Azure Strategy and Implementation Guide for IT Organizations

  • For the past several years, we have seen consistent explosive growth as new organizations take on the challenges associated with their individual journeys.
  • In the early stages of cloud adoption, many IT organizations feel challenged and even threatened at the prospect of the journey ahead.
  • We are on an exciting and challenging journey together and we hope this document will speed you along your way!

Each organization has a unique journey to the cloud based on its own starting point, its history, its culture, and its goals. This document is designed to meet you wherever you are on that journey and help you build or reinforce a solid foundation around cloud application development and operations, service management, and governance.

Introduction

Our experience has shown that a careful approach to these topics will speed you along on your organization’s journey and avoid well understood pitfalls.

At Microsoft, we have been on our own journey for the past decade, and over the past years we have learned important lessons by developing our own internal and customer-facing systems. At the same time, we’ve been fortunate to share the experiences of thousands of customers on their own journeys.

This document is designed to share those experiences and distill them into proactive guidance. You do not need to follow these recommendations to the letter, but you ignore them at your peril. Our experience has shown that a careful approach to these topics will speed you along on your organization’s journey and avoid well understood pitfalls.

For the past several years, we have seen consistent explosive growth as new organizations take on the challenges associated with their individual journeys, and we have seen a shift from the adventurous technician to the aggressive business transformer who engage with us. The pattern is clearly emerging, that deep engagement in cloud computing often leads to digital transformation that drives fundamental changes in how organizations operate.

In the early stages of cloud adoption, many IT organizations feel challenged and even threatened at the prospect of the journey ahead, but as those organizations engage, they undergo their own evolution, learning new skills, evolving their roles, and in the end becoming more agile and efficient technology providers. The result often turns what is perceived as a cost of business into a competitive advantage that makes it possible to redefine long-believed limitations. In many cases, what emerges are new business opportunities.

An important concept covered in this book is a strategy for identifying and moving specific workloads based on their actual value to the business. Some emerge in a new form infused with cloud design principals that were otherwise not available in the past. Others receive targeted improvements to extend their lifetimes. Still others move as-is, using the “lift and shift” approach that requires minimal change.

Because of the unique capabilities of the Microsoft Cloud and the Microsoft Azure platform, workloads that must remain on-premises because of latency or compliance requirements can fully participate in the journey because of the ability for an organization to run Azure services on-premises using Azure Stack.

This book is designed for decision makers to gain a high-level overview of topics and by IT professionals responsible for broad implementation. Regardless of where you are personally focused in infrastructure, data or application arena, there are important concepts and learnings here for you. As you read, we hope you will gain insights into recommended general architecture to take advantage of cloud design principles, the evolution possible in application development to DevOps, approaches to service management, and overall governance.

We are on an exciting and challenging journey together and we hope this document will speed you along your way!!

Microsoft Azure Governance

Azure governance
Figure 1-1: Azure governance

When it comes to governance a variety of interpretations exist. For Microsoft, Azure governance has three components (Figure 1-1): Design of Governance, Execution of Governance, and Review of Governance. In this chapter, we take a look at each of these components.

The first component is Design of Governance. This component derives from the customer’s cloud vision. It comes together with the customer’s constraints, such as regulatory obligations or privacy related data that needs to be processed. This is the why do we do things.

The second component is Execution of Governance. This component contains all of the measures to fulfill the required needs, like reporting, encryption, policies, and so on, to ensure that the defined component is followed by measures that can be implemented and controlled. This is the how we do things.

Finally, to ensure that all of the measures are fulfilling the intended purpose, a review of the results is needed to verify that the implementation follows the design.

Cloud Envisioning

Having digital transformation in mind is already the first step toward envisioning how you can use cloud technology. The next step is to break it down into actionable steps within your enterprise. For additional reading on the topic of cloud strategy and envisioning, we recommend reading Enterprise Cloud Strategy, 2nd Edition by Eduardo Kassner and Barry Briggs. The book explains and elaborates on actionable ideas, several of which are briefly introduced in the section that follows.

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