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Cloud Migration Case Study: Department of Defence

by Yianni Stergou, Oct 24, 2018

Over the past few years, WorkingMouse has been working closely with Cornerstone and the Department of Defence to migrate a number of systems to the cloud. Initially, the scope of the project covered the Department’s non material procurement tracking but has since expanded to cover material procurement and other areas of the capability acquisition and sustainment group (CASG).
Initially, WorkingMouse was approached by Cornerstone, a management and systems consulting company. Cornerstone would subcontract to WorkingMouse for the migration of DOD’s thirteen disparate systems. The end goal was a centralised cloud based repository for all non material procurement.

Cornerstone Interview

To facilitate Non-Material Procurement purchasing, the Department used 13 disparate systems, consisting predominantly of Access Databases and Microsoft Excel Spreadsheets. These specific systems were utilised by individual Directorates and accessed by staff within the Directorates to record and manage their workloads. The issue with so many disparate systems is the lack of transparency across all systems.
Using an agile methodology the project was split into 2 week sprints. Initial operating capability (IOC) was delivered in four months (within the IOC’s due date). To hear about other successful projects, head to our case studies

Adapting the tech stack

Because of the technology stack currently used by the Department of Defence, WorkingMouse created a new codebot to work alongside the development team. Dodbot (we really racked our brains for that name) writes to a Springboot server side and JSP client side.
All development was initially completed on AWS. This allowed internal stakeholders to see how the project was progressing before deploying within the defence restricted network.

The power of Codebots

With less than 3 weeks to go until the IOC date, a major design decision was questioned by the business. Projects were split into two types - off Panel and on Panel. The business needed a third project type that blended functionality of both types. In traditional human developer built projects, this would have taken 8-12 weeks of development time. By using WorkingMouse’s Codebots platform, the business analyst was able to take the Codebot formatted design specification and run it through the bots. In less than an hour all the necessary code for the third project type was written by the codebot and ready to test. 
Codebots is incredibly well suited to legacy migration from a database management system (like Microsoft Access) to a cloud application. However many companies still run a step behind that, on Excel spreadsheets. That's why the next logical step is to migrate to a DBSM before migrating to a cloud application. Check out this step by step guide on migrating from a spreadsheet to a DBMS.

The results

The Department of Defence now has complete transparency of all non material procurement. This enabled WorkingMouse to build a comprehensive reporting pack increasing the ROI of the solution by a considerable magnitude. By migrating to the cloud, WorkingMouse built a solution that contains;
  • Customer feedback – which includes automated emails and a workflow follow-up loop for poor responses,
  • Seamless integration between the application and the reporting,
  • Strategic level reports with drill through to operational detail,
  • Strategic and tactical reporting for operation and executive decision-making.
The project received the commercial centre of expertise award for procurement innovation. The project has now become an ongoing engagement for continuous feature enhancements and value adds.

Expanding the scope

Due to the overwhelming business benefits derived by Defence through the implementation of non material procurement tracker, the scope of the project expanded to also include their material procurement tracking. As a result, all procurement performed by the Department of Defence has been migrated and consolidated into a single cloud application.