Case Study

ICT Revolutions

Enabling a Swift and Efficient Data Migration with Hopp Software For SBC with ICT

swindon-borough-council.jpeg
Lead Data Migration Analyst, ICT Revolutions Ltd

“The Hopp software provides us with a comprehensive set of features, including data profiling, validation, transformation, and issue management, which significantly simplified and accelerated our migration process. The ease of use and intuitive user interface allowed our team to quickly adapt to the software and complete the migration seamlessly.”

Ian Clarke

Lead Data Migration Analyst, ICT Revolutions Ltd

Swindon Borough Council, in the heart of Wiltshire, serves a population of over 200,000 people. Many people don't know that 80% of the council's annual budget goes towards social care for adults and children across the borough. 
 
Most people may, understandably, give little or no thought to what care and support they need until they get to the point where they—or someone they know—needs it. 
 
Social care is at the heart of the Swindon community, supporting those who need it so that as many people as possible can live the lives they want. Defining social care is challenging because the term covers a vast range of different activities, from child protection to end-of-life care. 

Industry

Civil services

Headquarters

Swindon, UK

Employees

About 2000

Over 100 Systems

integrated into a single data solution.

75% reduction

in development time, from 6 months down to 6 weeks.

One single platform

doing the job that used to take 23 separate ELT tools.

Challenge

Swindon Borough Council began the tender process for the new Adult Social Care Case Management and Finance system in the Autumn of 2022. ICT Revolutions was commissioned to carry out “data discovery" work in preparation for the data migration. Data discovery was conducted between September and December 2022. 

ICT Revolutions were adopted as the implementation partner to provide Systems Integration services (including data migration) for the new systems that went live in September 2023. Contracts with all vendors were signed by the end of January 23. 

ICT Revolutions had been researching the use of state-of-the-art data migration software for eighteen months before the beginning of this project. Why? In the UK public sector, data migration is perhaps 98% of the biggest risk in large and complex system replacement projects. There are various degrees of unpredictability: 

  • Availability of specialized data engineers. Migration developers who have domain knowledge and relevant experience with source and target databases to carry out rapid and accurate ETL processes can be difficult to find. 
  • A customer who can test iterations of loaded data and report defects in a timely and technically precise way is rare, but Swindon did exactly that. 
  • Local data experts. Staff familiar with legacy data quality issues who can provide insight and manage necessary DQ repairs. Swindon had these skills and proved to be excellent. 
  • Code development. Virtually all migrations require the development of unique code to configure legacy systems. This takes time, creates unpredictable costs, and depends on available “in flight” project development time, herein lies the reason why many projects are extended.  

ICT Revolution’s research found that there are hidden costs, a demand for more highly skilled (and expensive) data scientists, larger initiation timescales, and little evidence of actual success in the field in which we work. Modeling the end-to-end process using each of the technologies the client explored gave no commercial or real technical advantage that would enhance their delivery. The additional costs outweighed any benefit. Importantly, nor did they find a natural partnership with any of the suppliers of migration technologies. 

And then ICT Revolutions discovered Hopp Tech and our data migration software. 

Process

Not only did ICT Revolutions find a proven, thoroughly tested and referenceable product—Hopp software—but more importantly, they found a group of people who truly understood their goals and were able to provide the partnership and flexibility to succeed. 

In 2021, ICT Revolutions ran a migration using “traditional” methodologies alongside Hopp data migration software as a trial—to see if the “fit” of both technology and people worked. They also used this opportunity to complete the IG, cybersecurity checks, and tests necessary to introduce this system into a public sector environment where the client routinely process some of the most sensitive data in the UK. 

A core security requirement for ICT Revolutions is that at no time does data or views of data ever leave the customer's ICT perimeter; all activities must be in concert with local data management security and management strategies. 

In the sector in which ICT Revolutions operates, no one has ever done a full end-to-end migration in effectively 7 months and in only 3 rounds of testing. With the full support of Hopp Tech, the client has done it. 

