Cloud Adoption Strategy for a Fortune 100 consumer goods company
When a global consumer goods company saw its infrastructure cost sky-rocketing, it decided to leverage external on-demand services and planned for a savings of $30M over a period of three years. Severe lags in infrastructure provisioning had hampered its productivity and time to market. The very nature of its business involved information sharing and real-time integration with business partners who numbered in thousands globally. This resulted in a very high volume traffic causing frequent performance issues.
We were brought in to assess the situation, suggest a solution, build a roadmap and then lead the implementation. This was a different kind of endeavor. While in almost all the cases, client has a very good idea of which business problem to solve first, here, we had the charter to identify such problems, get them approved and then propose solutions.
It was obvious that they needed a cloud computing solution. This area of information technology is brand new. Although there is a lot of new material being created on the topic as we speak, there are practically no published architectural guidelines as yet. Therefore, we had to develop our own methodology to attack the problem in a structured manner. Gauging the client’s comfort level, we decided to target non-mission-critical environments first. Perfect candidates for this category are the development and testing platforms. Going up the ladder of mission-criticality, we then identified collaboration, disaster recovery and backups. We decided not to touch any of the existing business-critical production environments at this time. They would come in at a later stage of the roadmap by which time client would have sufficient comfort level with cloud computing. But, a brand new business application with faster time to market requirements was always a good candidate to start with.
After getting these environments approved, we got started with our analysis. We assessed the existing environments; identified appropriate cloud services vendors for each; developed new cloud-based architecture; performed cost-benefit analysis and enhanced capability assessment; and then built a migration roadmap. Our proposed solutions included both public and private cloud recommendations.
We followed this up with the cloud governance model. Pilots were built for each of the environments to validate proposed solutions. A new sales management solution is currently being developed on a public cloud.
A team of 5 people worked on this effort with client’s senior enterprise architect being part of it. Many other managers and architects supported from the client side providing useful information.
Because of the pay-as-you-go model of the clouds, client is expected to have savings in the range of 30 to 40% depending upon the environment. This does not include the datacenter floor or power usage cost savings. With those, total savings could be even greater. A globally distributed cloud-based architecture with its own high-speed content delivery network is expected to make real-time collaboration feasible. Ability to provision hardware is expected to come down to minutes from an average of two months thus speeding up time to market and increasing developer productivity.