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As businesses increasingly migrate their operations to the cloud, the need for comprehensive assessments of IT environments is imperative. These assessments not only aid in understanding the existing infrastructure but also play a pivotal role in formulating strategic decisions that align with organizational goals. However, navigating the intricacies of an IT environment and determining the optimal cloud strategy can be a daunting task, fraught with challenges.

Recognizing these pain points, Microsoft offers a suite of tools and solutions designed to empower businesses in assessing their IT landscapes, facilitate informed decision-making, and ultimately enable a seamless modernization of their cloud strategy. Assessments are not a one-size-fits-all solution, and every company’s needs will be different. That’s why in this blog we’ll investigate the many assessments Microsoft offers and break down the rationale for pursuing each.

What assessments does Microsoft offer?

Microsoft Assessments

Helping customers get a curated guidance report that is actionable and informative.

The inherent complexities and the rapidly changing nature of technology can make it difficult for organizations to independently conduct thorough assessments, leading to potential oversights and suboptimal decision-making. Recognizing the diverse challenges faced by businesses in assessing their IT environments, we took a proactive approach in providing a suite of assessment options for any organization in need of a helping hand:

Self-Directed Assessments: Adopt, optimize, and combine Microsoft products and services using a self-guided, streamlined questionnaire experience that is designed to help you identify areas to improve with actionable recommendations. Jump to the Self-Directed Assessments section.

Customer Success Team Assessments: Customers with existing Microsoft Unified Support contracts can get expert help with a variety of assessments to make the most out of your Microsoft products and services. These assessments are designed to evaluate the customer’s current usage, identify opportunities for improvement, and provide recommendations to enhance your experience. Jump to the Customer Success Team Assessments section.

Azure Expert Assessment: Customers without a Microsoft Unified Support contract can now complete free assessments through this new Azure offering and collaborate with certified Azure Experts worldwide, all through an automated online portal. Jump to the Azure Expert Assessments section.

How does an assessment help my cloud modernization?

The type of assessment you decide to pursue depends on your objectives, timeline, and resources, but the benefits of conducting any assessment are many:

  • Clarity on current state: Conducting an assessment provides a clear understanding of your company’s IT environment, including infrastructure, applications, and workloads.
  • Identifying security vulnerabilities: Assessments help identify potential proactive measures to enhance data protection and privacy.
  • Application compatibility analysis: Evaluate the compatibility of existing applications with cloud environments, ensuring a seamless transition and optimal performance during migration.
  • Optimizing performance: Gain insights into the performance of servers, workloads, and other components, allowing for optimizations that enhance efficiency and resource utilization.
  • Cost optimization: Assessments can highlight opportunities for cost optimization by identifying redundant resources, underutilized assets, and potential areas for cloud resource consolidation.
  • Strategic decision-making: The information gathered from assessments serves as a foundation for strategic decision-making, enabling businesses to align their cloud strategy with overall organizational goals.
  • Risk mitigation: Identify and mitigate potential risks associated with cloud adoption, ensuring a smooth and secure transition without compromising data integrity or system stability.
  • Scalability planning: Assessments provide valuable insights into the scalability requirements of your IT environment, aiding in the development of plans that accommodate future growth and evolving business needs.

Self-Directed Assessments

Now that we’ve reviewed the many ways your company can benefit from assessing your IT environment, let’s take a deep dive into the types of assessments offered by Microsoft.

Our Self-Directed Assessments are designed to empower businesses of all sizes to gain a comprehensive understanding of their current IT infrastructure and identify areas for improvement. These free, online assessments can provide clarity on the existing state of your organization’s technology infrastructure. Whether it’s evaluating server workloads, identifying security vulnerabilities, or assessing application compatibility, these tools offer a detailed analysis that forms the foundation for strategic decision-making.

These assessments are particularly beneficial for businesses that:

  • Are new to cloud computing and seek to assess their readiness for cloud adoption.
  • Have existing cloud environments and strive to optimize performance and resource utilization.
  • Are considering migrating to Microsoft Azure and want to evaluate their compatibility.
  • Have specific concerns about security, compliance, or governance in their cloud environments.

Conducting a Self-Directed Assessment:

Thanks to a user-friendly interface and detailed guidance, running a self-guided assessment is a streamlined process. The first step involves navigating to the Microsoft Assessment page, where you’ll find an array of assessments related to Microsoft products and services, catering to different aspects of IT environments.

  1. Browse available assessments: The platform offers a diverse range of assessments, from Azure migration assessments to security and compliance evaluations. You can choose the assessments that align with your specific objectives and concerns.

Note: The following screenshots present steps for completing the Azure Well-Architected Review. Microsoft differentiates between the terms “assessment” and “review” in that a review is comprised of multiple assessments.