Project’s Timescale 

The timescale set for the project by Swindon was a key concern. Many people felt that it would not be possible. It was well known that less than half of all previous implementations had been successfully delivered without adding further test rounds before the systems were ready. 

Swindon Borough Council had attempted to mitigate this data migration challenge by commissioning data discovery. This certainly helped and gave the migration workstream a headstart in the following areas: 

  • Identification of Key Data Stakeholders 
  • Analysis of Legacy Data Stores 
  • Collation of a Migration Issues Log 
  • Identification of Sign-off Requirements 
  • Drafting of a Migration Plan 

The project's timeframe was also a key factor in ICT Revolutions' selection of Hopp for use in Swindon. The Hopp migration software presents migration data using a web portal. Mapping can be updated, and data reloaded quickly, allowing changes to be tested via the portal. Issues affecting the migrated data could also be displayed on the portal so that progress can be tracked. 

Hopp data migration software functionality allowed the migration plan to be structured using a blended Agile approach, using two-week releases to focus on specific areas of the migration. This significantly mitigated the restrictions of traditional waterfall planning, which focused testing on key migration milestones. There was also far more certainty about what would be delivered in each milestone migration before it was available for testing. 

Infrastructure 

The successful delivery of data migration is underpinned by the ICT infrastructure. In Swindon, the requirements specified by ICT Revolutions to support data discovery also considered the anticipated requirements to support data migration. So, the main migration server was already in place when implementation began. 

However, the infrastructure for the new target systems could not be specified before the new system suppliers were known. Although the implementation project began in early January, part of this infrastructure was not fixed until all the contract signatures were in place at the end of the month. 

Some contingency had been built into the migration plan, which was used up all at once at the very start of the project. Parts of the work needed to be rescheduled. This was made much easier by the blended Agile approach to the migration plan enabled by the Hopp migration software. The speed of data mapping made possible by the Hopp software also allowed the workstream to make up for lost time before the final milestone, the test migration. 

Customer Resource 

Swindon Borough Council commissioned ICT Revolutions to provide Systems Integration services for the project, so many key project positions were held by ICT Revolutions staff. However, there were also key individuals from Swindon Borough Council who were assigned to work on the project. 

All issues encountered during the project were mitigated by the ability to run interim loads into the systems between the main milestone test migrations. The quick turnaround of mapping facilitated by the Hopp data transfer software made it possible to reload interim migrations up to three or four times a day if necessary. In this way, the time initially lost was caught up before go-live. 
Outcome 

Outcome

We have worked with ICT Revolutions over the last years while ICT Revolutions was looking to establish a new data migration practice using our software. ICT Revolutions has deep insight and understanding of data migration challenges, and it has been a pleasure to receive their feedback and support their progress.   

John Smith 

ERP Solution Architect, Hopp Tech Ltd.   

Typical data migrations involve four test rounds over 6 to 8 weeks, with a final dry run before the deadline. Delays in system infrastructure completion added pressure, but Hopp data migration software helped recover lost time by loading 72% of data in the initial test. This early detection of issues proved invaluable. SBC and ICT Revolutions can actively engage with the migration process through the software portal, offering transparency and quick issue resolution.   

The main conclusions of Hopp data migration software for the clients: 

  • Carrying out a thorough Data Discovery prior to beginning implementation of the new systems was extremely valuable. It should be the first part of any future data migration project, as it greatly increases the efficiency of the migration delivery. 
  • The use of the Hopp migration software also significantly increased the efficiency of data migration delivery, not least by greatly improving customer engagement with the data migration workstream via the portal. It would not have been possible to meet Swindon Borough Council’s timescale requirements without it. 
  • Following a clear migration methodology that was underpinned by Hopp migration software was also crucial. Everyone involved in the migration had clearly defined roles and responsibilities within this methodology, not just the data migration team. This allowed for clear communication channels and decision-making processes that stood up to everything thrown at them. 

ICT Revolutions is therefore committed to a long relationship with Hopp Tech and is already planning to carry out more joint projects. They are now able to operate in different system domains and migrate from virtually any source to any target system using our new methodology and toolset. 

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