Simplifying hybrid IT management is critical in a digital-first world
Global food producer BRF uses automated dashboards to manage cloud costs and usage, and sees results
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Managing the complexity of hybrid multicloud environments is central to digital transformation. Just ask BRF. One of the largest producers of fresh and frozen foods in the world, the company is undergoing its own technology transformation as it continues its expansion across the globe. To bring its hybrid mulitcloud complexity under control, BRF has been working with IBM Services to develop an effective cloud management strategy and generate an implementation plan that gives BRF ongoing visibility into its cloud assets and current and projected costs.
We recently caught up with Robson Leal de Oliveira, cloud architect at BRF, to learn more about these efforts.
Can you talk a bit about the challenges BRF faced that led the company to pursue multicloud at scale?
Robson: In 2014, we began to acquire companies in Europe, Asia and the Middle East. As we bought these companies, their IT infrastructures needed to work seamlessly with our IT infrastructure. Managing the complexity of multiple private and public clouds coming together as a single system was the main challenge.
We have migrated more than 70% of our applications to the cloud. But with assets in Microsoft Azure and IBM Cloud, and in the private cloud with VMware, we realized that our manual IT cost-tracking processes were time-consuming and inefficient. We wanted a solution that consolidates our cloud asset tracking into a single pane of glass view to help us reduce costs and the time it takes to generate internal invoices.
What processes and solutions helped BRF get its multicloud complexity under control?
Robson: To start, we participated in a three-day workshop with IBM using their Design Thinking methodology. Together, we mapped out our cloud management pain points and generated a plan that gives us ongoing visibility into our cloud assets and current and projected costs.
From there, the Cost and Asset Management application of the IBM Multicloud Management Platform has allows us to manage and see all of our public and private cloud costs and assets in an automated fashion within a single consolidated dashboard. This has allowed us to re-focus the business on informed decision-making.
Can you share any results that BRF has realized from its ability to manage its multicloud complexity?
Robson: We have been using the Cost and Asset Management solution for about a year. So far, we have brought 20,000 cloud assets into the tool, and we have reduced the lead time to consolidate, distribute and verify department costs across our IT organization by 85%, which means days instead of weeks.
Looking ahead, what’s next for BRF’s technology transformation?
Robson: We are looking at transforming our factories using containerization, DevOps, and backup and resiliency services. For example, we are currently working with the IBM team to use Kubernetes, Watson Conversation and other cloud solutions to deploy various chatbots and automate our production.