Coeus helped the client plan an effective transition to a new IT service provider and to divest the IT estate from the legacy organisations into a standalone IT estate.
The client also needed support with modernising their IT estate, managed workplace services and with migrating and consolidating its data centres, including their business-critical high-performance computing (HPC) environment. One of the aims of the modernisation was to ensure that IT strategy, processes and policies were fully aligned and directly contributing to company sustainability targets and investment & product initiatives.
The client, a global renewable energy firm, had undergone a series of mergers and acquisitions which had left the company with different legacy technologies that they wanted to move to a single, unified presence.
Additionally, as part of a wider digital transformation, the client planned to divest their IT estate from the parent and legacy organisations, setting up a separate IT business unit.
To complete this, they procured and engaged a global IT Integrator to deliver the new IT service.
As part of the divestment and outsource, they also needed to radically modernise and transform their IT estate and migrate to new technologies and service providers aligning with sustainability targets in the internal IT service offering and ways of working.
One of these migration streams was the business-critical High Performance Computing (HPC) and AI-based 3D modelling environments, for worldwide access for the engineering team. The client had decided to move their HPC to the cloud, having decided that future infrastructure should be SaaS-based. This critical IT service stream is supporting the effective planning of the renewable energy infrastructure.
Coeus were engaged to support the client with delivery and collaboration expertise on these two critical migration streams, and across 3 main phases (design, implementation and transition).
Coeus supported a global transformation for 27,000 users, spread across 43 countries and 138 sites, providing programme and project management support for the transition of IT services from an internal support team to the externally provided service integrator.
Essentially, Coeus provided a programme management ‘bridge’ between the business needs and technology solutions development, due to an understanding of IT, business processes and core capabilities.
Coeus developed and implemented programme and project governance controls to effectively manage and deliver projects in these highly complex and critical environments. Coues added additional value by establishing KPIs aligned to sustainability targets during the implementation. A collaborative approach was taken, which brokered crucial conversations and key decisions between the end client and global IT integrator.
Keeping to project timelines
Central to the CIO’s concerns was keeping the programme within time and budget. It was critical that the project to centralise the infrastructure to one location was delivered on time; any delays to the centralised datacentre risked the client having to pay for the duplicate infrastructure of the datacentre and legacy infrastructure.
Migration of High Performance Computing
A decision was made to build up a datacentre and provide almost all the application and infrastructure support for the company. In the HPC project, the different legacy HPC solutions needed to be migrated from various European countries into a single, centralised HPC infrastructure, doubling the capacity and introducing the technology into new business departments.
Addressing a lack of planning
A key area that Coeus needed to address was that planning had not been done to a high level of detail, so during the implementation phase there were a lot of change requests and requirements. Coeus’ role was to support this.
The business wanted to implement HPC but the sizing and infrastructure assessment - and future business usage -was not planned, meaning that high-level and low-level design was needed. The client was in danger of implementing a solution that did not meet the business requirements, which would have resulted in future delays and being unable to deliver the project.
The HPC programme had started being implemented without first defining the business and process requirements, so Coeus had to manage the change of infrastructure as this had been missed.
COVID-19: Sticking to project milestones
Coeus had to adapt their ways of working to ensure the project was not adversely affected by the significant COVID-19 restrictions.
New project management and implementation ways of working were rolled out with the worldwide teams, and short-term and long-actions were defined to minimise risk.
For instance, where the team would have been on site to deliver projects, they took the pragmatic approach of having stand up calls to deal with day-to-day issues. Momentum was sustained with a focus very much on ‘what we can do’.
Day to day reprioritization was vital – the team constantly had to check the current situation on each of the international sites, for example, datacenters required closure to enable COVID-19 deep cleaning, so the project had to be re-planned in order to keep to milestones.
Key deliverables also included the set up of workplace services, including onsite support teams at Techbar/ Service bars and dispatch support modules.
The Coeus team successfully completed the transition to a new Service integrator and the controlled migration of the business-critical HPC and AI based 3D modelling environments for worldwide access for the engineering team, aligned to the strategic initiatives.
Coeus also introduced controls which provided improved visibility and reporting on transformations, IT strategic targets (such as sustainability KPIs and cost to serve), brought to the client a flexible and agile approach which proved invaluable during COVID-19 pandemic.
Find out more about Coeus' Energy & Utilities capabilities here.