Establishment of a hybrid cloud platform in an international logistics company

How do you initiate a cloud transformation in a global organization with 90 thousand employees, including a large and complex application landscape with several thousand applications?

As a logistics company, the business model is often focused on “high volume, low margin,” which means that all process and cost optimization contributes to improving the bottom line. This creates a natural need for an efficient and flexible application landscape, as well as a mature approach to architecture and software development, to maintain and enhance competitiveness in a highly digitized market.

The challenge was to create a hybrid cloud platform across private and public clouds that supports both application modernization and rapid development of new data-driven business services.

In this case, the organization started with a strong focus on technology and quickly progressed with the technical components of the hybrid cloud platform. Challenges arose in the process when the desire was also to have security-by-design, based on a zero-trust architecture, and integrating new operational and compliance processes with the corresponding processes in the existing platform.

The hybrid cloud transformation was carried out as a corporate startup, which meant choosing to build a parallel development and operations organization. An interesting challenge was balancing the further development of platform components with the onboarding and operation of business applications on the same platform.

A classic scale-up problem, but here within a corporate framework.

The key questions were:

  • How do you define the form, goals, and direction of hybrid cloud transformation and how do you establish clear and motivating success criteria?
  • How do you translate requirements from Security-by-Design, Compliance-by-Design, and Zero Trust into target architecture, processes, and automation in a DevOps-based development process?
  • How do you establish a comprehensive model that can be used to manage both quality, cost/benefit, and organizational scaling towards strategic goals?

Omnium Improvement provided a team that could align business goals, architecture, and agile execution from a strategic to an operational level. The transition was conducted within a SAFe framework, where OI contributed to areas such as System Architecture, Release Train Engineering, agile execution, and management consulting.

The starting point, in close collaboration with the customer, was to outline the framework and success criteria for the initiative. Then, the focus was on architecture, security, and automation, where contributions were made:

  • Architecture vision and framework for the entire initiative, including adaptation of existing EA frameworks for security, network design, naming, role/access management, and secure software development process (DevSecOps).
  • Definition of agile processes for deploying cross-cutting security requirements in agile implementation teams.
  • Communication and stakeholder management regarding the hybrid cloud paradigm shift, particularly in relation to development teams, security, operations, and EA/compliance.
  • Establishment of an overall business case for strategic management dialogue and scaling of the new organization. This was balanced with how quickly the existing application landscape should be modernized.

Today, the hybrid cloud initiative has become a successful corporate scale-up, poised for growth in the coming years as the complex legacy application landscape is modernized and new digital services are developed.