How Is Cloudreach Working With Microsoft Azure To Enable Successful Cloud Adoption?

In this post, Jeff DeVerter explains how Microsoft’s Cloud Adoption Framework has helped several Cloudreach customers reap the rewards of Azure.

No one ever said that the move to the public cloud was easy - at least - no one who has ever actually tried it! My experience, over the past 15 years, of helping companies move both workloads and data centers to either private or public clouds has taught me this: most companies are ill-prepared for the transition.  

Cloudreach has been collaborating closely with Microsoft to align its Azure adoption offerings to the Microsoft Cloud Adoption Framework for Azure and we’ve seen some amazing results in the success of customers migrating to the platform.

Why Do Some Cloud Migrations Fail?

There are many reasons why some organizations aren’t prepared to make a move to the public cloud but the most impacting of all is the mindset that moving to the public cloud is just a “real estate change”.  This means that they view this change as they would moving from one data center to another or even the type of technology change that they might experience moving from one version of virtualization to another.   But once the team gets up to speed with the capabilities of the cloud, and the reality of the almost unlimited capability, the potential starts to seep into their consciousness and that’s where technical inertia sets in.

Inertia is defined as “a tendency to do nothing or to remain unchanged”.  By extension, technical inertia is when a company, for various reasons, decide to remain as they are.  The main reasons for this technical inertia are:

  • They don’t know how to even begin
  • They don’t understand what their workloads will look like when moved to the cloud
  • They don’t know if they should transform their workloads to cloud-based technologies rather than just virtual machines
  • They are uncertain how to manage cloud workloads
  • They don’t understand how to govern these and future workloads
  • They are uncertain about what it’s going to cost

Framework or Prescription?

For the past 10 years, Cloudreach specifically has been helping customers move from their own data centers into the public cloud. Along the way, we have worked to create a framework by which we can help customers answer and plan for the questions above and many others.  In recent months, Microsoft has developed and launched its own “Cloud Adoption Framework” which aligns with our own.

A question we are asked all the time is: So why a framework and not a prescription? When you break that down, a prescription is an exact way to solve a problem and while all cloud migrations have common elements - they are all quite unique.  That’s where a framework comes in. A framework is a methodology of all the key items that need to be accounted for in a cloud transformation but leaves white-space to deal with those elements in a way that is specific to the customer.

Microsoft Cloud Adoption Framework

So, what’s included in the Microsoft Cloud Adoption Framework?  You can see in the image below that all elements from Strategy, Planning, Readiness, Adoption, Governance, and Management of the Microsoft Azure environment are all included.  After 10 years of helping customers through this transformation, you can rest assured that if you work this framework (ideally with a partner who can lead you through it) you will set up for success with Azure.

A few of the areas of the Microsoft Cloud Adoption Framework that we have found excellent alignment with are the Strategy and Governance sections.  These are two areas that are often overlooked by companies during their move to the cloud. Defining a clear strategy lays the foundation for the current state and the desired outcomes of the move to the cloud.  You can think of this as laying down the “map” of getting to the cloud. There are a lot of ways to get to the cloud, but having a clear strategy that aligns with business outcomes helps drive a successful outcome.

Also, the inclusion of the governance section helps to define how IT will operate once the migration is underway and concluded.  This helps to set the appropriate guardrails are in place and the rules of engagement are clearly defined for what and who in the organization can utilize Azure.

Let's take a look at how Cloudreach has aligned its offerings to the Microsoft Cloud Adoption Framework:

Define Strategy

We have a number of strategic solutions that help address common challenges and motivations for cloud adoption, and maximize the full potential of cloud across different areas and stages of the cloud adoption journey.

  • Cloud Strategy
  • Infrastructure Strategy
  • Application Strategy
  • Data Strategy

Plan & Ready

We provide the foundations for a faster transition to a cloud-ready environment by creating an easy-to-adapt cloud adoption roadmap, governance, and skills framework, migration plan and initial landing zone.

  • Migration Planning
  • Cloud Landing Zone

Adopt

We accelerate migration and enable innovation by implementing improvements in the operating model, governance, education, and providing services for first workload migrations, validation, application modernization and data and analytics in the cloud. 

  • Cloud Migration Execution

Govern 

We build a framework to ensure the right policies, processes, and tooling are in place to enable governance in the organization. We incorporate this into the Cloud Landing Zone design and implement tailored improvements based on organizational requirements.

  • Cloud Readiness

Manage

Our reliability solutions focus on driving continuous improvement and maturity of an organization’s operations strategy and capabilities in the cloud, enabling cost optimization and operational efficiency.

  • Cost Reliability
  • Infrastructure Reliability
  • Application Reliability

Success Metrics

Cloudreach has applied the Microsoft Cloud Adoption Framework for many customers since its launch and helped them overcome inertia and reap amazing results in Azure. One such customer is a multinational financial services firm that was stuck trying to figure out how to integrate their fragmented technology estate into Azure to help drive rapid business growth.  Where they were lacking was in the first two stages of the Microsoft Cloud Adoption Framework, so we engaged to help with their Strategy and Plan for cloud transformation. Like any good student of Steven Covey, you should approach an Azure transformation with the mantra “begin with the end in mind”. When you know what you are trying to get out of the cloud, you can make the right design and architecture decisions from the beginning. In this case, the customer was able to fully design and plan a cloud migration that fit their goals and mission which drove a more effective cloud migration, which resulted in the business goals they planned for.

One other example of a customer we served with the Microsoft Cloud Adoption Framework was a multinational media company that has a strategy of being 100% digital by the end of 2020.  They have a federated IT team that services all current departments and new ones as they tend to do a significant amount of M&A work. This created a challenging scenario for them as they were migrating current workloads into Azure, the playing field was currently shifting as new companies were being added to the mix.  Cloudreach went in and followed the Microsoft Cloud Adoption Framework from the beginning - showing the need to constantly be re-executing this framework as your situation evolves. The area where we found the most impact was in the Governance section. Cloudreach was able to identify that they didn’t have governance function clearly established that would evolve with the company.  The result was a much more streamlined and successful Azure migration and adoption for current as well as new workloads.

Again, the Microsoft Cloud Adoption Framework isn’t a panacea for all your IT and Cloud woes - nothing could be for a complex and lengthy journey - but a framework on which you can measure and execute your cloud transformation with cloud experts who start with what matters to you the most.   It’s highly recommended that you work with a Microsoft partner with experience taking you through this process as they have the experience required and know the pitfalls along the way.


Want to learn more about how Cloudreach can help accelerate your cloud journey with Microsoft Azure? Download our ebook here.

  • microsoft-azure
  • Cloud Adoption