What Azure Option is Right for You?
Free New Assessment Tool
Reduce research time for cloud adoption strategy in Azure with new assessment tools. There’s often a lot of room for optimization when you start to move your services to the cloud. Matt McSpirit, Microsoft Azure expert, joins Jeremy Chapman to show you how to build solutions the right way, with the least amount of trial and error.
Assessment tools can make it easier to find what you need to build or host your workloads in Azure with the right SLAs and help you to assess and close gaps on skill sets, stakeholder support, business KPIs and budget targets. We’ve packaged up the learning we’ve seen working with organizations. There are common patterns where your adoption strategy for the business can start to break down, and conversely, where they succeed. We’ve used these insights to inform our assessments which are part of our Cloud Adoption Framework — and they are completely free to use.
The Cloud Adoption Strategy Evaluator — look at your current strategy and get broad recommendations as you make the case for building cloud-based solutions
Azure Well-Architected Review — assess things like the reliability, cost management, operational excellence, security and performance efficiency of your workloads
The Cloud Journey Tracker — find the best cloud adoption path based on your needs
Developer Velocity — guidance to boost business performance with your developers
The Governance Benchmark — identify gaps in your organizations current state of governance
Strategic Migration Assessment and Readiness Tool — prepare for large scale cloud migrations
01:26 — Assessments in Cloud Adoption Framework
02:51 — Walk through an assessment — tailored recommendations
05:13 — How to share your results
05:53 — How to save your assessments and track progress
06:40 — Assessment questions
07:57 — Wrap up
Find more resources to accelerate your cloud adoption journey at https://aka.ms/adopt
Explore more cloud enablement resources at https://www.azure.com/enablement
Find assessments at https://aka.ms/MicrosoftAssessments
Use the Cloud Adoption Strategy Evaluator assessment at https://aka.ms/StrategyEvaluator
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- Up next: if you’re looking to significantly reduce your research time to weigh up your options in Azure, I’m joined again by Azure expert Matt McSpirit to show you new free assessment tools. In fact, we’ll go deeper on the new Cloud Adoption Strategy Evaluator that gives you tailored recommendations based on your starting point, including tools that you can use to build your business case and get broader stakeholder support. So, Matt, it’s really great to have you back on, you know, as we head into the new year, to share some of the more pragmatic guidance with another amazing topic.
- Yeah, thanks, always a pleasure to be back.
- Now, in the past, we’ve extensively covered various tips for the economics of shifting to the cloud or making the right architectural choices. That said, we’ve had several requests from you, the viewers, looking for guidance prior to taking those steps that can give you a clearer path forward, which is why we wanted to look at the new assessment tools today.
- Yeah, exactly. And it’s not surprising that we’re seeing the requests. Every situation’s unique, and there’s often a lot of room for optimization when you start to move your services to the cloud. Now whatever your situation, building solutions the right way, with the least amount of trial and error, can be a challenge. And what’s more, with Azure, and the same is typically true for other cloud providers, there’s thousands of services and options. And depending on what you’re building, there might be a dozen or more viable paths for building any particular solution. Now, the good news is these assessments can make it easier to find what you need to build or host your workloads in Azure. With the right SLAs, it may help you to assess and close gaps on skillsets, stakeholder support, business KPIs and budget targets.
- And this all really helps in terms of incrementally letting you increase your baseline knowledge as you get further into your cloud adoption.
- Yeah, exactly right. And what we’re really doing here is packaging up the learning we’ve seen in working with organizations broadly. And in fact, we’ve observed common patterns where your adoption strategy for the business can start to break down, and conversely, where they succeed. And we’ve used these insights to inform our assessments, which are part of our cloud adoption framework, and they’re completely free to use. So let me show you. First, you can get to them at aka.ms/MicrosoftAssessments and these cover a number of areas. First there’s the Azure Well-Architected Review, to assess things like the reliability, cost management, operational excellence, as well as the security and performance efficiency of your workloads. Then there’s the Cloud Adoption Strategy Evaluator, to look at your current strategy and get broad recommendations as you make the case for building cloud-based solutions. Then there’s the Cloud Journey Tracker, to find the best cloud adoption path based on your needs; Developer Velocity, for guidance to boost business performance with your developers; the Governance Benchmark, to identify gaps in your organization’s current state of governance; and finally the Strategic Migration Assessment and Readiness Tool, to best prepare for large scale cloud migrations. And these are all wizard-based experiences. And in exchange for the responses you provide, we’ll give you tailored recommendations to make more informed decisions.
- And this is also true by the way, whether you decide to do it yourself or work with a partner, but can you walk us through then an assessment and its outcomes?
