Cloud Adoption Framework: Save costs and avoid risk when moving your SME to the cloud

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If you've decided to migrate your business to the cloud, but have not yet made the move, now is the time to think hard about preparation.

Here are some common questions we'll cover in this article:

  • Why you need to prepare when moving to the cloud.
  • What the Cloud Adoption Framework (CAF) is.
  • How the CAF can help you better plan your migration.
  • How your SME can take a cost-effective approach to the CAF.

The risks of poor preparation

When planning your move to the cloud, proper assessment is crucial to avoiding pitfalls and realising the most value. Without a thorough, documented understanding of what you want and need to achieve, you are setting yourself up for disappointment at best and a disastrous money drain at worst. Some undesirable outcomes we have seen are:

• poorly functioning software
• compromised security
• unreliable business continuity
• reduced productivity
• demoralised employees
• massive unplanned costs.

With proper assessment, you will gain the key benefits of migration: technical ones like scalability, security, and availability. You can also reap the financial benefits of getting more out of what you pay for – moving away from fixed and upfront spend.

What really matters?

There's a lot of work between wanting to get into the cloud and being productive there. You can cut down on the preparation work, but you will put at least five times as much effort into fixing the shortfalls after the project is “finished”. The thing you need to guide you on your journey is a map, and the mapmaking tool is a Cloud Adoption Framework (CAF).


Microsoft, Amazon and others have created discovery and planning processes to guide enterprises through determining their readiness for transition to Cloud computing. In the case of Microsoft, this is called the Microsoft Cloud Adoption Framework for Azure.

The CAF informs the design of your final IT architecture by providing tools to collect and analyse information around your business needs. It provides best practices, documentation, and tools. Your cloud architects, IT professionals, and business decision-makers can then use this information to achieve cloud adoption goals and better align business and technical strategies.

But here's the pain point for many organisations – especially SME's

The CAF and its non-Microsoft cousins are large and daunting. It requires considerable input of time, attention, and money if you are engaging with a CAF partner (or massive time and attention if you go it alone). It's achingly tempting to put that effort and cost aside and just plough ahead with forklifting everything into Azure before the end of the financial year or before that new line-of-business software is ready for implementation.

There's a way to solve this.

The way forward

Your business can still benefit from applying the intention and general directions of the CAF. In our experience, small/medium enterprises have used the CAF as a guide for planning while spending less than six months and saving unnecessary expenditure by following a fully prescribed process. You need a competent, trusted advisor that will use a CAF-like framework to guide your migration to the cloud.

Here is my call to action. Engage with a suitably qualified and experienced advisor who can talk you through the CAF and how it can be adapted to your business goals. This will provide you with an appropriate framework without a massive cost burden. Use that as the basis of your planning, and do not allow arbitrary deadlines to push you into the cloud before you have a roadmap

As always, the Theta team is here to help. Feel free to reach out if you want to discuss further.