Cloud Migration Case Study: Department of Defence

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 DODs 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 IOCs 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.


Yianni Stergou

Marketing en­thu­si­ast and FIFA ex­tra­or­di­naire

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