Case Study

Federal Research Institute Modernizes IT Operations with Guidehouse

Guidehouse worked with a leading National Institutes of Health facility on a cloud migration strategy to improve workflows, usability, agility, and resiliency.


The organization tasked with overseeing IT operations for a leading National Institutes of Health (NIH) Institute wanted to modernize its technology operations. It was responsible for delivering industry-leading technological capabilities to the Institute’s end users, including researchers, postgraduates, and other academics. This involved enabling collation, analysis, and storage of large-scale datasets associated with its many research programs.

The Institute relied on enterprise-grade technology platforms, applications, and a wide range of digital tools to facilitate complex research processes. However, its IT infrastructure was hosted onsite while IT development, maintenance, and operations were outsourced to third parties with fewer than 10 people at their disposal. This made it challenging for the organization to consistently deliver optimal services.



The NIH facility chose Guidehouse as its trusted advisor to help solve these challenges based on its proven ability to drive agility, speed, performance, resilience, reliability, efficiency, and cost-effectiveness.

The first step was for the Institute to work with Guidehouse to assess its existing operating model, identify improvement opportunities, and devise a long-term strategy to drive greater efficiency and effectiveness. Guidehouse identified cloud migration as the best option for the Institute to transition from its legacy systems. A successful cloud migration strategy would allow the Institute’s large-scale data management platforms to become more agile and resilient, while delivering advanced digital research applications to end users.

3 Steps to Strategically Migrate to the Cloud

The organizations collaborated to develop a strategic roadmap to support the adoption of a cloud technology, proactively mitigate risks, and define critical processes to ensure successful delivery of the eventual migration project.

Evaluate solutions A vendor-agnostic approach was taken to evaluate existing solutions supporting the Institute. The team identified several areas where more agile, robust, and cost-effective options were available. Having an objective external view helped the Institute’s senior leadership recognize areas for improvement and begin to make decisions that prioritized the long-term future proofing of their IT operations.

Streamline processes — Guidehouse provided expert consulting services to help optimize IT operations and streamline key processes. This enabled the IT organization to provide more professional and higher quality IT services to the Institute. Key to this was creating an IT service catalog, allowing end users to efficiently address support requests. Guidehouse also delivered advisory services to help the organization anticipate the impact of cloud migration across its enterprise. This included proactively alleviating potential challenges with workflows, usability, and end-user expectations.

Change management and training — As with any IT modernization project, change must be implemented carefully and methodically. Beyond delivery of this project, Guidehouse will continue to work with the Institute by supporting its change management strategy so that the IT organization is better equipped to maintain and support the new solutions.



With a strategic roadmap encompassing clearly defined processes, initiatives, and dependencies, the Institute is now on a path to successful cloud migration. This includes implementation of a new, modernized architecture for its core systems to deliver long-term IT stability. Additionally, while cost reduction was not an initial priority, the Institute recognized several opportunities to reduce IT spend as an additional advantage of cloud migration.

The Guidehouse team will continue to work closely with the Institute’s leadership, providing ongoing advisory services and support. This includes creating the optimal balance between standardizing sophisticated IT platforms and introducing unique, innovative research tools and applications.

In determining the most cost-effective and high value IT operations areas to modernize and developing a strategic cloud migration plan, the Institute is better positioned to increase the ROI of its IT infrastructure.

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