Microsoft Cloud Adoption Framework for Azure

The cloud presents a fundamental shift in the way that enterprises procure and utilize technology resources. In the past, enterprises assumed ownership and responsibility of all levels of technology from infrastructure to software. Now, the cloud offers the potential to transform the way enterprises utilize technology by provisioning and consuming resources as needed. While the cloud offers nearly unlimited flexibility in terms of design choices, enterprises seek proven and consistent methodology for the adoption of cloud technologies. The Cloud Adoption Framework (CAF) provides the desired framework to guide decisions throughout adoption.

However, adoption of the cloud is a means, it is not the end goal. Truly effective cloud adoption begins well before a cloud platform vendor is selected. Cloud adoption begins when decisions makers in IT and Business realize that the cloud can accelerate a specific business transformation objective. The Cloud Adoption Framework (CAF) aids in aligning strategies for business, culture, and technical change to empower the desired business outcomes. The Cloud Adoption Framework provides technical guidance related to Microsoft Azure. Respecting that customers may still be in the process of choosing a cloud vendor, this framework provides cloud agnostic guidance to facilitate higher level decisions, when possible.

Product Truths

CAF is currently offered as a Public Preview. The framework will reach general availability (GA), when the aspirational objectives above have been realized. In the current preview release of CAF, the primary focus is on Cloud Governance. CAF will be expanded frequently, as the team moves closer to GA release.


The content in CAF impacts 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 of these functions and personas uses different jargon. They each have different objectives and key performance indicators. It's impossible for a single set of content to interact with each of these audiences directly.

Enter the Cloud Architect: The Cloud Architect serves as the thought leader and facilitator to bring these audiences together. The content in this collection of guides is designed to help the Cloud Architect facilitate the right conversation, with the right audience, to drive necessary decisions. Business transformation that is empowered by the cloud is dependent upon the Cloud Architect role to help guide decisions throughout the business and IT.

Cloud Architect Specializations: Each section of CAF represents a different specialization or variant of the Cloud Architect role. Those sections also create opportunities to share the cloud architect load amongst a team of cloud architects. Example of a specialization: The Governance section of CAF is designed for Cloud Architects with a passion for mitigating technical risks. Many cloud providers refer to these specialists as Cloud Custodians, we prefer Cloud Guardian or collectively Cloud Governance Team.

How to use the Microsoft Cloud Adoption Framework for Azure

If your enterprise is new to Azure, begin with the overview in the getting started section. This document includes prescriptive guidance for your enterprise's digital transformation, walking through each step of the process.

If your enterprise has experience in Azure and is seeking more in-depth guidance and best practices for specific areas, there are sections for governance and Decision Guides. Additional sections will be made available, as the GA release approaches.