This is What a Successful Migration Strategy Looks Like

How one large bank realized the promises of digital transformation

I recently wrote about the three steps smart enterprises take to guarantee successful application migrations to the cloud; today I want to offer a real-world example of what a successful complex migration looks like, and how this Rackspace customer realized the promises of digital transformation: cost savings, increased agility and decreased time to market for new products and services.

[Read more: 3 Steps to Simplify Application Migration to the Cloud]

The customer, one of the largest banks in North America, was feeling the pressure of a disrupted industry: new, cloud native banks were eating its lunch when it came to online customer experiences and the speed they could bring new services to market.

Dragged down by legacy IT

The company was laboring within a complex application and infrastructure footprint, grown piecemeal over the years in an on-premise, proprietary environment. The platform was based on typical legacy servers, which meant long procurement processes for everything — getting new hardware, installation, configuration, application development, deployment and management.

Bank executives came to Rackspace seeking digital transformation to an agile, DevOps model, with cost-effective infrastructure platform that would enable new digital applications and the ability to respond quickly to the rapidly evolving banking market.

They chose Rackspace to guide them through the migration journey, move from a siloed culture to collaboration among developers, operations and business leaders and relieve the operational burden for much of their enterprise workloads. Our experts worked closely with their team to drive the cultural change required across their tens of thousands of employees, many thousands of whom are developers.

Taking a multi-cloud approach

To kick off its digital transformation, the company began using Microsoft software as a service apps, including Office 365 and Outlook, plus Azure public cloud for some of its customer facing applications.

In addition to utilizing public cloud, the company also sought a private cloud solution. After assessing the bank’s infrastructure requirements to deliver a ‘born in the cloud’ customer experience, we recommended hosting its core enterprise application platform on Rackspace private cloud-as-a-service, which is automated, uses commodity hardware and offers self-service to its developers.

The bank’s IT team then extended that infrastructure with its own development environment, DevOps tool chain and application management infrastructure. The bank also had data sovereignty requirements and needed to relieve pressure on its data center capacity. These requirements, along with security and control needs, meant the private cloud-as a service architecture needed to be built across multiple sites, including keeping some on premises.

Creating exactly the right IT ecosystem

While moving this complex enterprise application footprint to a private cloud was challenging, it made more sense than trying to manage security and data control requirements in a public cloud. Increasingly, hybrid cloud environments such as these are becoming the norm, as they allow companies to create exactly the right IT ecosystem for their unique needs.

Blueprints were created defining the virtual machines needed by developers in a self-service environment to enable a more rapid provisioning time. That time is now measured in minutes versus weeks. A dramatically simplified design supported this increased speed and reduced the number of steps from 119 to two — a 60x reduction! Costs per VM were initially reduced by 40 percent over the bank’s legacy environment. Today, with 7,000 VMs, that savings has increased to a 60 percent cost savings per VM.

Bank IT leaders knew it needed a multi-cloud strategy and sought a partner who could guide and accelerate that transformation. Rackspace helped their leaders understand where their applications would run most cost-effectively while delivering the agility required of a modern bank. We also removed the burden of infrastructure management from the company, allowing it to focus on rapid innovation and improving customer experiences.

All in service of the customer

On a personal note, I’ve been a customer of this bank for several years. I went from being a satisfied customer to an absolutely delighted customer due to its continuous customer experience improvement. I was thrilled to learn, when I joined Rackspace, that we were a key partner in making that happen.

This bank’s story is not unique. Any company that follows the disciplined approach I described above, and in my previous post, should find digital transformation success. Partnering with Rackspace means accelerating the value of the cloud during every phase of your digital transformation. Acting as an extension of your team, we deliver unbiased expertise across the leading technologies — apps, data, security and multiple clouds.

Learn how Rackspace can build a cloud migration strategy tailored to your business.

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Pierre Fricke leads portfolio marketing for Rackspace. Pierre is responsible for developing and implementing the integrated portfolio narrative and messaging framework globally for our full services portfolio, specific segments, and core customer challenges, plus ownership of the integrated, customer-facing roadmap. Pierre Fricke joined Rackspace in 2018 as the company's senior director of product marketing for private cloud. He led a team working to expand knowledge of the opportunities private-cloud-as-a-service can offer enterprises as part of their digital transformations. Pierre co-led Rackspace’s effort to define and lead this new category and help companies understand how it fits into today’s multi-cloud world. Prior to Rackspace, Pierre worked for EnterpriseDB as vice president, product marketing, responsible for leading product marketing to build the business. He co-lead EDB’s effort to liberate companies from database vendor lock-in, allowing them to invest in other digital initiatives to drive growth. From 2005 through 2015 Pierre was director of product marketing for Red Hat JBoss Middleware products. He co-led product strategy and expansion into the application and data integration market. In 2008-2009, Pierre co-led the launches of JBoss SOA Platform and JBoss BRMS, which laid the foundation for a complete open source integration, process and decision automation strategy. By 2015, these products were the unit volume market leader or emerging strong challengers to long time incumbents as well as significant Red Hat businesses. Pierre was chief analyst for D.H. Brown Associates’ middleware and product lifecycle management infrastructure services in the early 2000s. Before that, he held a variety of engineering, engineering management, product management and strategy roles at IBM. You can find him on Linkedin at linkedin.com/in/pfricke, and Twitter @pfricke

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