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Case Study “Rent an AWS Cloud Engineer”

How can a medium-sized company use the cloud quickly, securely and efficiently?

A medium-sized Skaylink customer has a weakened IT workforce. Due to location disadvantages, it has recently become impossible to strengthen cloud expertise with new personnel. Nonetheless, the company’s management sees using the cloud – in this case, the AWS cloud – as vital for the company. It has set a goal to bring cloud expertise to the company in a scalable and cost-effective way.

The IT employees are caught between a rock and a hard place

The business needs support from AWS in the area of development and usage. Internal IT cannot provide this satisfactorily in the short or medium term. IT management and operations managers face a dilemma: Do they let the business use cloud services without IT support, risking vulnerabilities and potential misconfigurations? Or do they block cloud usage at the expense of their own company’s competitiveness and put the brakes on innovation in business? The resulting “caught between a rock and a hard place” situation is a problem in the organization, which leads to further tension and ultimately affects the entire IT process.

Adrian Wnek
Principal Cloud Consultant Skaylink

“In this extremely near-term project with high expectations, both the objective results from the AWS Quick Check and the subjective impressions and evaluations of the employees are included in the review.
A respectful treatment of all stakeholders and consideration of their respective perspectives and obstacles assisted in this process. After all, it is also the case that employees know very well what’s going wrong – but they also need support in formulating and presenting this appropriately so that it helps everyone involved.”

Don’t delay!

Standards, coupled with best practices, accelerate the process

Our customer wanted to approach the topic with great sensitivity to costs. Therefore, we used several approaches simultaneously to achieve a significant added value for the customer’s enterprise overall. First, the problem of the lack of technical experience was resolved using our “Rent an AWS Cloud Engineer” concept. We provided the customer with expertise through a shared DevOps team.
This allowed the IT department to offer their business area AWS Architectures and Solutions. The company had immediate access to experts that were able to solve complex issues involving data protection, solutions architecture, and IT security, and they were also able to answer organizational questions.
Our “Sleep Well” approach ensured regular auditing of mutually agreed IT security and governance and compliance adherence throughout the entire AWS environment. In short: IT management and operations managers could sleep easy at night once again.

Due to the customer’s price sensitivity, different skill levels were used in line with the specific requirements of the respective department. With the AWS Evergreen approach included in our service agreement, the customer was able to take advantage of a back-and-forth exchange. This allowed them to ask questions directly and without complications and to obtain new AWS cloud knowledge. Developments were discussed and questions were answered in a monthly meeting with selected customers. This kept all participants up-to-date on the current status of what was affecting their AWS environment. All of these components together resulted in an optimal solution for all customer levels. And the best part? The ramp-up was completed in just a few days.

The solution

Positive effects of collaboration

  • Customer managers were able to solve many of their problems with our help.
  • Management was visibly put at ease, since we keep an eye on IT security in the AWS Cloud, meaning that the business is never left to its own devices.
  • The business has skilled contacts at the appropriate level. Thanks to the partnership, IT management also has access to skilled experts for all their digitalization issues.
  • Because of the tight IT budget situation during the implementation period, the reasonable Skaylink prices are an optimal solution.
  • The AWS Evergreen exchange has created an important communication platform that allows customers to interact on an equal footing. It allows them to quickly ask questions and get information – without having to purchase additional consulting services.

Details at a glance

  1. Stable and secure AWS landing zone as a platform for 40 projects, with the security experts at Skaylink always keeping an eye on things.
  2. In the medium-term, the internal team will only be expanded by one position – the liaison for the cloud projects.
  3. A solid partnership with exciting spin-offs grew out of the planned three months of project time.

Ensuring quick readiness of cloud solutions

  • The varying requirements of a customer’s diverse business areas require different skill levels from the supporting AWS engineers. However, all these different people also need to be under a central control and management structure to generate the greatest added value.
  • Often, customers – particularly medium-sized companies – are under so much pressure that it is simply not possible to review SLAs, contracts and service offerings. Here, lean agreements on equal footing have proven advantageous. After all, speed and the fastest operational readiness possible are crucial for many companies.

The end of the project is only the beginning

After a solid collaboration as partners, during which we were able to meet a wide range of business requirements, the opportunity arose for further important optimizations:

  1. A service manager/project manager coordinates all activities for the customers involving the cloud and reports directly to IT management. This takes further pressure off the IT department.
  2. The struggle to attract talent in the cloud arena has now been tackled in partnership with Skaylink. The aim is to create attractive framework conditions that attract new talent.
  3. Some of the business stakeholders have expressed a desire to include specific AWS expertise in their sprints and their implementation so that they can implement more worthwhile projects faster in coordination with IT.

Adrian Wnek
Principal Cloud Consultant Skaylink

“Complicated structures, extensive best practices and different offers often unsettle customers, since familiarization and decision-making take up valuable time. We’ve listened to our customers and created a viable and fast solution with our “Rent a Cloud Engineer” approach that brings customers into the cloud easily, quickly and securely. At the same time, our approach creates the opportunity for IT and business to join forces – and thus leads to a cloud journey based on partnership.

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