Case Study

Federal Government Organization Seamlessly Transitions to Cloud

Complex cloud migration results in 26% improvement in application performance with no delay or interruption of the annual budget process.


A federal government organization uses an end-to-end budget solution across the agency to plan and execute the budget. With 3,000+ users, it is the only end-to-end, fully automated budgeting solution in the federal space and was implemented by Guidehouse in 2015.

Since its inception, the budget planning system has been using on-premises infrastructure in self-hosted data centers. However, the existing solution was reaching the end of life with its hardware and software vendors, meaning no further product support would be provided. Due to technical constraints, a hardware and software migration was required to keep the system secure and operational.

Technical dependencies required this migration to occur during the fourth week of a critical six-week budgeting process. As budget planning activities had already been initiated in the on-premises environment, there was a need to complete the migration without interrupting the customers’ planning activities.

Additionally, over the lifetime of the program the system had accumulated over 5 terabytes of data. Maintaining data integrity was critical while performing a lift-and-shift migration of the entire system. Guidehouse had to manage data quality and reliability in real time during the migration to prevent data loss, which was especially important during the critical financial operating plan process.



The organization chose Guidehouse to lead the cloud migration process based on the firm’s development of the budget solution and the team’s expertise with cloud migration across the federal government. The Guidehouse team offered a variety of solutions—ranging from a new on-prem solution to a hybrid cloud approach to full cloud migration—with a vendor-neutral approach and provided recommendations based on each option’s alignment with the agency’s goals.

Through a series of discussions in which Guidehouse presented the benefits and drawbacks of each option, the agency gained confidence that the Amazon Web Services (AWS) solution was the best option to meet its modernization goals. Following a testing period, the Guidehouse team successfully migrated over 25 applications to the AWS cloud with nearly zero downtime and no impact to users.

The cloud migration required a high level of collaboration between internal and external teams. With careful pre-migration planning, the cutover timeline was reduced from one week to a few hours. This process ensured business operations could continue uninterrupted during annual budget planning, one of the most critical times of year for agency budget analysts.



One of the benefits of the new solution was the AWS out-of-the-box and custom monitoring tools, which provided information about important metrics related to server availability, central processing unit load, memory, and space utilization. Using these features, Guidehouse conducted comprehensive performance testing, identified areas of improvement, and ran the budget system on the AWS Cloud environment with improved performance and a better user experience.

Though the project represented a complex transformation, it resulted in the following positive outcomes:

Chart showcasing cloud application performance


  • Seamless cloud migration with no delay or interruption of the annual budget process
  • Reduced costs as a result of moving to a pay-as-you-go payment model featuring scripts to bring servers down during off-peak business hours
  • For users, faster operation and the elimination of unplanned outages
  • Application performance improvement of 26%

Guidehouse configured the AWS Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) servers in alignment with recommendations from the product vendor resulting in additional benefits:

  • Servers are configured on AWS CloudWatch, which proactively alerts the support teams if any abnormal activities are identified in the system-generated log files, enabling a more stabilized environment
  • The production environment is now available 24x7 and data is synchronized among all applications, so users can address data calls ad hoc without submitting tickets to the support team

The migration serves as a foundation for additional processes and improvements using the tools and technology available on AWS. Additionally, the organization has achieved its vision of a trusted cloud platform that offers cost efficiencies by streamlining and delivering a portfolio of accredited cloud services.

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