- Yeah, of course. And I’m actually going to start with the tailored recommendations. So, what you’re seeing here is actually the resulting report from the Cloud Adoption Strategy Evaluator. I’ve answered a few questions and it’s evaluated my organization’s starting point for cloud adoption. It’s assessed our posture across these six categories, from how far along we are in identifying our motivations, to organization alignment that will help in creating our business case. And these are all aligned with the strategy methodology of the cloud adoption framework. And you can see we’re just starting out in most categories and that’s why we’re red. And the scores are based on the responses we gave to the questions in each category, and the overall score is an average across all six categories in this case. And as I scroll down, you’ll see top-level tool recommendations. And these are like hidden gems that can lead to massive cost savings and process optimizations. And this one here on the left for virtual machine cost estimation lets you use Power BI. So you can easily get a high level understanding of the cost differences between standard pay-as-you-go pricing in Azure, what happens when you apply your existing on-prem licenses to cloud resources using the Azure Hybrid Benefit, and the impacts of using reserved instances where you can sign up to a one or three year agreement for virtual machines, databases and platform services to save costs. Now in the middle, there’s the Cloud Adoption Plan template. And this helps you get started quickly as you create your adoption plan and document your strategy for stakeholder review. And on the right is the pricing calculator to help you estimate and manage costs in Azure. And it works across Azure services, lets you plug in specific resource attributes, for example, with a virtual machine, things like its region, operating system, core count and memory, and for a detailed view of resource costs prior to deployment. Now back in our assessment, below these resource recommendations, you’ll see a detailed set of improvement recommendations specific to my organization. And in each area, it’s chosen the best actions with links to specific guidance. For example, under identifying my motivations, this guide is all about how to get business and IT stakeholders on board with cloud migration efforts. So you can see that beyond technical guidance, it includes broader best practice guidance for navigating all the steps pre and post implementation. And the same types of hyper-tailored recommendations can be found as I expand the categories below for expected outcomes, financial considerations, technical considerations, organizational alignment and skilling, as well as creating the business case. And I can easily share my results with others too. So I’ll navigate up and hit share, and then you’ll see it lets me share in social media and via email. So I’m going to choose email and share it with you, Jeremy. So you can see our initial starting point, and that’s going to send you a link directly to our assessment.
- Okay. So it looks like I’ve received your email. So I’ll go ahead and follow the link. And there’s the assessment that we just saw from your browser, but it’s right here now on my machine. And a lot of these types of tools and best practice recommendations can be really super hard to find, but these are the things that are like the, “I wish I knew about this before” type resources that really save you a lot of time and also money when you’re just organically starting to use cloud services without a plan in place.
- Yeah, that’s exactly right. And it’s not just a pre-deployment checklist. You can go through the assessments anonymously without signing in, but when you do sign in, you can save your assessments and track your progress over time. For example, here, you can see that I’ve gone through two assessments. And when I click into this one, you can see that our organization has been iterating and improving over time. And we’ve added milestones to track our progress as we started to build up our knowledge and get closer to the business case. And you can easily add milestones, either from the assessment homepage we just saw, or if I scroll up, I can also add on here from the assessment overview page. Now I can choose all or a subset of the categories to update my team’s progress. And from here I can continue, but let me just go back to our guidance and you can see the picture is a lot greener than we saw before. And we’re in a pretty good place to be able to prepare our case for moving to the cloud.
- Okay, so can you walk us through then some of the questions in the assessment to get an idea of how you get to the recommendations?
- Yeah, absolutely. And there are a few ways to show you this, but since I’m in the assessment results now, I can show you the questions and my answers by clicking into the answer summary. And these are the answers I gave in this particular milestone. I can also choose to show all original responses using this checkbox in the upper right. And that shows me the original options for each question, but let’s say this is my first time going through an assessment. And let me show you that experience as well. So I’ve navigated to aka.ms/MicrosoftAssessments in a private browser. And when I click into an assessment, I can continue anonymously if I want, but it also suggests that I sign in. And that works with Azure Active Directory accounts like the one you’d use to sign in with Office 365 or Microsoft Teams. And by the way, this also works for any account type. You don’t need to be an administrator. So I’ll sign in to get the extra benefits and track my progress. And as you can see, first I need to choose the aspects and categories of this assessment that I’m interested in. And as I click on each, it shows me a preview of the questions on the left. So I’ll go ahead and choose every category in my case. And from there, it guides me through the assessment until I’ve completed all the pages.
- And this is really great. You know, it’s awesome to see the tangible benefits with those tailored recommendations for tools and also for how to best approach your cloud adoption and really inform your business case. So what’s the best way then to get started with this?
- Well, it’s really easy. So you can just go to aka.ms/MicrosoftAssessments and choose the one you want. Now, I recommend you start with the Cloud Adoption Strategy Evaluator that we showed today, amd you can get to that directly by going to aka.ms/StrategyEvaluator.
- Thanks so much, Matt, for the awesome introduction to the free new assessment tools. Of course, keep checking back to Microsoft Mechanics for the latest updates. Subscribe if you haven’t already yet. And thank you for watching.