers, proven best practices, and architectural guidance.
  • Rely on Microsoft Consulting Services to help you adopt technology solutions across digital strategy, data insight, sales, and more. You can count on Microsoft expertise to guide your digital transformation. We will be with you—every step of the way.
  • Work with Microsoft account teams and Azure technical specialists to guide and support your cloud journey—from strategy, planning, solution design and readiness, to execution.

Build Azure expertise to confidently use Azure

Workforce skilling and technical knowledge building are critical factors for a successful cloud adoption effort, according to the World Economic Forum.1

Studies demonstrate that “more than half (54 percent) of all employees will require significant reskilling by 2022.


According to Gartner, “even before there was a coronavirus pandemic, boards ranked digital/technology disruption as their top business priority for 2020—followed by obtaining the talent needed to execute tech transformation.”2 In the current COVID-19 crisis, your digital transformation is no longer an initiative, but a business imperative—along with aligning skilling to drive your modernization effort: 


COVID-19 has escalated digital initiatives into digital imperatives, creating urgent pressure on HR leaders to work with their CEO, CFO and CIO to rethink skills needs as business models change at light speed.


With increased remote work and learning unfolding across the globe during the COVID-19 crisis, we continue to invest in Microsoft’s learning platforms, meeting your demand for digital literacies now, and the pace of future digital technology needs.

At Microsoft, we are moving in-person training to virtual instructor-led training, delivering a variety of free digital learning experiences. We want to enable everyone to have the right skills and expertise to successfully use Azure, with confidence.

  • Continuously build your skills on Microsoft Learn with free, on-demand, self-paced learning paths, to skill up at any level, and certify your skills. Get hands-on experience in a sandbox environment and watch original live and pre-recorded technical content from Microsoft and the Learn TV community. Begin your cloud journey with the Cloud Adoption Framework for Azure learning path and learn how to build great solutions with the Azure Well-Architected Framework learning path.
  • Attend free Azure Virtual Training Days to learn from Microsoft experts in an instructor-led one-day virtual event, with presentations, demonstrations, discussions, and hands-on workshops and explore the full Microsoft event catalogue.
  • Engage with Microsoft learning partners for training solutions to suit your learning needs—blended learning, in-person, and online learning to prepare for certification. At Microsoft Ignite, we are announcing in preview an easier way to schedule instructor-led training with our trusted Learning Partners. On Microsoft Learn, search for courses by location and time, filter for virtual deliveries, and complete the scheduling process with an integrated checkout process directly on the partner website.
  • Validate your skills with Microsoft Certifications and demonstrate your achievements with industry-recognized Microsoft certifications.

Working with our partners, we are ensuring, together, that you and people across the globe can reach their learning goals, and become certified in Microsoft technologies, while staying safe at home. Learn more about our updated guidelines for Microsoft Training and Certification.

You can find more information and comprehensive technical resources to support all these initiatives to enable you with a clear path forward to successfully achieve more cloud value with Azure.


World Economic Forum: The Future of Jobs Report, 2018

Lack of Skills Threatens Digital Transformation, Lack of Skills Threatens Digital Transformation, July 2020

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