Microsoft Cloud Adoption Framework for Azure

The Microsoft Cloud Adoption Framework for Azure is the One Microsoft voice for cloud adoption, consolidating and sharing best practices from Microsoft employees, partners, and customers. This framework provides customers with tools, guidance, and narratives that help shape technology, business, and people strategies for driving desired business outcomes during each adoption effort. This lifecycle "product" aligns guidance to various phases and iterations of the typical cloud adoption lifecycle, ensuring easy access to the right guidance at the right time.

Cloud Adoption Framework overview

Getting started: Executive summaries

For customers who are new to the Cloud Adoption Framework, three introductory articles are provided: Migrate, Innovate, and Enable. Each article provides an executive summary and a high-level journey through the customer's adoption lifecycle. For more specifically aligned guidance, see the sections aligned to various phases of the adoption lifecycle below.

Cloud Adoption Framework throughout the adoption lifecycle

Each section of the Cloud Adoption Framework maps to the image above. The following list helps readers align to the section of the Cloud Adoption Framework that best matches the reader's current stage of the cloud adoption lifecycle.

Product roadmap

The Cloud Adoption Framework is currently offered as a public preview. The framework will reach general availability (GA) when the aspirational intent below has been met in full. In this preview release, the primary areas of focus are:

The Cloud Adoption Framework will be expanded frequently as it moves closer to general availability. This expansion will include additional depth in each section as well as new sections of content. For more information, see the Cloud Adoption Framework roadmap.


The cloud fundamentally changes how enterprises procure and use technology resources. Traditionally, enterprises assumed ownership and responsibility of all aspects of technology from infrastructure to software. The cloud allows enterprises to provision and consume resources only when needed. While the cloud offers tremendous flexibility in design choices, enterprises need a proven and consistent methodology for adopting cloud technologies. The Microsoft Cloud Adoption Framework for Azure meets that need, helping guide decisions throughout cloud adoption.

However, cloud adoption is a means to an end. Successful cloud adoption starts well before a cloud platform vendor is selected. It begins when business and IT decision makers realize that the cloud can accelerate a specific business transformation objective. The Cloud Adoption Framework helps align strategies for business, culture, and technical change to achieve the desired business outcomes.

The Cloud Adoption Framework provides technical guidance for Microsoft Azure. Because customers may still be in the process of choosing a cloud vendor, this framework provides cloud-agnostic guidance for higher-level decisions whenever possible.

Intended audience

This guidance affects the business, technology, and culture of enterprises. The roles affected include line-of-business leaders, business decision makers, IT decision makers, finance, enterprise administrators, IT operations, IT security and compliance, IT governance, workload development owners, and workload operations owners. Each role uses different jargon. They each have different objectives and key performance indicators. A single set of content cannot address each of these audiences effectively.

Enter the Cloud Architect. The Cloud Architect serves as the thought leader and facilitator to bring these audiences together. This collection of guides is designed to help the Cloud Architect facilitate the right conversations with the right audiences to drive required decisions. Business transformation empowered by the cloud depends on the Cloud Architect role to help guide decisions throughout the business and IT.

Each section of the Cloud Adoption Framework represents a different specialization or variant of the Cloud Architect role. These sections also create opportunities to share cloud architecture responsibilities across a team of cloud architects. For example, the governance section is designed for cloud architects with a passion for mitigating technical risks. Some cloud providers refer to these specialists as cloud custodians; we prefer the term cloud guardian, or collectively, the Cloud Governance team.

How to use the Microsoft Cloud Adoption Framework for Azure

If your enterprise is new to Azure, begin by reading Getting started with the Cloud Adoption Framework. This overview provides prescriptive guidance for your enterprise's digital transformation, walking you through each step of the process.

If your enterprise has experience with Azure and is seeking more detailed guidance or best practices for specific areas, review the governance overview and the architectural decision guides. More sections will be added as the general availability release approaches.