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Azure MasterPlan: Top 3 reasons a cloud blueprint strategy is essential

We’ve seen many Australian customers lift and shift infrastructure without the cloud architecture and governance framework they need to accurately align Azure's capabilities with their business goals.

Without a detailed cloud strategy to properly migrate or adopt Microsoft Azure in their business, organisations often lack a thorough understanding of the full benefits the platform enables, resulting in several pain-points, such as:

  • Resource wastage
  • Increased risk
  • Reduced perception of the value of Azure Cloud as a platform

If enhanced agility, workplace mobility and scalable infrastructure is a big part of your business goals, having a documented blueprint strategy is a strong foundation to help you overcome these common but avoidable pains and achieve a cost-optimised, secured and seamless transition to Azure Cloud.

Our team has worked with several Australian organisations to get them to the cloud with a long-term strategic blueprint solution, the Azure MasterPlan, which is built from the ground-up with their current infrastructure pains and target objectives in mind.

Here’s the 3 top reasons a cloud blueprint strategy like our Azure MasterPlan solution is essential before you migrate or adopt Azure.


1. You get a long-term roadmap to get to Azure Cloud

Azure Blueprint detailed migration and adoption roadmap


Moving to or adopting Azure Cloud in the modern workplace is a significant task that demands careful, meticulous planning to ensure the use of the platform is successful and risk-free. 

There are many benefits to getting on Azure, and in order to properly leverage them there are several business considerations that need to be recognised by your leaders first, such as:

  • Application and virtual infrastructure compatibility - what needs to move and in what order

  • How to deal with cloud security and compliance

  • How to obtain control of a new cloud environment

  • How to retire legacy data centres and apps properly

  • Understanding how much the migration or adoption will cost

  • What your future support model with Azure looks like

  • Which options and services to use in Azure (PaaS, IaaS, SaaS)

Taking the time to build a documented blueprint around these considerations means you can accurately align your current applications, infrastructure and future growth areas with the capabilities of Microsoft Cloud, and produce a long-term business strategy mapped to your evolving digital transformation needs.

If you don’t have the expertise or experience in identifying what needs to be addressed prior to Azure migration or adoption, a custom blueprint such as Xello's Azure MasterPlan provides the necessary guidance on all of these elements for your decision-makers.

Read more: Top 3 reasons why you need a cloud strategy


2. You properly optimise your migration and use of Azure

Optimise Microsoft cloud costs with Azure Blueprint


Having an Azure strategy or blueprint ensures your cloud implementation is cost and resource-optimised for each stage of the migration (or adoption, depending on your digital transformation maturity as an organisation) and that each cost-saving and optimisation is clearly defined and outlined.

451 Research revealed 38.8 percent of CIOs choose to migrate their business to the cloud to achieve greater cost-savings but that post-migration over 53.2% say cloud costs are their number one pain point. Solutions such as Xello's strategic Azure MasterPlan helps you prevent such uncontrolled cloud spend with the following benefits:

  • A cost model analysis of your existing services and infrastructure vs Azure

  • 3-year Total Cost Analysis (TCO) on the estimated transition to the cloud

  • Calculated cost savings of 30% over a 3 year-period on Microsoft Azure

  • An understanding of the breadth of Azure and its future Return on Investment (ROI)

With a blueprint like the Azure MasterPlan, you can better articulate the true value of each benefit and capability of Azure to your key decision-makers and organisation a whole, with a document that defines exactly which relevant service is more cost-effective than comparable legacy systems - and how.

It also ultimately helps your business understand how and why you save money with Azure in the short and long-term, how to keep consumption and resource usage clear and transparent, and that you’re not left with an expensive new solution and no plan to optimise what works.

Read more6 ways to optimise cloud spend and control costs


3. You get custom-built Azure architecture design

Cloud architecture plan Azure Blueprint


A key differentiation of having a blueprint for your cloud project is getting a cloud architecture that comprehensively:

  • Builds the fundamental design pattern and structure for your cloud deployment
  • Covers the benefits of Azure’s many different services
  • Maps their very different capabilities to your goals.

With Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), Software as a Service (SaaS) and many other sub-categories of cloud services like DR as a Service (DRaaS) and Integration Platform as a Service (iPaaS), it’s helpful to have an architecture plan that takes your business through exactly what they do and which is best fit.

Xello’s Azure MasterPlan only builds an architecture design for our customers after we assess their current environment, business needs (identity, networking, security, DR) and desired outcomes from migrating to the cloud.

This ensures the move is seamless and the benefits of having a blueprint to guide your journey is clearly understood - and that you avoid making incorrect deployment decisions that may lead to cost re-works in the future.

Read moreHow Azure PaaS consolidates your licensing costs

Azure MasterPlan - Business Use Case: Mitchell Shire Council


A custom-built blueprint also takes into account your organisation’s unique current state of transformation, infrastructure, objectives and target state, 

The value in having a plan that can hone in on exactly what you’re trying to achieve by moving to or adopting Azure Cloud cannot be understated. Compared to heading into the cloud without a documented strategy, it's much more ideal for various reasons.

Mitchell Shire Council is one of Xello’s customers that identified this need and wanted to:

  • Modernise its on-premises infrastructure environment
  • Migrate existing disaster recovery (DR) services from local data centre providers to Azure
  • Alleviate existing growing capital expenditure and operational pains with a proper strategy

Before the council could do that, they recognised the importance of a strategic Azure roadmap that could map the cloud with its objectives, while documenting other necessary considerations they needed to identify and address prior to beginning their long-term transformation.

The council realised there were many factors they needed help with identifying, and directly engaged Microsoft to find a partner experienced with cloud infrastructure migration and optimisation to help them do so. Xello soon joined the team to help build their unique long-term roadmap to Azure with our Azure MasterPlan solution.

As a result, MSC were given a blueprint with a roadmap that took them through the integration, network and security benefits if they moved to the cloud, but helped them better understand what the cloud offers with a long-term strategy outlining each state of their digital transformation in three phases: now, next and horizon.

Ultimately, having an Azure MasterPlan to guide their transition proved invaluable for Mitchel Shire Council's migration project progress and success.

Read moreCase Study - Mitchell Shire Council kickstarts cloud journey with Azure MasterPlan


Azure MasterPlan - How to start building your strategy

An Azure Cloud blueprint or strategy is the final result of stakeholder meetings, technical assessments and interviews and gives businesses an invaluable, holistic overview of where they currently are in their cloud journey - and how to get there.

Moving to the cloud is a journey unique to every business, so having a documented blueprint that brings together the best practices in cloud architecture, cloud cost optimisation and service mapping - while clearly defining the specific outcomes Azure enables - is invaluable to getting your organisation’s decision-makers on board. 

Need assistance building your own cloud blueprint? Xello is a Microsoft Gold Partner and our Melbourne team of cloud consultants can help you get started.  But first, download our comprehensive Azure MasterPlan White Paper for more information on best practices for building your cloud strategy.

Azure Blueprint Whitepaper

Tags: Azure Cloud, Cost optimisation, Azure Blueprint