Stairway to the Cloud with Microsoft Azure for a significant Norwegian municipality

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A significant municipality needed an expert analysis from Sopra Steria to find the best approach for migrating to the cloud. We then joined forces for a successful transition from on-premises to Microsoft Azure Cloud.


Background: Preparing for the Cloud 

A comprehensive understanding of how our customer could leverage cloud services to deliver their business applications optimally was the purpose of the analysis. Availability, capacity, cost, flexibility, and security were taken into account. Sopra Steria's approach to cloud projects is based on the customer's needs and strategy. We call it Sopra Steria RightCloud, the right cloud solution for the right customer.
Our customer focus areas: sustainability, smart city initiatives, health, welfare, education, sports, culture, work environment, research, business, development, innovation, and user-oriented solutions all guided our analysis and description of a cloud solution.


Customer Value: People meet Technology – Simplified Server Management 

The analysis project gave our customer a complete overview of the entire IT infrastructure across the organization with 15 000 employees. This included all servers, the services offered, and how applications were used on a daily basis. The cloud solution should include all services across the municipality, the basis of everything they do, from innovation and business to sports and health. Safety alarms are just one example of a critical service that must be maintained during the migration phase from on-premises to the cloud, with minimal or rather – no downtime.
Software as a Service (SaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS) are familiar terms for technologists, indicating a secure path to the cloud. The use of technology was combined with an analysis how the employees in the municipality work and close dialogue with service providers, from the home care department manager to employees in the park agency. People meet technology, and only the IT department of our customer needs to think about the technical aspects. The solutions should simply work for end-users in their daily work in a secure way.
The analysis prepared for a thorough cleanup in close collaboration with all stakeholders, from customer teams to service providers to the IT department. 

We are ready for modernization through a secure move to the cloud, providing freedom to scale with more solutions in the future. All servers have been quality assured for such a process, and the number has been significantly reduced, enabling sustainable modernization,” says a top manager of our customer.


Sopra Steria’s Contribution: Professionalized Process and technological Expertise 

Sopra Steria was involved through the entire process, from analysis to the actual migration. We established good processes and working routines for the analysis. We developed templates for interviews and reports, recommended analysis tools suitable for mapping the server park and applications, and through reports, we recommended the necessary steps for moving to the cloud.
All of this was done in close collaboration with the customer and in direct contact with service managers within the organization, ensuring everyone had the same understanding of the requirements. We also identified benefits of modernization, such as better overview, simpler database administration, fewer servers, and scalability.

Technology Facts
Our customer’s new cloud solution is based on Sopra Steria's RightCloud 3.0 reference architecture in Azure. The solution is also set up with Terraform with underlying CI/CD pipelines. This has enabled the implementation of DevOps practices and tools for the customer team managing and operating the solution in the future.
Sopra Steria provided expertise in migrating to Microsoft Azure Cloud, including:

  • Azure Migrate (server mapping)
  • Rehosting Windows servers on Azure (One of Gartner’s 5 R’s for cloud migration strategy. The server is moved as it is today to the Azure Data Center)
  • Rehosting SQL on Azure
  • Refactoring SQL on Azure
  • Rehosting Linux servers on Azure