Overview - AWS Prescriptive Guidance


To optimize your cloud adoption and migration, you must first assess and evaluate your enterprise for readiness. After you assess the readiness of your organization, you can accelerate your cloud adoption and establish a foundation for migration at scale through the hands-on experience of migrating a first wave of applications in just a few weeks. We discuss these phases in more detail in the following topics.

The iterative approach to cloud adoption discussed in this guide can be broken out into the three high-level phases of assess, mobilize, and migrate. These phases are shown in the following diagram.

Phases of the cloud migration process


The first phase of a cloud migration begins with a cloud readiness assessment of your enterprise’s current state. These assessment tasks give you a clear picture of what you will migrate, as well as a business case for migration and total cost of ownership (TCO) analysis for migration.

A Migration Readiness Assessment (MRA) is a process that provides you with the following:

  • An understanding about how far along your enterprise is in the cloud journey

  • An understanding of your current strengths and weaknesses in relation to a cloud-ready enterprise

  • An action plan to close identified gaps

This assessment is based on the AWS Cloud Adoption Framework (AWS CAF) and its six perspectives: business, people, governance, platform, security, and operations. Using this framework during the assessment phase helps ensure that you have a holistic view of the transformation initiative that will support an effective move to the cloud.

The assess phase includes a rapid discovery process with high-level TCO assessment in addition to the MRA. These steps will be useful as you progress towards obtaining stakeholder commitment and funding for the larger initiatives that follow.

For more information, see Assess phase.


With a strong understanding of your current state and your portfolio along with the solid business case, you develop in the assessment phase, you can demonstrate the value of the cloud to your organization.

The goal of the mobilize phase is to build foundational capability both in the organization and with the AWS environment with hands-on migration experience focused on security and operations automation. This process brings together your portfolio of tools and practices in a scalable and secure AWS landing zone. In this phase, you migrate a small set of business applications to the cloud, while enforcing an agile and scalable delivery culture, team structure, and change management process.

The AWS mobilize approach includes a defined set of activities across eight distinct workstreams:

  • Detailed business case

  • Detailed portfolio discovery

  • Application migration

  • Migration governance

  • AWS landing zone

  • Security, risk, and compliance

  • Operations

  • People: skills, culture, change, and leadership

With this approach, activities under these workstreams are delivered across eight two-week sprints.

Mobilize delivers the following outcomes:

  • Improve your IT staff’s skill and competency for migration and organizational transformation by building confidence with methodology, processes, and tooling

  • Define and automate security, risk, and compliance policies to accommodate operational controls

  • Define and implement an AWS landing zone that can scale as you migrate additional applications

  • Establish your cloud operating model

  • Run applications in production capacity

Migration during the mobilize phase is an iterative process that evolves as your organization develops new skills, tools, and capabilities. These skills and capabilities build momentum and accelerate your migration efforts over time. Establishing the right foundation to build on is key to a successful migration. The AWS migration framework balances the business and technical efforts needed to complete a cloud migration. This model helps you identify key business drivers for migration and the best strategies for planning and implementing a successful cloud migration.

For more information, see Mobilize phase.


The migrate phase uses the patterns, processes, tools, resources, and methodology defined and tested during the mobilize phase to migrate applications at scale. After using the best practices and lessons learned from the earlier phases, you can implement a migration factory, a blueprint of scaling implementation and operations, through automation and agile delivery.

For more information, see Migrate phase.