Enabling Board-level decisions ahead of cloud migration

CASE STUDY - White Clarke Group

DevOpsGroup client White Clarke Group Logo

The complex cost structure of White Clarke Group’s on-premise test and development platform had put a stranglehold on its planned migration to AWS. DevOpsGroup helped resolve the situation with an AWS Cloud Migration Assessment. We unlocked critical information and provided a robust business case to present to the Board.


Industry:

Independent Software Vendor

Organisation Type:

Scale-Up

Service:

Cloud Platform Engineering


Complex cost structure leads to migration stalemate

White Clarke Group is well-versed in cloud technology, regularly implementing customer production software solutions on AWS. However, its own testing and development environment is self-hosted, and efforts to migrate it to the cloud as part of wider modernisation had stalled.

The complexity of existing costs was at the heart of the problem. With the application hosted onsite, unpicking spend on hardware, software and power was a challenge. Since it was managed by an internal team, infrastructure administration costs were difficult to quantify too. There was also a lack of consolidated data for hardware end-of-life schedules and support costs.

Without this information, it was hard for the Board to justify migration to the cloud.

However, action needed to be taken. The platform was encountering operational problems and performance issues were taking a long time to resolve. While this situation didn’t directly impact customers, it hindered the productivity of White Clarke Group’s developer team.

“We knew that we needed to make changes to our test and development environment, but we simply didn’t have the data to make a sound business decision. DevOpsGroup enabled us to uncover the information we needed to break the deadlock.”

- Delivery Manager, White Clarke Group

A tailored assessment of on-premise and cloud costs

As an AWS Partner with the Migration Competency status, DevOpsGroup was appointed to conduct an AWS Cloud Migration Assessment on the platform. Fully aligned with the ‘Assess’ phase of AWS’ Migration Acceleration Program (MAP), this process revealed the true running costs of White Clarke Group’s existing set-up compared to future costs in the cloud.

The assessment involved three stages:

  • Business analysis (goals workshop, stakeholder interviews, Migration Readiness Assessment)
  • Rapid discovery sessions (detailed inspection of the platform’s existing infrastructure and operability as well as future requirements)
  • Analysis and playback (production of a business case, migration readiness report and costed recommendations for next steps)

Spending time with key stakeholders enabled us to build a clear picture of the platform’s usage and performance. This meant we could provide an accurate overview of current spend while highlighting benefits that could be leveraged in the cloud through improved agility, employee productivity and operational resiliency. We also factored in realistic estimates for hardware replacement and support to calculate an on-premise cost projection for comparative purposes.

Our rapid discovery sessions meant we were able to project White Clarke Group’s total cost of ownership in the cloud too. This included estimates for modernising the platform (as opposed to conducting a ‘lift-and-shift’ migration) to reduce operational risk and ensure the full benefits of AWS would be realised. We suggested implementing AWS CloudEndure as well, knowing that rapid disaster recovery improvement was a central business goal.

More informed, collaborative decision making

Outputs from the AWS Cloud Migration Assessment included a business case with projected costs for remaining on-premise versus migrating to the cloud. We analysed White Clarke Group’s unique circumstances and future plans to provide a more accurate picture than would be achieved with a standard evaluation tool. Then we showed how costs would stack up over time, modelling finances for 12-months and three years, including net expenditure and factors such as decommissioning the on-premise datacentre.

This depth and breadth of insight has empowered White Clarke Group’s Board to make better decisions. They can consider the bigger picture and total cost of ownership, rather than the simple transactional costs of on-premise compared to cloud. An additional benefit of the assessment is that the proposed expenditure for migrating to AWS was at a level that qualifies White Clarke Group for the full AWS MAP which is designed to offset dual running costs during migration.

“This was a thorough process, conducted in a diligent and professional manner by the DevOpsGroup team.”

Nick Ockwell, Group CIO, White Clarke Group

About White Clarke Group

White Clarke Group is a leading provider of end-to-end automotive finance software for vehicle manufacturers and dealers. It provides innovative solutions to more than 100 finance organisations globally via its highly configurable platform.

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