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At-scale migration in the financial services industry

Considerations, benefits, and risks for migrating an enterprise portfolio to hybrid cloud

Executing a hybrid cloud migration across cloud and co-location datacenter is challenging and knowing how to structure a transformation to execute at scale is a daunting task. There’s a benefit to having a migration partner with proven experience and a well-thought-out migration methodology. Here, Deloitte shares key lessons from a recent two-year engagement with a premier asset management client that may help streamline enterprise portfolio migration to the cloud or datacenter in financial services, as well as in other industries.

A global premier asset manager looks to the benefits of a state-of-the-art hybrid cloud

A major financial services company had three goals when it engaged with Deloitte to help move its enterprise portfolio to hybrid cloud:

  • Eliminate aging datacenters
  • Replace those datacenters with a best-in-class hybrid datacenter (AWS & On-Prem)
  • Better position their growing business for the future

The company faced multiple challenges, including only tribal knowledge of its vast application portfolio, as well as years of technical debt. It recognized the potential in a hybrid target state of Amazon Web Services (AWS) and two newly built co-location facilities that could shrink their physical datacenter footprint, embrace cloud, and establish a future-proof platform. For the financial services company, cloud adoption came with high expectations due to funding and high visibility at the board level.

To successfully navigate the migration and get the transformation right the first time, the company looked to Deloitte for its experience in migrating enterprise portfolios. The stakes were high: Deloitte needed to get it right the first time to help the client keep the business running.

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Five lessons on hybrid cloud migration in financial services

Leveraging a proven migration methodology

Working alongside the client, Deloitte managed and executed a full-service migration program, from designing and building the datacenters to migrating thousands of the client’s workloads. The target-state datacenter incorporated best-in-class technology choices, such as increased automation, AWS adoption, greater resiliency, and network segmentation, to minimize the blast radius. In parallel to datacenter design and build, the Deloitte team leveraged its industry-proven five-phase migration methodology to plan and execute the migration. The plan encompassed migrating a variety of major platforms including web, mainframe, shared services and trading platforms, as well as third-party products. Deloitte was able to achieve a migration success rate of 99.7 percent, with no business disruption during any event.

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Five lessons to inform migration

Across the migration process, five key lessons were learned that other financial services organizations should consider as they embark on any large-scale migration, whether moving to cloud or simply to another datacenter.

  1. A master migration schedule and execution structure are table stakes. It may seem obvious, but workload migrations can’t be undertaken without a clear structure for execution and a plan that has alignment across all stakeholder groups. A master migration schedule defines the sequence of events needed to migrate applications while minimizing business disruption. In this engagement, building a migration schedule required participation across the executive suite and business units.
  2. Application bundling is an art—and a science. Do not fall into mega-bundle trap. The financial services business, like many others, had highly coupled systems with common shared services and platforms—all told, nearly 100,000 dependencies. Understanding and mapping the dependencies, and retaining the bundles’ integrity, is a challenge that has to be met for migration success.
  3. Understand the migration risks, and practice for failure. There is no one-size-fits-all plan for any migration, and one particular challenge is understanding an organization’s unique exposures to risk and risk tolerance. Seeing the business’s needs and risk profile from all sides is key to success.
  4. Don’t forget about the end user. Don’t forget that business units may be using home grown tools such as a macro-enabled spreadsheet that access backed systems through static IP addresses or other means. These access means may break due to re-IP or access control changes.
  5. Understand your technology estate before you move it. Few organizations understand their technology to the extent needed for migration. Tribal knowledge is not enough. Take stock of your applications, networks, and dependencies.

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The path forward for financial services cloud adoption

At scale migrations can be perilous territory. With these lessons in mind, and a strong advisor to help along the way, an enterprise-wide migration can be streamlined and optimized for success.

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