At TIBCO NOW London, TIBCO’s Darren Crowder, Head of Solution Consulting in UKI & Netherlands, interviewed Ian Skelly, Head of Software Engineering at TESCO Bank, and Jasper ten Hove, the Logistical e-commerce IT Manager of PostNL, to learn first-hand how they embarked on their cloud transformation journey. He wanted to see how they optimize technology and resources to drive innovation in their respective industries, and how they deployed mission-critical business applications and services in the cloud.
What was the compelling event that made your organization move to the cloud?
Ian Skelly (TESCO): Our main motivation was to address currency risk attached to our aging on-premises data center and the need to fix this. This drove us into the fast lane to address our challenges and a clear strategic path to the cloud. Moving to the cloud has decreased the number of handoffs between people, thus increasing security, and it’s allowed us to change customer offerings. We are at a point today where all of our customer-facing channels are in the cloud.
Jasper ten Hove (PostNL): The reason we looked at cloud infrastructure is that there was an interesting dynamic in the organization. The letter side of the business needed to save costs while the parcel side of the business needed to grow and have more capacity. Quite early on we thought cloud could be the answer for both. We started moving to the cloud to be faster in delivering changes and to also be more cost effective. As a result, we’ve decreased infrastructure costs by 40% and we get things to market much faster now.
Is operating in the cloud really cheaper than operating in the data center?
Ian: You don’t see the cost savings right away. But it gives you the ability to cost optimize in the future. Operating in the cloud space, you are closer to what things cost and their ROI. For certain products, it’s easier to measure that investment and decide what’s worth it or not and you can just shut it down if it isn’t working because you haven’t put in that upfront investment.
Jasper: For us, total spend stayed the same but we now have less money going into data centers and more money going into product development.
What are some of the pitfalls you experienced in your journey into the cloud? What would you try to avoid as you go forward or if you had a second chance?
Ian: Spend your money on consultancy, but don’t get them to do things for you – get them to coach and mentor you and teach you how to do things yourself. In the cloud, operations people, management, and maybe infrastructure need to go on a journey with you. That’s a really big part of your success. You maybe need to engage training partners to help and make sure everyone is trained in the capabilities of the cloud.
Jasper: You need to be clear and understand why you are going to the cloud. Going to the cloud is not a goal in itself. In the beginning, we had some apps we were going to lift and shift, but we realized that that doesn’t really make sense. You lose most of the benefits of the cloud if you don’t rethink an application and really step into the benefits.
In terms of using TIBCO tech in the cloud, what things have been major benefits for you?
Ian: It makes resilience easier. You can deal with practical things in the cloud-like public events. For instance, when we advertised TESCO’s new credit card rate, we got 200,000 hits and we could deal with that in the cloud because you can scale and meet those demands wherein traditional ways, we would have had problems.
Jasper: We mostly use TIBCO BusinessWorks™ 5 and we are now in the process of moving to TIBCO BusinessWorks™ Container Edition. TIBCO is the first product to actually deliver 100% uptime on our systems and that’s why we are sticking with it.
To get help on your journey to the cloud, download this whitepaper, TIBCO Cloud Path: Smart and Complete Cloud Migration Assessment, Preparation, and Execution, watch our webinar series Choose Your Path > Journey to Cloud or contact us for help.