Cloud adoption is becoming a crucial step to achieving digital transformation, due to the many business advantages offered by cloud computing. However, like any major change, a cloud migration must be handled carefully. If you rush into cloud adoption without the proper preparation, you could find yourself dealing with cost overages, security issues, broken workflow processes, and other major problems. This is why many businesses are using a cloud adoption framework to ensure the success of their cloud migrations.
What is a Cloud Adoption Framework?
A cloud adoption framework is a set of tools and guidance for the technological aspects of a cloud migration, as well as advice and requirements for the processes, people, and business elements involved in the move.
A cloud adoption framework helps you create and execute a cloud migration plan in iterative steps while avoiding common pitfalls and obstacles. They’re offered by big public cloud providers to help you successfully migrate to their specific platform. Let’s look at the three biggest cloud adoption frameworks—Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud—before discussing the benefits of using a cloud adoption framework versus migrating on your own.
Amazon Web Services (AWS) Cloud Adoption Framework
The AWS cloud adoption framework breaks down a cloud migration into two broad categories—business capabilities and technical capabilities. All of the requirements and steps involved in migrating to AWS fall under these two umbrellas:
|Business||Early in the process, you must involve all stakeholders to form a cloud adoption strategy and align your cloud migration with business needs.||Platform||Many aspects of your existing architecture, storage, and databases will need to be moved to your cloud provider’s resources or a hosted service like RDS. You should create templates so you can automate and repeat the same processes over and over again to migrate applications to the cloud.|
|People||You must assemble suitable teams for your cloud migration, and determine what training and skills will be required for that team to succeed.||Security||You must understand your security requirements under the shared responsibility model. You need to plan for identity and access management, monitoring, data protection and privacy, and incidence response for both your security team and the cloud provider.|
|Portfolio Management||You need to determine what needs are driving your cloud migration, and what portfolio features should be developed to support your cloud adoption.|
|Program and Project Management||AWS urges you to rethink your development methodology and move towards an agile development cycle to support the need for rapid development in the cloud.||Operations||You must consider the current status of your operations, and determine what steps are necessary to transition to the cloud.|
Microsoft Azure Cloud Adoption Framework
The Microsoft Azure cloud adoption framework breaks up their cloud migration process into eight steps.
- Step 1: Strategy – Work with stakeholders to determine the business and financial motives for migrating to the cloud, as well as your expected outcomes.
- Step 2: Plan – Based on your strategy, develop a plan to achieve your expected outcomes. You’ll need to inventory and analyze your assets to determine which should be moved to the cloud, as well as select your technical and governance teams.
- Step 3: Ready – Next, you will prepare for your cloud migration. You’ll need to adapt your processes, people, and IT environment to ensure they’re ready for cloud adoption.
- Step 4: Migrate – Now, you’ll migrate workloads to the cloud in an iterative manner, using Azure tools and best practices.
- Step 5: Innovate – As you move through your migration, you’ll likely find that some workloads need to be adapted to function properly, or may need to remain partially or fully on-premises.
- Step 6: Adopt – Workloads are now functioning in the cloud and you’ll start to see some of the outcomes-adoption-framework/reference/tooes from the strategy phase come to life.
- Step 7: Govern – You’ll need to develop a governance plan based on your goals, industry standards, and any laws or regulations your cloud systems are subject to.
- Step 8: Manage – During the last phase of Azure cloud adoption, you’ll manage, monitor, and optimize your cloud systems.
Google Cloud Adoption Framework
The Google cloud adoption framework is built around four themes that define the foundation of cloud readiness, and three phases that determine a level of readiness within each of those themes.
The four themes of cloud readiness are:
|You need to determine the state of your organization’s cloud readiness in terms of your teams’ skills, knowledge, and abilities. You may need to invest in additional training, or bring in outside experts to bridge the experience gaps.||Your cloud adoption teams need the full support of leadership. Teams also need to be cross-functional and work collaboratively to achieve goals.|
|Your ability to scale in the cloud will be determined by the extent to which you already use cloud native services.||You need to assess your ability to protect your cloud services from intrusion and determine your overall security strategy.|
In the Google cloud adoption framework, you’ll evaluate each of these themes in terms of three readiness phases:
- Tactical – You have individual systems ready to be migrated to the cloud, but no consistent strategy for overall cloud adoption.
- Strategic – You have a broader strategy for cloud adoption that is focused on future needs and scalability.
- Transformational – Your cloud operations are running smoothly and you’re focused on optimization and improvement.
The Benefits of a Cloud Adoption Framework vs. Migrating on Your Own
Now that you’ve seen how three of the biggest cloud providers structure their adoption frameworks, you’ll understand why they’re so beneficial. A cloud adoption framework takes a lot of the guesswork out of migrations, so even teams without specialized experience in your chosen cloud environment can successfully execute a cloud migration and continue managing and optimizing cloud workloads in the future.
The documentation and guidance provided in a cloud adoption framework is both abstract enough to be applicable to almost everyone, and practical enough to be used in an operational setting. Using a cloud adoption framework, your migration process will be supported by your public cloud provider’s best practices, and all of the key steps and processes are clearly defined in detailed documentation. Plus, a cloud adoption framework is a great way to align the technical changes involved in a cloud migration with the business goals for the project.
A cloud adoption framework provides a robust and flexible model for you to develop migration strategies and mechanisms that support your business goals.