Case Study

SKYGEN USA engages in a strategic cloud assessment with Baker Tilly Digital

SKYGEN USA had a mixture of on premise and cloud-based infrastructure with applications that required modernization to support their business growth. SKYGEN USA engaged Baker Tilly Digital to assess the viability of moving its core applications to a cloud-based infrastructure and IT operating model.
Case Study

SKYGEN USA engages in a strategic cloud assessment with Baker Tilly Digital

SKYGEN USA had a mixture of on premise and cloud-based infrastructure with applications that required modernization to support their business growth. SKYGEN USA engaged Baker Tilly Digital to assess the viability of moving its core applications to a cloud-based infrastructure and IT operating model.

Client background:

SKYGEN USA provides TPA and SaaS benefit administration solutions for dental and vision payers. SKYGEN USA is dedicated to transforming the delivery of health benefits through innovative, technology-enabled solutions that drive down the cost of care while promoting better outcomes for all Americans. By developing and employing software solutions, SKYGEN USA provides unprecedented levels of automation and cost savings – creating the most efficient health plans in the country.

The business challenge:

SKYGEN USA had a mixture of on premise and cloud-based infrastructure with applications that required modernization to support their business growth. SKYGEN USA needed to assess the opportunity of moving its core applications to a cloud-based infrastructure and IT operating model. Their core offering is a large business automation platform that includes many instances of client-specific customization.  To serve all of its clients with the full benefits of the system, SKYGEN USA wanted to ensure all aspects of the platform and its customizations would be optimized to leverage the benefits of a modern cloud infrastructure. SKYGEN USA faces two major issues:

  1. Each SKYGEN USA client is on their own “instance” of an Enterprise System; over time clients have added custom objects to support their business needs – resulting in the need to support multiple versions of the system
  2. The need to seamlessly push enhancements to their clients on a regular basis, without requiring substantial client resources to support UAT – resulting in longer lead times for product releases

SKYGEN USA was looking to understand the benefits, risks, steps and timing required to migrate the application to a new next gen cloud platform. The new cloud platform needed to support SKYGEN USA’s future strategy of rapidly developing new, smaller and more cost effective capabilities and products. Key questions SKYGEN USA was looking to answer are:

  1. What infrastructure and policies do we have today and how would this change if we migrated our applications to the cloud?
  2. What are the key business benefits to cloud migration?
  3. When we migrate, how would we do it and what process and timeframe would cause the least disruption?

The Baker Tilly approach:

In conjunction with AWS, Baker Tilly Digital utilized a well-architected review to develop an IT Cloud Strategy for SKYGEN:

The well-architected review allowed Baker Tilly Digital to dive into all facets of SKYGEN USA’s current IT infrastructure and identify gaps based on best practices. The team then connected the findings from this review to SKYGEN USA’s business growth objectives and recommended a cloud modernization approach that both aligned to best practices and supported strategic growth goals.

Modernization efforts began with a deep dive into the current core system, removing all customization, while in tandem, initiating the cloud architecture design to support this next generation platform and cloud native micro services.

Developing SKYGEN USA’s strategic roadmap included technical and non-technical critical work streams to maximize growth potential. The technical work streams included migration to the cloud and determining how to deliver products to the market faster. The non-technical work streams support platform modernization and product innovation, while defining product strategy and governance policies and incorporating changes to management processes to ensure lasting growth. 

The cloud modernization approach provided a significant opportunity for SKYGEN USA to integrate a more modern CICD (continuous integration (CI) and continuous delivery (CD approach to application development, allowing for more frequent, smaller and incremental software changes)).

The business impact:

The new cloud focused strategy is projecting a ~50% growth in new product revenue and product development efficiencies. Adoption of modern cloud technology also allows SKYGEN USA to:

  • React quickly to changing market needs and realize product based revenue much quicker
  • Eliminate upfront investment needs and pay infrastructure costs only for what is used
  • Design, test, develop and deploy new products between 40% - 60% faster than today
  • Lower costs to support, run and maintain new modular products by 30% - 40%
  • Recognize a 50% - 60% reduction in deployment costs and about a 70% reduction in deployment time
  • Leverage a micro services architecture to enable a modular and product strategy driven product portfolio
  • Access a large pool of customers with specific unmet needs, or opportunities in adjacent markets
  • Improve current client experiences with the removal of client specific customization and versions
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