Cloud transformation for a Top10 global retailer

VirtusLab’s goal was to help the company drives its large-scale Azure cloud transformation.

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Industry
Retail
Technology
Azure
Scope
Cloud transformation
We did a large scale Azure cloud transformation for FTSE100 organization.

The client

Our Client is a Top10 global grocery and general merchandise retailer. With its scale, it is processing thousands of transactions per second, supporting delivery of 1,000,000,000+ (that’s 1 billion) items annually, growing its user base with an average 4 new registrations per minute, and having more than £50 billion of revenue every year only in Europe. The client is on the market for nearly a century now. As for any such organization it also has its history of different hardware technologies, software products, hundreds of 3rd party vendors, and many duplicated processes across over a dozen countries in which it operates.

image for article: Cloud transformation for a Top10 global retailer

VirtusLab's goal was to help the company drive its large-scale Azure cloud transformation.

The solution

Our goal was to provide migration to Azure cloud for the whole organization. Given the size and complexity of the organization, this went a long way beyond a purely technical solution and required very close coordination with management across many departments.

1. The first step towards this direction was providing a common Azure Cloud Platform together with the automated onboarding process, preconfigured environments, security policies, network connectivity to the data center, and monitoring standards – all consistent with organization standards and policies.

2. The next step was a much larger scope which was restructuring the whole ecosystem within the company in areas of Cloud-Native and Agile practices. This included setting the infrastructure, processes, and tooling for an organization of nearly 200 development teams and around 2,000 engineers. Not a small challenge and definitely not something that happens overnight.

From the technical perspective, it included areas like:

  • Introduction of tools for IaaC (Infrastructure as Code – Azure Templates / Terraform)
  • Network infrastructure
  • Identity Management and Access Control
  • Monitoring, logging and alerting
  • Planning compartmentalization and reducing blast radius
  • System Design and cloud infrastructure best practices

 

image for article: Cloud transformation for a Top10 global retailer

From the organizational perspective, the objectives were much broader, including:

  • Planning of gradual onboarding (with various tools and technologies used by teams; from small services to large multi-cloud distributed systems with some legacy concerns)
  • Self-service tools and democratization of tooling within the organization (inner sourcing, contribution model)
  • Defining ownership and responsibility models
  • Security, compliance and data protection policies
  • Incident and Change Management processes
  • Increase adoption of Cloud-Native technologies and build a community around it

Results

Transforming such a large organization is a challenge for several years. Our cooperation with the customer is still ongoing and we are a leading 3rd party vendor helping the client to complete its cloud transformation.

image for article: Cloud transformation for a Top10 global retailer

 

So far we have:

1.

migrated dozens of business-critical applications from AWS to Azure (redesigning infrastructure architecture in the process) while maintaining system availability even in such demanding times like Black Friday or Cyber Monday.

2.

standardized Infrastructure as Code approach within an organization which so far reduced duplication of effort across dozens of development teams.

3.

reduced developer friction with security e.g. secured and fully operational Kubernetes environments out of the box.

4.

increased adoption of Cloud-Native technologies and modern development practices which led to faster time to market (cut time-to-market by 10+ man-weeks for typical projects).

5.

helped design and migrate many systems which resulted in faster delivery and better quality in the cloud infrastructure area.

This collaboration is still ongoing – we set new, bolder goals because there are still a lot of improvements and cutting edge solutions that can bring competitive advantage to our client.

Our team of cloud experts can assist you in end-to-end cloud transformation.

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