The AWS Cloud Adoption Framework

Guiding your organization's path to successful cloud adoption

AWS Professional Services created the AWS Cloud Adoption Framework (AWS CAF) to help organizations develop efficient and effective plans for their cloud adoption journey. The guidance and best practices provided by the framework help you build a comprehensive approach to cloud computing across your organization, and throughout your IT lifecycle.

The AWS CAF breaks down the complex process of planning a move to the cloud into manageable pieces called perspectives. Perspectives represent essential areas of focus that span people, processes, and technology. Capabilities within each perspective identify which areas of your organization require attention. From that, actions are organized into prescriptive work streams that support a successful cloud journey.

Download White Paper: An Overview of the AWS Cloud Adoption Framework

An Overview of the AWS Cloud Adoption Framework

Perspectives in the AWS CAF

The AWS Cloud Adoption Framework (AWS CAF) organizes guidance into six areas of focus, called perspectives. Each perspective covers distinct responsibilities owned or managed by functionally related stakeholders. In general, the Business, People, and Governance Perspectives focus on business capabilities; while the Platform, Security, and Operations Perspectives focus on technical capabilities.

CAF Perspectives Framework

AWS CAF Business Perspectives

  • Business Perspective

    The Business Perspective helps you move from separate strategies for business and IT to a business model that integrates IT strategy. Agile IT strategies are aligned to support your business outcomes, and they can adjust to business needs or technical capabilities as they change.

    Common Roles: Business Managers; Finance Managers; Budget Owners; Strategy Stakeholders.


    IT Finance addresses your capacity to plan, allocate, and manage the budget for IT expenses with the use-based cost model of cloud services.

    IT Strategy helps you take advantage of cloud-based IT approach to deliver value and end-user adoption.

    Benefits Realization helps you to measure the benefits of your IT investments using methods for a cloud-based IT operating model.

    Business Risk Management helps you estimate the potential business impact of preventable, strategic, and/or external risks.


  • People Perspective

    The People Perspective helps Human Resources (HR) and personnel management prepare their teams for cloud adoption by updating staff skills and organizational processes to include cloud-based competencies.

    Common Roles: Human Resources; Staffing; People Managers.


    Resource Management helps you understand and forecast new personnel needs for a cloud-based model.

    Incentive Management helps you implement a compensation program that will attract and retain the personnel required to operate a cloud-based IT model.

    Career Management helps you identify, acquire, and retain the skills needed for your cloud migration and ongoing operating model.

    Training Management provides guidance on how to develop or acquire training for your employees so they can perform their roles in a cloud environment.

    Organizational Change Management helps you manage the impact of business, structural, and cultural changes caused by cloud adoption.


  • Governance Perspective

    The Governance Perspective integrates IT Governance and Organizational Governance. It provides guidence on identifying and implementing best practices for IT Governance, and on supporting business processes with technology.

    Common Roles: CIO; Program Managers; Project Managers; Enterprise Architects; Business Analysts; Portfolio Managers.


    Portfolio Management provides a mechanism to manage it based on desired business outcomes. It can help to determine cloud-eligibility for workloads when prioritizing which services to move to the cloud.

    Program and Project Management helps you manage technology projects using methodologies that take advantage of the agility and cost management benefits inherent to cloud services.

    Business Performance Measurement helps you measure the impact of the cloud on business objectives.

    License Management defines methods to procure, distribute, and manage the licenses needed for IT systems, services, and software.


AWS CAF Technical Perspectives

  • Platform Perspective

    The Platform Perspective helps you design, implement, and optimize the architecture of AWS technology based on business goals and objectives. It helps provide strategic guidance for the design, principles, tools, and policies you will use to define AWS infrastructure. The Platform perspective also includes principles and patterns for communicating your target state environment, implementing new solutions on the cloud, and migrating on-premises workloads to the cloud.

    Common Roles: CTO; IT Managers; Solution Architects.


    Systems and Solution Architecture helps you define and describe the system design and your architectural standards.

    Compute, Network, Storage, and Database Provisioning helps you develop new processes for provisioning infrastructure in a cloud environment. Provisioning shifts from an operational focus aligning supply with demand, to an architectural focus aligning services with requirements.

    Application Development addresses your ability to support business goals with new or updated applications, and helps implement new skills and processes for software development that take advantage of the agility gained by cloud computing.


  • Security Perspective

    The Security Perspective helps you structure the selection and implementation of controls. Following this guidance can make it easier to identify areas of non-compliance and plan ongoing security initiatives.

    For more information on the AWS CAF Security Perspective, download the AWS CAF Security Perspective White Paper.

    Common Roles: CISO; IT Security Managers; IT Security Analysts.


    Identity and Access Management (IAM) helps you integrate AWS into your identity management lifecycle, and sources of authentication and authorization.

    Detective Control provides guidance to help identify potential security incidents within your AWS environment.

    Infrastructure Security helps you implement control methodologies necessary to comply with best practices as well as meet industry or regulatory obligations.

    Data Protection helps you to implement appropriate safeguards that protect data in transit and at rest.

    Incident Response helps you define and execute a response to security incidents.


  • Operations Perspective

    The Operations Perspective helps you to run, use, operate, and recover IT workloads to levels that meet the requirements of your business stakeholders. Insights gained through the Operations Perspective define your current operating procedures as well as process changes and training needed for successful cloud adoption. Well-managed IT operations support the operations of the business from planning and sustaining, through change and incident management.

    Common Roles: IT Operations Managers; IT Support Managers.


    Service Monitoring focuses on detecting and responding to IT operations health indicators, to meet your service level agreements and operating level agreements.

    Application Performance Monitoring (APM) provides you with new approaches for monitoring application performance in a cloud environment to ensure that application health meets defined requirements.

    Resource Inventory Management helps you manage virtual IT assets to provide services that are both high performing and cost efficient.

    Release/Change Management helps your teams adopt software development best practices such as automation and Continuous Integration/Continuous Delivery (CI/CD) techniques, increasing the pace of your innovations.

    Reporting and Analytics helps you monitor the health of cloud assets and provide insights to help you reach the desired level of performance.

    Business Continuity/Disaster Recovery helps you implement processes to keep your business running during a catastrophic event.

    IT Service Catalog helps you to offer cloud services to the business using a model that can help to improve efficiency of providing IT services as well as the productivity of consuming them.


Creating an AWS CAF Action Plan

AWS CAF Action Plans help you prepare for the transition to cloud based IT. The journey begins with your leadership team reviewing the six CAF perspectives. Each perspective is used to create work streams that uncover gaps in your existing skills and processes, which are recorded as inputs. These inputs are the basis for creating an AWS CAF Action Plan to guide your organization's change management as you journey to the cloud.

Download Guide: Creating an AWS CAF Action Plan

Have more questions?
Watch the webinar

Watch the recorded webinar "An Overview of the AWS Cloud Adoption Framework" for an overview of the AWS CAF, the six perspectives, and how they can be leveraged in your cloud journey.

Download the white paper

Read the AWS CAF white paper to learn how the AWF CAF helps you implement work streams as you move to the cloud, and understand the capabilities and stakeholders contained within each of the perspectives.  

Learn how to create an Action Plan

Learn how to create an AWS CAF Action Plan to identify potential blockers to cloud adoption, then create a plan for addressing gaps in skills and process in support of a successful cloud journey.

Ready to get started?
Contact us

AWS CAF Enterprise Workshops are available from AWS Professional Services and accredited AWS Partner Network partners. Contact us to learn more.