Cloud Strategy for Pharmaceutical & Health Science Provider


A regional division of a global pharmaceutical company was compelled to meet new requirements in their operating model, driving improved efficiency, flexibility and standardization.   The organization was highly decentralized with each in-region Business Unit (BU) historically making their own architecture choices, while the global leadership incentivized deferring any spending.   The result was massive IT sprawl of older systems with little to no consistency and a high volume of under-utilized resources.    As a result, the IT leadership recognized that they had significant technology debt (>80% of total) needing to be mitigated quickly, along with an opportunity to implement a new second managed services provider (MSP) to provide better quality operational services.  


CloudLogic reviewed the environment, applications and operational procedures, to compare the capabilities of the proposed cloud environments, analyze current utilization trends to develop a 24 month capacity requirements roadmap, and provide recommendations for the approach and technology priorities. 


Though the IT leadership strongly favored a public cloud based strategy, they also recognized that the BUs were not prepared, nor would be able to optimize applications within the needed timeframe. Additionally, they were concerned about the organization’s ability to culturally shift, including:  

·       Beginning the mindset shift required to adopt public cloud (self-service vs full-service)

·       Centralize IT architectural and operational decisions

·       Assignment of actual IT costs to individual cost centers and budgets


Where to start

The IT leadership decided  to move forward with a hybrid cloud and they wanted a third-party review to identify any gaps as well as work with their Business Units (BU) to confirm the approach would not disrupt their business.  Furthermore, they needed a positive independent third-party review to complete their business case, initiate the cultural change, and speed up BU adoption. 


The client chose to create a hybrid cloud technology strategy implementing a combination of public cloud platforms (Azure) and a private cloud environment to provide the BUs with best of breed services while providing an environment to prepare applications for modern platforms and refactoring.  This hybrid strategy enabled IT to eliminate the need for a massive technology refresh while improving capabilities, quality and agility. 


Key Success Criteria

1.      Provide a comprehensive assessment of current state versus future state operational and architectural elements to confirm they were aligned to industry best practices

2.      Model historical usage trending reports to define a 24-month capacity consumption model, in 3 month increments

3.      Gap and define a service responsibility matrix to highlight areas of change and/or gaps with the future state


Challenges and Solutions

Timeline of Project – 6 weeks 


Lessons Learned

1.      Cloud transformation begins with a culture shift that blossoms into new capabilities and shortens time to market. Tackling technology without adjusting the culture is a sure recipe for failure.

2.      Developing a multiple support provider strategy can be very effective, but cloud transformation requires rethinking roles and responsibilities between the BU, IT, MSP and cloud service provider.  Multiple Service Level Agreements are not a guarantee that complex applications are healthy.


Client Situation Today

The client has taken all high priority and high impact recommendations and put a plan in place to either remediate findings or implement new features/capabilities. They are also aggressively moving forward, with confidence, to their new private cloud platform and creating a better partnership with their BUs.  Through our analysis and recommendations, we identified $7.2M in available cost reductions including $3.2M in CapEx (Infrastructure) and $4M in OpEx (operations and software).