Taking advantage of cloud-native solutions in Azure
As the world’s largest privately-held insurance brokerage firm, Lockton has applications spanning on-premise data centers along with the cloud. Lockton spotted the opportunity to take advantage of moving more platforms to cloud-native solutions for efficiency, scale and speed to market.
Lockton began a multiyear initiative to move applications to its cloud provider. Such a move provides the company several benefits: shifting from capital expenditure to pay for what you need, simplifying disaster recovery and leveraging a third party for risk management and scalability.
The first component of the initiative was moving 10 critical applications to the cloud. They needed a partner who could understand the vision, take ownership of the project and execute the migration.
Having previously worked with Lockton on several projects, 27Global had a proven track record of delivery and possessed the needed skills and certifications to complete the move.
Moving applications to the cloud isn’t as simple as drag and drop. It’s a complex process that includes unraveling applications from the old databases without interruption.
In beginning the project, 27Global found that more context about the applications was needed.
27Global’s team thoroughly researched and planned how to manage the process. In analyzing the code, environment and infrastructure, 27Global determined what would be the best order of operations to move these applications into Azure. The intricacies and interconnectivity of applications to databases required careful planning to align the application migration with a data migration strategy that optimized performance of migrated applications and minimized impact to applications left behind.
The applications were grouped into move groups based on the steps needed to enable the application to function in a cloud environment. Applications were further subjected to load and performance testing prior to moving to production.
Many facets were also taken into consideration, from rebuilding cloud-friendly email and authentication services to planning for public accessibility of the applications, the storage of personal information and data sensitivity.
After development and testing, the project was divided into four phases:
- Moving one application tied to a single database.
- Four applications with database dependencies that logically grouped together.
- Applications that are more functionally complicated.
- Applications that write to the data sources that couldn’t yet be moved to the cloud.
Working with multiple teams, 27Global began the cut-over to Azure. Applications were moved, thoroughly tested both for functionality and performance, then released for production. As of this writing, phases 1 and 2 are successfully completed. Once the first 10 applications are cut over, 27Global will begin the next migration of up to 50 applications.
Moving applications to the cloud frees up resources and capital to focus on what’s important, their Associates and Clients. By leveraging the cloud, Lockton can rapidly respond to customer needs, implement new features and iterate faster without worrying about the complexity of managing their own data center.
“What is really key to a successful cloud transformation is planning and preparation. We needed a partner who understands the data complexities and had the expertise to unravel applications without causing interruptions. 27Global continues to exceed our expectations in our work together.”
-Byron Clymer, CIO, Lockton