The Microsoft Assessments Portal​
  1. Access assessment tools: Our assessments are equipped with tools that facilitate data collection and analysis. These tools may include scripts, questionnaires, and diagnostic tools tailored to the focus of the assessment.
  2. Run the assessment: Following the provided instructions, run the assessments on your existing infrastructure. The tools will gather relevant data, providing insights into areas such as performance, security, and compliance.
From the Well-Architected Review: select the workload type that you’d like to assess​
  1. Review results and recommendations: Once the assessment is complete, you’ll receive detailed reports outlining the current state of your IT environment. These reports not only highlight existing strengths but also pinpoint areas that may require attention or optimization.
Report provided once the workload has been assessed​
  1. Formulate a strategic roadmap: Armed with the insights gained from the assessment, you can now formulate a strategic roadmap for your cloud journey. This may involve optimizing existing processes, addressing security concerns, or outlining a phased migration plan to Microsoft Azure.
Recommendations for a workload that has been assessed for security​

It’s good practice to engage key members of your IT team and business units to participate in the assessment process and allow ample time to complete the assessment thoroughly and thoughtfully.

Should you encounter any challenges or have questions, you can reach out to your certified Azure partner. They can offer guidance or even run the assessment for you. Browse the Assessments portal to determine to advance your projects, cloud skills, and general adoption of Azure

Customer Success Team Assessments

For complex, transformative journeys such as cloud migration or optimizing existing cloud infrastructure, having the expertise of a team well-versed in the nuances of Azure is akin to having a compass in uncharted waters. Imagine a dedicated cadre of Azure Experts meticulously examining your setup, identifying opportunities for improvement, and guiding you toward a more efficient and robust cloud environment.

An assessment from a Microsoft customer success team offers technical guidance on your cloud adoption or optimization, setting a foundation for reliable future Azure workloads. Over the course of multiple days, a customer success team can walk you through a personalized plan of action, adopting and implementing recommendations and addressing blockers. You’ll get practical implementation experience, learn from presentations and demonstrations, and participate in group discussions.

For more on how Microsoft can offer high-level guidance and best practices to help you maintain and improve secure, reliable, performant, cost-optimized, and operationally excellent Azure applications, contact your Customer Success Accounts Manager or Microsoft partner today.

Azure Expert Assessment

 If you are looking for hands-on support when you assess cloud migration and optimization scenarios and do not have a Unified contract, Azure recently launched a new, free offering to assist you. Azure Expert Assessment connects you with certified Azure Experts worldwide to expiate assessments with automated scheduling, tooling setup, and customized reports. Choose from a variety of assessment topics, including FinOps, Azure Well-Architected Framework Reviews, SQL server migration, and Windows server migration.

Through Azure Expert Assessment, you can request a personalized evaluation to guide your cloud adoption strategy in collaboration with certified Azure Experts. You’ll be paired with an expert who’s not only well-versed in scenarios similar to your business case, but adept in overall Azure practices to provide broader cloud consultation. We also designed automation throughout the assessment process, from the scheduling tool to data collection to personalized reports.

Claim your free assessment on the Azure Expert Assessment homepage. The process is simple:

  • Initiate an assessment in the online portal.
  • Complete a readiness checklist and provide calendar availability.
  • Collaborate with an assigned Azure Expert during a virtual session to set up Azure Migrate and other migration tools.
  • Collect and analyze data and prepare for your assessment report.
  • Upon completion, the expert will prepare and send a final report and schedule a final briefing call.
  • Receive vouchers for additional Azure offers upon marking the assessment complete.
A portal of available assessments for expert-led support.​
Steps that help to determine which expert led assessment you’d like to schedule and execute.​

Register for a free assessment today to claim your voucher and embark on your cloud journey with confidence. Get started here.

Skilling assessments from Microsoft Learn

Evaluations of existing IT infrastructure aren’t the only types of assessments Microsoft offers. Microsoft Learn is our comprehensive online learning platform that empowers individuals with the knowledge and skills needed to effectively use our solutions and tools. From Azure cloud to data science to AI, these free, interactive learning paths provide learners with a tangible gauge of their proficiency in specific Microsoft technologies and related domains.

Embarking on a journey to master Microsoft technologies is an exciting endeavor, and Microsoft Learn practice assessments stand out as invaluable tools on this learning path. These assessments are not just checkpoints; they are gateways to a deeper understanding, offering learners an opportunity to apply their knowledge in real-world scenarios. This not only boosts confidence but also reinforces the application of knowledge, ensuring that what is learned in theory seamlessly translates into practical, job-ready skills.

Additionally, the immediate feedback provided by these assessments serves as a personalized guide, pinpointing areas for improvement and guiding learners on their continuous learning journey. Moreover, Microsoft Learn practice assessments are a key component in the journey towards earning certifications. They align closely with the exam objectives, offering learners a chance to gauge their readiness and refine their skills in alignment with industry-recognized standards.

Explore our vast library of collections and learning paths, as well as optimization assessments.

Empower your cloud journey with our assessment tools

Microsoft’s assessments empower businesses to take control of their cloud journey, gain valuable insights into their IT environments, and make informed decisions that drive innovation and growth. By embracing these assessments, businesses can navigate the complexities of cloud adoption and optimize their IT infrastructures for success.

Ready to get started? Check out our library of Self-Directed Assessments, request a free assessment from Azure Experts, or contact your partner or sales team to begin a Customer Success Team Assessment today.

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