Cloud migration journey

Plan your cloud migration strategy with a proven process and expert guidance

Assess your migration readiness

Get started on your cloud migration journey and understand your level of readiness with the Strategic Migration Assessment and Readiness Tool (SMART).

Answer a few questions and get a customized, migration readiness report that will help you plan and close gaps.

Start your assessment with SMART

Migrate efficiently—on your own terms

Move your servers, apps, databases, and other workloads to Azure using the migration approach that’s right for your business. There’s no single cloud migration process 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—then govern and manage your environment.

The Microsoft Cloud Adoption Framework for Azure is a proven approach that’s designed to help you through all stages of your project with confidence—from cloud assessment and migration planning to securing and optimizing your environment.

Explore the Cloud Adoption Framework

Get leadership buy-in

Ensure a successful migration with this important first step—executive sponsorship.

Define your cloud migration strategy drivers and get commitment from leadership to pursue your migration project.

Start with leadership buy-in to get the needed guidance on your organization’s unique needs in cloud migration, as well as support for allocating talent and initial budget resources, with the expectation that budgets can be refined later.

Watch a cloud migration planning video

Align your stakeholders

Coordinate your migration across multiple functions and get all your stakeholders aligned early. Include app owners affected by migration in early cloud migration planning exercises to reinforce the benefits of hosting their application on Azure.

Involve IT infrastructure groups, such as networking, security, and identity teams in your design and planning discussions.

Engage partner support

For expert help, work with a partner to plan and implement your migration projects while minimizing disruption to your business.

Engage partner support for help with automation, cloud services operations, and optimization—as well as guidance for migrating and modernizing specific scenarios and workloads. Get help choosing a migration partner

Start with leadership buy-in to get the needed guidance on your organization’s unique needs in cloud migration, as well as support for allocating talent and initial budget resources, with the expectation that budgets can be refined later.

Learn more about defining a cloud migration strategy

Discover and assess your environment

Reduce risks and ensure a smooth migration using Azure Migrate to compile an inventory of the servers and databases in your environment.

Assess your apps to identify dependencies between servers and include all the necessary app components in your cloud migration plan.

Take advantage of the centralized repository in Azure Migrate to get end-to-end visibility and tracking of your migration progress.

Make your business case

Evaluate the potential cost savings of migrating to Azure by calculating and comparing your total cost of ownership (TCO) for Azure with that of a comparable on-premises deployment.

Use the Azure TCO calculator to create a customized business case for migration to Azure.

Get estimates of storage and compute costs in Azure using Azure Migrate.

For even more value, right-size your migrated virtual machines (VMs) to your workloads—with offers such as the Azure Hybrid Benefit and Azure Reserved Virtual Machine Instances.

Plan and prioritize

Prioritize your workloads into migration waves based on their business impact and complexity.

Create your detailed plan of migration waves using this template—with milestones to help app owners and your cloud team to plan their involvement.

Learn more about cloud migration planning

Build technical skills and support readiness

Prepare your teams with the skills necessary to migrate workloads and operate them once in Azure.

Define your support needs, address any current gaps, and ensure that your business and IT employees are prepared for the changes and new technologies.

Discover free, self-paced learning from Microsoft Learn to empower your teams to build the skills they’ll need for migration.

Prepare your cloud environment

Set up a landing zone in the cloud for your new Azure workloads.

Watch the video

Use the cloud adoption framework migration blueprint to quickly set up a cloud environment.

Learn how to get your environment ready to migrate

Implement a pilot migration

Run a pilot migration wave to get your teams familiar with the migration tasks, including the use of Azure migration tools, testing, and cutover.

Use these migration scenario guides to assist you as you execute the steps of migrating VMs or databases.

Iterate through your migration waves

As your migration team gets more familiar with the approach, expect the project to accelerate as you institute repeatability.

Learn more about the cloud migration process

Establish governance practices

After you migrate your workloads to Azure, build and scale your applications quickly while maintaining control by implementing governance practices.

Learn more about cloud governance disciplines to help you achieve goals like policy compliance and cost control.

Benchmark and improve your governance

Start identifying your organization’s governance needs with the governance benchmark tool.

Find more cloud migration tools and recommendations in the governance section of the Microsoft Cloud Adoption Framework for Azure.

Get an overview of proven governance practices

Establish good operational practices

Avoid costly business disruptions and ensure that your apps run optimally by using the methodology for management to classify your migrated workloads by criticality and business value.

Optimize your cloud costs by using tools such as Azure Advisor and Azure Cost Management.

Enable a secure and resilient platform

Help protect workloads across your hybrid environments with intelligent security services.

Simplify your data protection strategy by setting up Azure Backup.

Gain full observability into your apps, infrastructure, and network with Azure Monitor.

Get an overview of cloud management with Microsoft

Azure Migration FAQ

Azure Migration Program

Accelerate your journey to the cloud with step-by-step guidance for migrating to Azure

Cloud migration checklist

Get a checklist that walks you through the steps to plan, assess, and begin your cloud migration journey