As cloud computing becomes pervasive, cloud adoption emerges as a critical imperative as well as the stepping stone for a successful digital transformation for businesses. However, like every other transformation endeavor, cloud adoption journey too demands meticulous planning and execution roadmap. If you rush into it without any proper planning, you are bound to miss your goal of achieving the desired business outcomes. In addition, unsuccessful cloud adoption can result in cost overruns, dysfunctional workflow processes, negative ROI on your cloud investments, and other major problems.
That's why business organizations require a well-thought-out roadmap and action plan to govern and accelerate their cloud journey. And that roadmap is called Cloud Adoption Framework or CAF.
What is Cloud Adoption Framework?
To put it in a nutshell, a cloud adoption framework is a bundle of documentation, tools, best practices, and guidance with proven outcomes designed to accelerate a successful cloud adoption journey and drive business value.
Such a framework is primarily designed taking into consideration the business perspective, governance perspective, platform perspective, security perspective, and perspectives of people, processes, operations, and other key business elements that will be directly or indirectly impacted by the move.
Why Do You Need a Framework for Your Cloud Adoption Journey?
“Companies that are unaware of the mistakes made in their cloud adoption will overspend by 20 to 50%.” ~ Gartner
For an enterprise, migrating to the cloud on its own can be an extremely cost-, time- and resource-intensive task, as a successful cloud migration is impossible without specialized skills and resources who possess the right amount of knowledge and experience in the chosen platform and environment. The 5 key challenges organizations face while planning their cloud transformation journey by themselves are:
- Lack of staff competency
- Lack of partners eligible to support organizations
- Lack of knowledge
- Organizational imbalance
- Procurement dilemmas
An adoption framework solves these challenges by providing:
- A strong base for cloud adoption
- A proven standardized approach
- Customizable documentation
- Best practices for vendors
3 Key Cloud Adoption Frameworks
Now, as we know what is a cloud adoption framework and why you need it, let us dig deeper into the three key frameworks from the 3 leading cloud service providers: AWS, Azure and Google Cloud Platform.
#1 AWS Cloud Adoption Framework (AWS CAF)
AWS CAF, designed by AWS professional services, offers comprehensive guidance coupled with best practices from AWS experience to help enterprises transform digitally and enhance their business outcomes through a roadmap that covers the entire IT lifecycle of an organization.
It does so by identifying and categorizing capabilities into six perspectives that are important to identify cloud readiness and drive a successful cloud transformation journey: Business, People, Governance, Platform, Security, and Operations.
The AWS Cloud Adoption Framework not only just help identify capabilities and evaluate business outcomes but also maps cloud adoption phases: Envision > Align > Launch > Realize Value
#2 Microsoft Cloud Adoption Framework for Azure
Microsoft CAF for Azure provides all-encompassing guidance for each phase of an enterprise cloud migration journey. The framework comes equipped with best practices, documentation, tools, and other insights to help the decision making leaders such as Chief Technology Officer, Chief Information Officer, Chief Information Security Officer, cloud portfolio managers, operations managers, and relevant stakeholders to achieve their business objectives.
Let's explore the eight crucial steps of a cloud adoption as defined by Microsoft Azure.
Strategy: The first step is to work in collaboration with relevant stakeholders to determine the business perspectives and financial motives for your cloud migration, identify the key assets for migration, and build technical as well as governance teams.
Plan: Based on step 1, create a plan to achieve the key objectives and outcomes. An asset inventory and complete asset analysis are key to determining the assets and building the teams. That can be done by rationalizing your digital estate, aligning your organization, and creating a skills readiness plan as well as DevOps cloud adoption plan.
Prepare: Ensure your operating model is aligned, your Azure landing zone conceptual architecture is in place with well-defined Azure landing zone design areas along with implementation options.
Migrate: Azure migration guide comes in handy in this step as it details several migration scenarios, offers the best practices, and provides inputs for process improvement.
Innovate: As you move forward in your migration journey, you will realize the need to modernize existing workloads to drive digital innovations.
Secure: This is an important phase that will help you understand the risks involved, build business resilience, and protect assets from known and unknown threats.
Manage: As you near the end of the migration journey, the business leaders will be tasked to manage the commitments, monitor the new cloud environment and cloud services, and optimize your hybrid or multi-cloud solutions.
Govern: As you migrate workloads to cloud, it’s time for certain frameworks, references, and tools to come to life, such as benchmark assessment, governance foundation, etc.
#3 Google Cloud Adoption Framework
Google Cloud Adoption Framework is one of the newest frameworks that focus on building a structure based on the three key pillars—people, processes, and technology. Besides providing an assessment of the organizational cloud journey as well as actionable programs to support and accelerate the journey, the Google Cloud Adoption Framework also helps organizations learn about the key capabilities and the four themes.
Lead: Top-down mandates, Bottom-up momentum, Cross-functional collaboration
Learn: Continuously Learn, Upskilling, Knowledge-sharing
Scale: Managed cloud services, Serverless cloud services
Secure: Access control, Resource planning, Data protection
Final Thoughts for a Successful Cloud Journey
Right now, different organizations are standing at different levels of cloud maturity. In addition, different businesses require different cloud strategy to meet their different key performance indicators. The pressing need to enhance customer experience or leverage the latest technologies such as artificial intelligence or machine learning also drive organizations' cloud adoption goals. Such complex journeys mandate the use of different adoption frameworks, which again require specialized skills. That's where a trusted Cloud Managed Services provider comes into the picture.
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