I managed my first big redesign and refactoring project in 2009 on a contract for BAA. My next assignment (2010) was to manage a £12M Group level eCommerce programme for Acromas, where I led a mix of lift and shift and refactoring migration projects across across the Group. Since 2010 I have seen a constant demand for migration work-streams on most of my projects and programmes.
Below are three different migration projects that I have managed during the past 10 years. The most recent migration I led was at HRP where I worked for two years as their Strategic Digital Channels Manager. At HRP I was following my own strategy and my product development road-map. This assignment summarised below and covered in much more detail on this link.
[Update 2019] I was recently selected by the Reach plc, one of the UK’s most successful publishing companies, to re-platform the Daily Express Digital Edition. This is one of the highest performing digital publications in the UK. By the time I arrived, a change of strategy was being discussed and ratified to put the re-platforming on hold. I was therefore deployed into a Product Management role, picking up responsibilities from the incumbent CTO who was leaving the business.
Re-architect / Refactor, plus website redesign (Travel Sector)
I have provided a mix of Programme Management, Project Management and Consulting services on strategic projects in the travel sector where the new services are being hosted in the cloud. I have used IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) at The AA and Saga Travel, and SaaS (Software as a Service) for BAA and TUI.
Below is an outline my assignment at BAA which is a good example of an IaaS migration project in the travel sector:
- At BAA I provided project management on a £3M programme to re-platform BAA’s website portfolio, comprising six internet sites (one for each airport division), six extranets and the corporate intranet.
- These sites were all to be redeveloped onto new content management systems (Vignette, Microsoft SharePoint). Scope included a design refresh. This was a commercially complex project with multiple suppliers delivering UI design, solution architecture, component build and IaaS virtualized hosting, site governance and SEO.
Re-architect / Refactor, plus website redesign (Media and Entertainment Sector)
I was retained on contract by Sony, to managed a migration of the global website to AWS. The new platform offered global reach, improved resilience and an ‘out of the box’ feature set including mobile responsive templates. As the Project Manager I was responsible for managing build, integration, test and deployment of the CxM (Customer Experience Management) front end onto the hosted solution architecture. The new global website for Sony Entertainment promoting its Playstation products is underpinned by a cloud-based solutions architecture, providing the business with streamlined IT hosting and BAU support as the new web-platform is being hosted through Amazon Web Services (AWS).
Amazon Web Services (AWS) was chosen to host the new website at Sony so that the business would benefit from Amazon’s Elastic Computing capability (EC2) providing the client with an ‘elastic’ architecture i.e. a flexible capacity that could scale up almost immediately to deal with the seasonal peaks and sudden demands caused campaigns and new product releases.
A lift and shift of DNS rules and GeoIP re-routing were in scope for the project as the client leveraged Amazon’s fault tolerant managed DNS system (Route53 ) using the elastic load balancing and the S3 storage solution.
I was responsible for project planning and management across CxM development, integration and related re-platforming activities. The new site was rolled-out across more than 40 territories covering Europe, Americas, India and English speaking parts of South Pacific. The cloud-based approach massively reduced the upfront costs and lead times otherwise associated with on premises infrastructure hosting.
Lift and Shift, through to Total Redesign with new Operating Model (Heritage Sector)
One of the most challenging and rewarding migrations I have managed was the core part of a digital transformation at HRP. Retained as the Strategic Digital Channels Manager, I led a phased programme of work that started with a lift and shift / replatform project and culminated in a complete re-architect, redesign and business transformation to a new operating model for HRP and totally new customer experience for our visitors. Please follow this link for more info.
Of the three migration projects discussed above, two of these projects were migrating from legacy on-premises platforms to the cloud.
The business case for Software as a Service (SaaS) has strengthened since 2010 and it has become much more normal to be working on cloud-hosted digital capability.
I am now experiencing new demand for upgrade paths to deliver further incremental business benefits by consolidating onto common platforms and migrating to ‘new generation’ of SaaS propositions.
I have published a short article on my professional blog which explores the business benefits of ‘replatforming’ in a little more detail and address the three most popular cloud migration paths.