The acquisition by Stedin Group confronted the Dutch network company DNWG with a problem: the cloud is the future, but is every business application suitable for the cloud? Via a cloud assessment, Cegeka defined a clear roadmap for a future-proof application landscape.
Infrastructure no longer holds any secrets for DNWG. For three decades, the former ‘De Netwerk Groep’ has been maintaining electricity, gas and drinking water pipes in the Dutch province Zeeland. This year not only the underground infrastructure was on the maintenance agenda; the company's own ICT infrastructure was an important topic too. This was a consequence of the acquisition by the Stedin Group and the new 'cloud, unless' strategy.
“Our workstations were already in the Microsoft cloud, but the business applications were running at the Cegeka data center," says Patrick Verschueren, ICT Services Manager at DNWG. "In time, DNWG and Stedin will have to work with the same applications, so the cloud is the future. That much was clear. The only question was: can we simply move all the applications to the cloud? If so, how? And if not, what are the alternatives? That was a complex issue for which we needed helpm”
For most applications it was already clear that the cloud would not pose a problem. Nine 'doubtful cases' remained. DNWG called in Cegeka to investigate the possibilities and limitations of these applications. "With some applications, such as the Geographic Information System, we had question marks," says Verschueren. "After all, that's a very heavy application.".
Looking beyond technology
In consultation with DNWG the Cegeka analysts decided to carry out a Cloud Assessment. This comprises a technical and a functional analysis that takes into account both DNWG's and Stedin's policy. Cegeka performed additional research for two applications for which a scan was not possible, because they were hosted in another data center.
"What I like about Cegeka's working method is that they look beyond just the technology," Verschueren says. "They have an eye for our policy and our starting points. They look at what Stedin wants in the long term and what the applications will look like in five years' time. The approach was very broad."
The report showed that six applications could migrate flawlessly to the cloud. Two required further investigation and for one the cloud was emphatically advised against, as it would certainly lead to performance problems. The report now serves as input for further strategic sessions. Based on the findings, a roadmap will be drawn up for each application.
In close cooperation
Verschueren looks back on a successful project. "We have been working closely with Cegeka for years. There is regular consultation from the work floor to board level. Cegeka knows our company and knows what is going on. During this project, we were updated on the progress during weekly meetings. That worked very well. Moreover, the report is of a high quality level. We shared it with Stedin, who presented it to Microsoft representatives. They let us know that they fully supported the content of the report."
Verschueren is pleased that the report provides clarity. "The 'no' regarding that one business application confirms that it was wise to do research, and not migrate everything to the cloud blindly. It also shows that the analysts know what they are talking about. Cegeka has taken a lot of work off our hands - and saved us from a lot of trouble."