Cloud case studies

A state agency improves performance by moving to cloud

Discover the benefits of cloud computing for government agencies

Explore how Deloitte helped a state agency migrate to cloud and reduce labor needs, operation costs, and runtimes for activities like payroll.

Moving to cloud is a growing imperative for government agencies—especially those at the state level. With any shift to the cloud comes the potential for benefits such as greater speed of business, reduced operating costs, IT simplicity, and enhanced security, which are all key for public sector organizations today.

For one state agency charged with fiscal responsibilities, cloud emerged as a central focus when its leaders sought to tame the complexity associated with human resources (HR) and payroll data while maintaining accountability and integrity. Done right, the move would give stakeholders greater access to data and bolster reliability, optimize costs, and provide scalability to support growth at the same time.

In particular, the agency encountered growing pains with its existing platform, which was oversized, high-cost, and aging. As a result, the team couldn’t move the data as is, or freely, in any other platforms. The choice they faced: Overcome budget constraints and invest in a major capital improvement project for current infrastructure or make a more strategic and cost-effective move to cloud.

The challenge? Understanding the options and defining a path for an effective move. Scalability and costs were important considerations, but the complexities around cloud architecture presented challenges for the organization. Skill sets were also a key focus in planning a move to cloud—given the agency’s reliance on specialized skills for maintaining its existing databases.

"For one state agency charged with fiscal responsibilities, cloud emerged as a central focus when its leaders sought to tame the complexity associated with human resources and payroll data while maintaining accountability and integrity."

What happened next

Despite a clear goal to make cloud the foundation for mission-critical HR data, the organization needed a well-marked blueprint for building that foundation—and a team of enterprise resource planning (ERP) and cloud transformation leading specialists to help make it real.

The state agency teamed up with Deloitte to plan and execute a move to a new Amazon Web Services (AWS) Cloud environment, bringing along HR and payroll data for thousands of state employees. Working together, the organizations created a road map for the state agency to migrate to AWS infrastructure powered by Intel® Xeon® Scalable processors. Intel-powered instances are optimized for SAP® workload and are reliable, were the right size for the need, and are SAP certified.

The project team generated a detailed playbook for the agency to use for its ongoing journey to cloud. It encompassed migration and process requirements for data, applications, and networks, addressing needs across development, workloads, testing, quality assurance, production, and security.

Armed with this detailed strategy, the agency moved confidently to migrate its SAP payroll and reporting system to AWS, while significantly improving performance over its previous onsite platform. They reduced payroll runtimes by as much as 60% while also reducing labor needs for database management. The initial move from on premises to AWS occurred during a 12-hour technical cutover window, using SAP export/import methods customized to agency requirements.

In planning and then making the move, the agency and Deloitte worked across organizational borders to develop consensus and make sure that any new cloud landscape would support the agency as needed. Along with the agency, Deloitte collaborated with other organizations, including the state IT department, to help ensure that the project would meet strict technology and procedural protocols for state-maintained data and result in minimal disruption.

Deloitte also brought its long-standing experience with cloud and SAP solutions running on the AWS Cloud, and powered by the Intel Xeon Scalable platform, to bear. They helped fine-tune the database for the applications, adhere to strict Intel, AWS, and SAP technical standards, and ultimately create a new cloud landscape aligned with the agency’s business processes.

With the first wave of its move complete, and a detailed migration template in place, the agency is well positioned to extend its cloud journey. They can scale readily and shift additional systems to the cloud as needed in the future. The ongoing transformation also should allow the agency to take advantage of additional AWS capabilities in the cloud, including services for integration and intelligent automation.


By the numbers

10,000+ users: The migrated data is relevant to the work and the roles of thousands of state users

50-60%: Reduction in runtime for monthly payroll activities and batch processing

70 working days: The agency’s estimated annual time savings for processing HR activities

99.95%: System availability on AWS infrastructure

16 weeks: From planning to migration, the time it took to complete the initial phase


Andrew Chew

Managing Director | Deloitte Consulting LLP

Chandra B Mahale

Specialist Leader | Deloitte Consulting LLP