GFT unlocks cloud benefits for $900 billion investment firm
Accelerate a cloud journey
An enterprise cloud migration in an aggressive timeframe.
Quarter-end reporting processing time reduced by 15 hours (26%).
An ongoing strategic partnership built on success and trust.
Confronting the constraints of on-site legacy technology
A large U.S. investment firm was struggling with the massive processing demands of producing quarterly reports for investors. Its systems required both accounting and reporting tools to track its investment positions and other data. The firm managed its own IT systems, which were costly to maintain and expensive to upgrade. Its legacy technology lacked the processing capacity that the firm needed every quarter. Doing nothing was not a sustainable option.
The firm decided to migrate from its on premises systems to Amazon Web Services’ cloud platform, but it needed to do so quickly to comply with its end-of-quarter reporting requirements. The "lift and shift" migration would provide instant access to the unlimited computing and storage of the cloud and allow the firm to adopt agile methods, improve applications development, and provide continuous delivery.
But the rapid pace of the transition also required proper staffing to oversee the migration. The team needed to understand the infrastructure that the firm was moving from, as well as the architecture it was moving to. In addition, the team had to ensure that the firm’s software and programmes worked seamlessly once they were on the cloud. Only by having people with the knowledge to integrate legacy systems to the AWS cloud — and the ability to work with AWS teams — would the firm gain the full migration benefits, such as load balancing and high availability, which were critical to its processing needs.
In addition, the firm hoped moving to the cloud would be the first step in modernising its technology, develop a more scalable system, reduce costs and use its resources more efficiently.
Given the ambitious nature of the migration, the firm needed an experienced partner to achieve these goals.
A trusted partner with deep expertise
GFT had collaborated with the firm on various software development projects since 2013. That long working history gave the firm confidence in GFT’s ability to handle such a complicated migration.
With its Cloud Services Framework, GFT provided a cost-effective migration based on proven methods and quantifiable milestones.
The firm had multiple teams, and the migration strategy varied among them. The GFT Migration Factory identified each team’s objectives and developed a strategy based on four key steps:
- Determining how to migrate each application and quantify the benefits
- Planning the migration sequence and system of governance
- Designing a bespoke "factory" to integrate the resources of GFT, the firm, and AWS
- Transferring knowledge to client teams to ensure self-sufficiency on the new tech stack
This approach was designed to unify the various teams’ needs around one technology stack, provide scalability, and increase resources using cloud infrastructure. At the same time, it avoided pitfalls such as timeouts and the need to develop failure-prevention safeguards because of performance issues.
FIS Investran™ - the beating heart of the investment firm
One of the most crucial applications of the client’s estate is FIS Investran, a real-time accounting and reporting system for private equity. Investran consolidates data from many sources to provide a holistic picture of the business.
GFT migrated Investran to the cloud in about 10 months and within budget — and without interruption to the business. During that time GFT, also integrated other services that interact with Investran in the cloud.
Automation can now run 15 hours faster, offering a 26% saving with no timeouts and no database constraints, eliminating the need for multiple reporting databases.
Communication and proximity were key
GFT developed a multilevel communications plan involving all the partners, with daily, weekly, and monthly meetings to monitor progress and assign resources. As planned, the five-member team grew to 70 to meet the increasing need for specialised skills.
GFT’s core development team’s location in Costa Rica also was crucial to the project’s success. Meetings with the client in New York could be arranged on short notice. GFT also provided regular support from its Miami office.
Technology designed for business success
The multiyear cloud migration was completed on time and on budget, and the firm’s critical and peripheral systems are now running on the cloud.
With the move, the firm’s technology and business strategies are aligned. With unlimited server resources, it can seize business opportunities quickly and cost-effectively. CPU, memory, and drive space can be adjusted easily as needed, especially near the end of the quarter when processing demands surge.
Cloud migration has streamlined and standardised many business processes across the company and created a unified service culture centred on customer needs. GFT delivered on its promise of a sustainable, quantifiable improvement to the firm’s business.
On the cloud, the firm can access three times more CPU cores, enabling applications to run faster. In addition, the cloud database is 15 times larger than the firm’s on premises setup, meaning that users no longer need to coordinate their work to avoid blocking each other from accessing databases. The firm also no longer has the expense of maintaining or upgrading its own servers or other on premises hardware. All new applications will be developed for the AWS cloud.
With the migration complete, GFT is now employing cloud native resources to further adapt the firm’s architecture to the cloud, which will boost scalability, efficiency and savings even more.
"GFT and AWS together were able to migrate the firm to the cloud as the first phase of their business transformation. The migration has led to several benefits such as significantly increasing server resources to allow for more concurrent usage, reducing timeout errors,and eliminating the need for their fund accountant teams to use a separate reporting database."
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GFT unlocks cloud benefits for $900 billion investment firm