OHRA cloud migration
OHRA is one of the largest digital insurers in the Netherlands. With 800,000 customers and many insurance policies, services and channels, it is important to have an IT landscape that allows for rapid innovation and cost control.
Fast and flexible in the Cloud
The main reason to migrate?
Simple, the data center was closing, and had to make way for new construction. But this wasn’t the only reason to migrate to the Cloud. After the cloud migration, OHRA’s IT teams have become more flexible and can launch updates even faster.
For the most part, the cloud migration consisted of about 200 Enterprise Java Applications and a few other exotics.
The Luminis approach
Luminis was asked by OHRA at an early stage to give advice on the approach and structure of the project.
The project started with visually mapping all systems and their internal and external connections. The result, in the form of an interactive web application, has been widely shared and regularly used during the migration to plan partial migrations and make decisions. This way we kept a good overview of the progress during the migration of all applications. When making all dependencies visible, we found out that some of the applications could be phased out. This immediately resulted in a first financial saving.
Gain insight with interactive visualizations
Instead of doing everything ourselves, we chose to deploy a team of migration experts who supported the functional teams of OHRA in carrying out the migration steps. By having the customer carry out the work themselves, they were not only more involved during the migration, but there was also room for sharing knowledge.
In addition to the substantive, technical side of the migration, much attention was paid to the organizational side and change management. In other words: how do you get people on board and how do you keep everyone informed and enthusiastic?
A number of factors were decisive for the success of this complex migration.
During the exploratory phase, a multi-disciplinary platform team was formed in which important choices and priorities were discussed. The platform team set up the basis of the cloud environment, long before the various development teams got started. Such a platform team combines knowledge and experience, enabling the project to get off to a flying start. The new applications were brought to production step by step. This has major advantages over a ‘big bang‘. This way the migration happens in a manageable way and the risks are smaller.
Monitor the progress
Keeping track of the migration progress was done on a so-called ‘race track’: an athletics track full of sprinters, one for each application to be migrated. With shirts in the colors of the different teams, so that it was easy to see how far everyone had come and how far away the finish line was.
In the beginning it was busy at the start, but the first progress was soon visible. At the end of the trajectory, the center of gravity of the field was clearly at the finish line, where applications were eventually taken into production one by one in the new Cloud environment.
Start with the most important things
A lot of time has also been spent on making the best migration choice for each application. This regularly resulted in difficult conversations and choices. Time pressure due to the closure of the data center also occasionally played a role in the decision-making process. That is why it was important to make explicit which ‘technical debt’ had to be solved for each application at a later time, and with what priority.
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