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Case study

The challenge

A global pharmaceutical company faced costs to the tune of $2 million a year for operating two Germany-based data centers. The company wanted to reduce those costs and generate savings by shifting to a cloud environment. After completing due diligence, the company decided that an Amazon Web Services (AWS) implementation would be the best choice for its business.

With just a few months left to renew its data center lease contract, the company reached out to Cognizant’s life sciences technology experts to manage the AWS migration.

Our approach

Cognizant has been delivering managed infrastructure services for this client since 2015. Because we are a premier consulting partner, channel reseller, managed services partner, migration acceleration program partner and marketplace reseller for AWS, as well as accredited by AWS for healthcare and life sciences, the pharma company relied on us for its cloud migration.

The migration, however, was not easy. With the data center contract renewal so close, the timeline was tight. Technical challenges—the engagement involved two data centers with different architectures and one with limited access—also hindered the project.

Our eight-member team worked around the clock to complete the migration on time. We minimized project risk by leveraging AWS’s phased Migration Acceleration Program methodology—moving rapidly from assessment to readiness and planning, followed by actual migration. We also adopted a factory approach to prevent stoppages. A sprint-based agile methodology gave the client the flexibility to reprioritize workloads as needed every week. Accessing credits and discounts, including an AWS services allowance, decreased the cost of the project.

AWS cloud leads to significant annual savings, more future options

Cognizant migrated 90% of the pharma’s data center workloads to AWS cloud within the project’s stated timeline. 4,000 person-hours were invested to achieve this three-month migration. Using the AWS free Server Migration Service instead of a third-party migration tool, significantly reduced the cost. Workloads unsuitable for cloud hosting were consolidated on client-hosted servers. We documented the migration framework and specified the tools used so that the pharma company could carry out future migrations on its own.


cost savings annually by migrating to AWS cloud

38 applications

moved to AWS cloud