Situation

After a decade of aggressively investing in automating business processes and creating mobile, web and analytics capabilities, a large insurance company faced running out of data center space. Building a new data center or expanding an existing data center would be a large capital investment and would divert funds from market growth opportunities. It was also clear that owning a dedicated data center was no longer necessary. Once the company decided not to invest in expanding or building a new data center, they turned to finding an alternative for capacity in the short term and a long term solution to adapt to their evolving business.

Solution

The company’s CIO, now a NextLevel partner, led a technical team to create a data center strategy based on moving to the cloud. Weighing private, public and hybrid cloud solutions against business requirements, a hybrid solution was selected. At this point the CIO created the migration roadmap, multi-phased implementation plan and secured approval from the executive team and board of directors.

Results

The strategy and multi-phased approach met the immediate need to create more data center capacity, improve operational data center functions, expand disaster recovery capabilities and support the company’s goal to deliver new market-facing solutions.

  • An 85% reduction of capital costs by moving to the cloud over building a new data center.
  • Reduced testing expense in half by quickly provisioning test resources when needed and just as quickly de-provisioning them when the project was completed.
  • Expanded disaster recovery capabilities beyond the mission critical level.
  • Improved the allocation of onsite data center resources to core system administration functions.
  • Improved operational cycle times to upgrade and patch systems within compliance objectives.
  • Successful execution of multiple disaster recovery tests validating all mission critical functions.
  • Path forward to migrate production systems as expertise in managing cloud environments matured.
  • Budget and timeline commitments met.
  • Best vendor agreement through simultaneous negotiation with the top two vendors.
  • Reduced existing power and space requirements through the consolidation, retirement and virtualization of systems.

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