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Cloud Migration Case Study

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About Stoddart Group:

With a mission to create solutions that deliver a better way to build, Stoddart Group is well-equipped with the tools, knowledge and industry expertise to go above and beyond for their customers.

They are the often unseen but ever-present backbone of the construction of a new home.

Executive Summary

Stoddart Group is one of Australia’s leading suppliers and installers of products to the residential building industry. For 60 years, Stoddart Group has been creating benchmarks in their industry in terms of providing the best integrated building solutions to its customers.

As an organisation that is recognised for driving change within its industry, Stoddart Group felt that their aging IT infrastructure was struggling to keep pace with the demands of a rapidly expanding business. For several years, IT related problems had resulted in outages and poor performance. With most of their IT infrastructure out of vendor support, Stoddart Group felt the time was right to undertake a complete transformation of their IT environment with a desire to move to a solution that supports both current and future business requirements.

Migrating to AWS would not only help Stoddart Group attain a stable, scalable and reliable IT platform but also provide the much-needed agility to cater for changing business needs.

The Challenges

Aging Infrastructure
Having an aging and outdated IT infrastructure at the center of the business was impacting Stoddart Group’s customer and employee experience. If left unaddressed, lack of sustainability and scalability would hinder Stoddart Group’s business growth and its ability to adapt to change in a rapidly changing industry.

High Risk
Running unsupported, legacy IT infrastructure with single points of failure increased the risk of downtime and data loss.

High Technical Debt
Over-engineered solutions and a lack of documentation and clear-cut procedures caused massive technical debt to the company and was making disaster recovery a near impossible task.

Idea 11 is an expert AWS partner who leads from the front for AWS solutions. Idea 11 has very highly skilled team who represents the brand in a very professional manner. Working with Idea 11 as a partner is effortless."

Krushal Shah
IT Director, Stoddart Group

Why Idea 11?

When it comes to migrating an organisation safely to cloud, Idea 11 understands that every company has different challenges and therefore believes in customising the solution that’s best suited for a customer instead of going for a one-size-fits-all approach.

Having experienced Idea 11’s unparalleled cloud migration services and bespoke solutions before, Stoddart Group’s new IT Director decided to engage Idea 11 as the preferred IT partner for their cloud migration project.

Why AWS?

In the era of rapid technological change, the cloud is not only useful for backup and storage, it’s key for future-proofing businesses and maintaining a competitive edge. Businesses moving mass amounts of data to the cloud can take advantage of the latest technology and move away from ageing on-premises infrastructure, putting them at the forefront of innovation.

Migrating to Amazon Web Services (AWS) unlocks efficiencies and operational benefits that businesses never knew were possible. From lower costs to increased speed, AWS helps businesses focus more on core competencies and reimagine how they work and how they innovate.

The Solution

To begin with, Idea 11 carried out a comprehensive systems and architecture review and performed a cloud readiness assessment. This led to a better understanding of the different technologies in use, their impact on the business, risks and areas of improvement, and helped us determine the suitability for leveraging a public cloud solution.

The client played a pivotal role in Phase 1 and Phase 2 of the project, wherein multiple workshops were conducted with key stakeholders throughout the business in order to get an insight into Stoddart Group’s business goals and identify the challenges that they were facing.

In the 3rd and final phase, the experienced Idea 11 team executed the migration project and transformed Stoddart Group to their future mode of operations.

The solution was centered around a full migration of workloads to AWS, with the ultimate objective of having a reliable, future-ready platform that enables the team to have an improved, agile and reliable IT platform.

As part of this migration, Stoddart Group’s main line of business application was re-architected to leverage native AWS services such as AWS Lambda, and Idea 11 implemented full CI/CD pipelines through AWS CodeDeploy.

To complement the AWS migration, the following solutions were chosen to be best suited for Stoddart Group’s network requirements:

  • Cisco Meraki Software Defined WAN (SD-WAN) to replace the expensive MPLS network across 30+ branch sites.
  • Cisco Meraki switching and wireless across the whole organisation.
  • Palo Alto Networks next-generation firewalls for perimeter security in AWS and at major branch offices.

The platform configuration was fully documented, and a verified Disaster Recovery procedure document was created with an objective of enabling Stoddart Group to recover quickly and effectively in the event of mass outages. Additionally, multiple formal training sessions were offered to the internal IT team to make sure the skill gaps that were identified were fully addressed.

Stoddart Group also engaged Idea 11’s TechOps team as the Managed Services Provider for AWS infrastructure, capacity and availability management, as well as a full-service firewall management across AWS and the major branch offices.

Idea 11 embedded well with my team and worked very professionally throughout the project. They have a strong passion for delivering a business solution which is well aligned with the organisational strategy."

Krushal Shah
IT Director, Stoddart Group

Outcomes and Benefits

In under 6 months, Stoddart Group were running a hybrid IT environment with business-critical systems deployed in a highly available configuration, removing many of the single points of failure that had existed in the legacy environment. Unscheduled outages have also been eliminated, resulting in reduced business risks, enabling Stoddart Group to provide a better customer and employee experience.

Stoddart Group now operates a highly available, scalable and secure platform using the most flexible cloud environment provided by AWS.

Performance at branch sites has been greatly improved and technical debt has been significantly reduced. Stoddart Group’s IT team now spends less time focusing on infrastructure and backend issues and more time focusing on aligning with business objectives and bringing innovation into the organisation.

Benefits:

In addition to accomplishing the desired outcome of future-proofing the company, the client now experiences better agility as well as improved cost efficiency when compared with the legacy environment.

Stoddart Group’s internal service request response time has significantly come down from 19 days to well under 2 days and user satisfaction has risen from 55% to 78% and continues to be on an upward trajectory since the migration.

Additionally, the risk rating has come down from 5 to an acceptable state of being at 3 and the IT Maturity matrix made its way to 2 from being at an all-time low at 0.5 before the migration project had kicked off.

Furthermore, the Stoddart Group DR/BCP postures increased significantly. The engagement reduced the achievable recovery point objective (RPO) from up to 72 hours to under 1 hour and the recovery time objective (RTO) from 24 hours to 2 hours. The disaster recovery test itself achieved an RTO of under 1 hour. The client also saw significant cost reduction in their networking services, particularly around replacing the costly MPLS service with a new SD-WAN solution.

For Stoddart Group, user satisfaction is one of the most critical key performance indicators, so seeing this metric exhibiting a clear upward trend is a big win for the business.

Performance increases will be realised over time as the environment is further optimised by Stoddart Group’s well-equipped IT team and Idea 11 TechOps team collaboratively. The client can now boast of greater agility, improved cost efficiency and better customer and employee experience when compared with the legacy environment.

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Service request response time has significantly come down from 19 days to well under 2 days.

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Risk rating has come down from 5 to an ideal state of being at 3.

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IT Maturity matrix made its way to 2 from being at an all-time low at 0.5.

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User satisfaction has risen from 55% to 78%.