Success Story: Large Financial Institution Smoothly Migrates To Cloud

03 January 2022

Overview

The client is a closely governed, extremely risk averse organisation whose reputation and security had to be protected at all costs. They have high-level auditing controls and run primarily on a traditional data centre model.

This large financial institution had a twofold challenge: 1)They needed to vacate their on-premise data center that came alongside an expensive contract and 2) they had software that was rapidly approaching end of life. The most obvious direction: Port their applications to the cloud.

Appvia’s multi-disciplined team was embedded into the organisation, navigating cultural and process changes to ensure the entire team was working towards a shared outcome: A seamless, secure migration of the services to cloud.

The challenge

The organisation had a pressing, time-sensitive need to port their legacy applications to the cloud. Some applications were in an on-premise data center that needed to be vacated. Others were running on soon-to-be obsolete versions. Simply extending the existing data center contract was not a viable option, because the costs were prohibitive with little to no return. The better solution was to leverage the cloud.

With a full understanding of the positive opportunities of cloud, and how migrating these services would provide the catalyst to enable many of their other services to exploit cloud, they It soon became apparent that although a migration might be relatively straight forward in a technical sense, there were still many sizable organisational considerations to address to ensure the services were fully secure, governed, supported and consumable by the end user, post transition.

The solution

Appvia had already proven to be a trusted technical delivery partner within the organisation on a different project, so they approached us to strategize and execute their cloud migration, amend governance processes and introduce best-practices. We needed to also train, upskill and transfer this best-practice knowledge to in-house teams so they can continually deliver value post-migration.

The Appvia team consisted of engineering and delivery professionals which were embedded into the organisation to collaborate with cyber security, service management, architecture and finance to design, build and implement the following in Microsoft Azure:

A secure landing zone

This provides not only a single location for user interaction, but also solid foundation for the
proper use of cloud technology. A secure landing zone allows for extensions and future growth.

An on-boarding mechanism for applications

Rather than each application having its own approach to build and deployment, we implemented a common CI/CD process. This technique ensures security will be incorporated into the applications as early as possible in the build process.

Containerization

Having introduced a new application development paradigm for cloud, we further refined it to include containerization.

Training

We provided several courses in various topics including Git, Kubernetes and Helm. The training was a combination of instructor-led classroom sessions complemented by self-serve exercises for delegates to complete at their own pace.

The results

This organisation is still early in their cloud adoption efforts, but their cloud adoption strategy is now mature, future-proof and based on solid security guidelines and best practices for Microsoft Azure.

And our journey with this customer didn’t end with helping them achieve a sustainable presence on the cloud — we’re now helping them realise their full potential with other processes. For example, we are working with them to implement a scalable, secure way to do Machine Learning using Kubeflow and Azure batch. Analysis that used to take 20 days to accomplish can now be completed in half an hour.

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