University of Sussex

Journey to Cloud

Industry: Higher Education (Public Sector and Defence)
Region: United Kingdom
HQ: Sussex
Company size: 19,413 Students, 2,100 staff

“It was critical to Sussex that students were given the best experience for online and blended learning. Atos quickly understood our needs and mobilized the right team, ensuring focus and highlighting the important issues.”

Peter Collier,
Assistant Director of Strategy & Architecture, University of Sussex

Preparing for the Future


During a time of intense change, the University of Sussex re-set its digital journey with a strategy to reduce complexity, lower costs and maximize agility to meet student needs and evolving operational demands.

The challenge


Recognizing that operating remotely would be a reality for some time and that new or existing services would have to flex very rapidly, expanding on-premise environments offered limited options.

The University’s Assistant Director of Strategy & Architecture needed a rapid in-depth review of the current IT landscape to set the right course for the journey to cloud. With the University’s complex IT equipment estate split over three data centers, its large and diverse systems portfolio included 69 bespoke applications used for all aspects of university life, from onboarding students and staff, to delivering content for courses.

Atos Consulting was commissioned to assess the feasibility of moving all IT services and applications to cloud and devise a high-level cloud roadmap.

The solution


Atos developed evidence-based recommendations in the context of the University’s wider business strategy.

Using Atos’ proven Technology Framework, the team:

  • Conducted interviews with University stakeholders to assess its business and technology landscape
  • Worked with each application owner to map data to applications, including categories and business criticality
  • Implemented a rapid decision factory to identify the best option for each legacy application (retire, standardize, redevelop, modernize, migrate or retain)

Their report comprised all soft and hard data collected, a current state dashboard, next steps and quick wins. This included cost-benefit analyses and recommendations for a multi-cloud, software-as-a-service environment designed to reduce complexity, avoid vendor lock-in, optimize efficiency and maximize agility to ensure an evergreen IT estate capable of meeting changing business demands.

Business benefit


The University had a high-level roadmap as input into its transformation plan and a business case for its cloud-first strategy.

Now the University could visualize its current IT infrastructure, with a clear understanding of its application portfolio, dependencies and how to manage each application and its central Oracle database on the move to cloud.

As a result, the University team could re-evaluate the cloud components of its digital journey and understand the factors that would best help it cope with a business model that was changing on a daily basis. This gave the University confidence that it understood the options and possible limitations to make more informed decisions in the short term, whilst feeding into its rapidly revised medium-term strategy.

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