Client Stories

SHL

Investing in the future: Cloud migration & DevOps best practice

“Working with 6point6 is a true partnership. Their team had the motivation and drive necessary to help us achieve seamless integration, enabling us to reach a critical and ambitious milestone in transitioning all of our platforms into the cloud.” - Mark Brincat, Chief Technology Officer, SHL.

The challenge

SHL provides data-driven talent solutions to FTSE 100 and Fortune Global 500 companies that deliver more sustainable business outcomes through deeper people insight.

They needed to migrate multiple applications, human development tools and data from their on-site data centre into a new cloud-based solution, whilst splitting their data into various geographical regions where they operate (US, Europe, Australia and China). In doing so, they invested in DevOps capabilities and prepared the applications for further improvements using the latest technologies, such as serverless microservices.

The transformation to being cloud-native provided SHL the opportunity to evolve its platforms and products leveraging the flexibility and scalability of the cloud. The platform approach transitioned from buying kit to scale up through consumer demand. This required a level of re-factoring and re-platforming to enable this type of transformation.

To overcome this, they engaged 6point6 to deliver cloud migration, architecture and DevOps expertise to enable them to migrate into AWS public cloud, whilst improving SHL’s in-house DevOps capabilities.

Implementing DevOps to create an elastic cloud architecture 

Working to a hard deadline, we led the AWS cloud migration, shut down SHL’s data centre and developed their in-house DevOps practice to support on-going cloud migration and future transformation projects.

Not only this, we seamlessly integrated with internal teams and augmented project management to develop a lasting DevOps strategy which informed the release of new features, standardising code branching and release strategies to automate infrastructure code release with greater ease. Working in a multi-supplier environment the 6point6 team was able to facilitate SHL teams’ transition from data-centre mindset to a cloud-native mindset.

Infrastructure and cloud management

Liaising with SHL’s global teams, we took over project management of the cloud migration of the 12 applications which needed to be duplicated in multiple regions around the world. As part of this, we transferred and split data from several databases, working closely with Quality Assurance (QA) teams, and multi-cloud solutions provider, Nordcloud. We also created a new process for developing and deploying cloud infrastructure in AWS via Cloudformation, enabling a consistent and predictable infrastructure environment which allows SHL’s development teams to migrate and refactor application code to better suit cloud environments safely.

DevOps advocacy

We also supported SHL to enhance their in-house DevOps practice to support their on-going cloud migration programme and future transformation projects through hands-on training. This enabled their DevOps staff to streamline new feature releases including their first microservice via AWS Fargate, whilst supporting the automation of manual steps to achieve fast, frequent deployment of features to end-users.

Results that matter

Working with multiple stakeholders and across several global jurisdictions, we migrated SHL from an on-prem environment to the cloud in just six months. As part of this, we developed a cloud architecture which will enable the business to leverage the benefits of the cloud both now and in the future, whilst facilitating the quick release of new features.

There are 20 applications in development, staged across three environments, and each region now has its own application.

  • Migrated client from on-prem data centres into the public AWS cloud across four global jurisdictions
  • Provided access to additional services from AWS such as serverless
  • Used process automation to deliver consistency, repeatability and speed to deployment of new features
  • Rapidly scaled applications to meet business requirements
  • Improved in-house DevOps capabilities
  • Delivered significant digital efficiencies of scale

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