Migrating core enterprise systems to the cloud is one of the biggest tests an IT organization will ever face. In many cases, it’s critical to improve system agility, enhance enterprise security, and deliver a more sustainable and flexible cost structure. Yet, at the same time, it is fraught with risk, given the many unknowns often buried in the legacy environment.
Accenture Federal Services (Accenture) geared up for its internal cloud migration, but—sure enough—along the journey, an unforeseen twist occurred that raised the stakes dramatically. The company—whose clients include all US federal cabinet-level agencies—had charged its IT team with migrating its entire financial management suite to the cloud. By rearchitecting the system in a cloud environment, the company would improve manageability and streamline integration with the many third-party applications reliant on this system of record. While at the same time, moving systems and data responsible for continuous billing, payments, payroll, and reporting presented business continuity risks.
As Accenture was about to embark on this 18-month cloud-migration journey, it learned that the company was given six months’ notice to vacate its existing data center. Because the migration was a carefully orchestrated process—developed in partnership with finance, human resources, and security colleagues—accelerating the move was not a certainty.
The team quickly called up its contingency plan and immediately updated its requirements, weighing the different degrees of risk and levels of support required for planning. What was on Accenture’s updated “must have list” for this environment? Increased flexibility, greater resource availability, enhanced security, and reduced costs, to name a few needs. After careful assessment, the company set out on the migration path on a highly expedited timeline.