Insights from Deloitte: Streamline Cloud-to-Cloud Appian Migrations

Thought Leadership, Deloitte
April 14, 2022

Cloud-to-cloud migration can be an expensive, cumbersome, and overwhelming process with no guarantee of success. Yet, moving data from cloud to cloud is becoming more and more common in the public sector as operations are being migrated to the cloud more completely.  Factors like complexities in environments, sheer volume of historical data, and application nuances can greatly impact the success or failure of a cloud migration effort. That’s why Deloitte’s experience streamlining the process for clients, avoiding common pitfalls, and mitigating risks is so valuable.

In 2021, the Deloitte team leveraged their deep knowledge of the Appian platform and cloud migration practices to lead a successful cloud-to-cloud migration of an Appian application at a large federal client. They used reusable components, standard methodologies, and repeatable practices that can be applied to reliably carry-out future cloud-to-cloud migrations.

Problem statement.

In the last decade, the number and diversity of cloud offerings has expanded exponentially to meet demand for easier, cheaper, and faster-to-implement services for private and public sector alike. Naturally, federal agencies with mandates to keep up with the latest developments are eager to adopt “cloud” into their workstreams. Years of experimenting with different cloud implementations has left some clients with a disjointed technology landscape that is not aligned with their ultimate goals. Deloitte has positioned itself as a leader in bridging these disparate implementations with the unified Appian platform approach.

Our team.

The members of Deloitte’s multi-functional cloud team specialize in each facet of cloud-to-cloud migration: from Appian experts to database architects to experts in integrations (e.g., MuleSoft) to business analysts and SMEs thoroughly versed in clients’ data. Deloitte was named a Leader in the 2021 Gartner Public Cloud IT Transformation Services Magic Quadrant, which noted their deep domain expertise and heavy investment in Cloud Alliances.

Accelerators.

Deloitte’s cloud practice has repeatedly found success with accelerators, which are prebuilt solutions designed to streamline cloud migrations. One such solution, Deloitte Cloud Accelerator (DCA), is capable of designing and engineering an enterprise-grade cloud at the click of a button. Our team’s full suite of adaptable cloud integration tools leverages the latest best practices, architecture patterns, and digitized guardrails, empowering clients to take on cloud strategy and cloud migration projects without expensive, custom-built solutions.

In addition to its cloud solutions, Deloitte has implemented leading practices tailored specifically to Appian migrations. Our teams have established templates and methodologies for handling and transforming dozens of ad hoc ETLs, spanning thousands of records and documents, and built reusable utilities designed to automate aspects of the data transformation process, garnering days’ worth of time savings. 

The Appian factor.

The Appian Low-Code Platform allows easy adaptation and configuration, so Deloitte can quickly streamline integrations and migrations. This lean approach also lends itself to accelerators like Deloitte’s CoE Connect, which serves as a single marketplace where development teams can easily access and learn about available prebuilt components, further reducing development time by enabling  common components to be reused across applications. 

In instances where accelerators and common components are not directly compatible, Appian is extensible, compatible with plug-ins from the hosted App Market that expand its capabilities. Through using the Appian platform, off-the-shelf accelerators, and available plugins, Deloitte has displayed time and again its ability to quickly and reliably migrate and integrate cloud systems. 

Use case in action.

Recently, Deloitte led a cloud-to-cloud migration of a live production application, enabling 1,400+ users to seamlessly continue mission-critical workflows while opening the door to accessing agency data and integrations that were previously unreachable in the legacy cloud implementation. The migration followed a phased approach to ensure no interruption to business users. First the team modernized the Appian application configuration to leverage new record features over costly dynamic database  views. Then, the team made the database objects compatible with the latest Appian architecture (i.e., MariaDB). After updating the application, they migrated it to the new cloud environment and with no downtime, the business was able to start new workflows in the new environment. The sunset plan afforded the business time to complete in-process workflows before the remainder of the historical data and documents were moved, further enabling a migration process without downtime for end users.

By migrating that application that included 760 Appian objects and 105 database objects, along with 4,000+ documents and 3,200+ active records, the federal client was able to bring the application into a mature Appian cloud implementation and workflow management center of excellence that now supports 20+ live applications across environments at multiple security levels. Leveraging the Deloitte Appian Methodology paired with contemporary procedural governance, Deloitte empowers agencies like these to quickly deliver value to their missions.

For more information on the Alliance between Appian and Deloitte, please visit: Deloitte and Appian Alliance | Deloitte US