Cloud Discovery & Readiness

Arizona Department of Health Services

Problem Statement

For years, the Arizona Department of Health Services  (ADHS) hosted their workloads in the State Data Center.  However, the agency had several challenges and risks that drove the agency to look more closely at the Cloud as a viable option for its infrastructure.  Some of the challenges and risks included:

  • The state of Arizona implemented a Cloud-first initiative that would eventually shut down the State Data Center.
  • Complex funding sources across its programs resulted in redundant hardware purchases, increasing the overall Total Cost of Ownership for the agency.
  • DHS was facing ongoing challenges of acquiring the Capital Expenditures (CapEx) funding to maintain its current environment.
  • Accurately estimating the amount of computing power and storage was becoming increasingly difficult to manage.

Proposed Solution & Architecture

ADHS partnered with Zuggand to determine the readiness of the organization to move to the Cloud.  As part of the engagement, Zuggand performed a high-level assessment of ADHS’s technology infrastructure, software applications, data, security, operations and personnel using its standard consulting approach.

The Cloud Discovery and Readiness assessment was designed to help DHS meet several objectives they identified as part of this engagement:

  • Ensure the ADHS IT organization has a clearly defined Cloud strategy that is aligned with the statewide strategy;
  • Ensure the ADHS IT organization is aligned to the overall Cloud strategy;
  • Determine the overall readiness of the organization to begin migrating to the Cloud;
  • Complete a competitive overview of major Cloud providers and determine the primary Cloud provider to use;
  • Build the business case for moving to the Cloud so ADHS IT management can present it to agency leadership; and

Process

As part of the engagement, Zuggand leveraged its standard consulting methodology to do the following:

  • Perform a comprehensive risk-based assessment of infrastructure, applications, resources, finances, and other critical factors,
  • Assess the skills and competencies of the IT organization;
  • Analyze the agency’s portfolio of applications;  
  • Determine the prioritization of Cloud-adoption initiatives, their costs, and organizational impact;
  • Determine and document how Cloud could enable the agency to meet its business goals; and
  • Provide a readiness report and recommendations for next steps.

Results

As a result of the assessment and readiness report provided by Zuggand, ADHS determined that migrating part of its infrastructure to the Cloud would meet all of its objectives and be a long-term, cost-effective solution for managing its infrastructure.  In addition, AWS made the decision to move forward with an AWS Proof of Concept to prove the AWS technology would meet its performance, security and reliability objectives.

Lessons Learned/ Outcomes

In most cases, moving to the Cloud provides substantial cost savings, reduces or eliminates the need for an enterprise to maintain its own data centers, reduces or eliminates the need to manage hardware and software updates and enables innovation. That said, there are many critical areas of operation that are affected when an organization makes the decision to move to the Cloud – Development, Security, Governance, Finance and Planning, Talent Acquisition, and Customer Support just to name a few.  Every organization has different levels of maturity within these various operational groups and therefore should do an assessment to determine if the right people, processes and technologies are in place before moving to the Cloud.