Providence Health Enhances Azure Migration with ParkMyCloud Optimization

Providence Health Enhances Azure Migration with ParkMyCloud Optimization

The Challenge

With 51 hospitals and over 1,000 clinics, Providence Health and its caregivers are dedicated to serving their community in the most convenient and affordable way possible. Keeping patients healthy is at the forefront of their mission and they continue to serve more people, while advancing best practices and continuing their more than 100-year tradition of serving the poor and vulnerable.

When Rick Stover joined Providence in late 2019 as SVP of IS Infrastructure and CTO, he was faced with an enormous budget problem that seemed to grow by the day. The COVID-19 pandemic only exacerbated the need to reduce waste and maintain cost efficiency.

In parallel, Bryan de Boer joined the Providence Health team as Executive Director, responsible for Providence’s Microsoft Azure migration. This migration was in the early stages – and a massive undertaking.

On top of the technical challenges of the Microsoft Azure migration, there were also cultural and skills challenges. Many users were resistant to the move to the cloud due to misconceptions, lack of infrastructure knowledge, and lack of understanding of the advantages of public cloud. As Bryan recalled, “The very ideas of cloud elasticity, flexibility, and optimization were completely foreign to this enterprise… Servers were fixed resources that you bought; they were physical resources that just sat there, and it was a one-time upfront purchase. There was a conceptual paradigm shift that needed to occur.”

The Solution

A part of the conceptual paradigm shift from on-premises infrastructure to the cloud was ensuring that end users learned the cost by consumption model, that is: in the cloud, you pay only when your resources are running. Bryan knew that to make this concept clear, he wanted to introduce self-service resource scheduling as part of their Azure adoption. This would give end users throughout the organization ownership over the cost control and bring home the mindset shift needed.

“What ParkMyCloud is doing, conceptually, is something that I have been very passionate about for the last decade,” Bryan said. “I’ve always used the light switch analogy – making sure you turn off the lights when you leave the room. And then you go into a modern office, and they have motion sensors – they detect that there is no motion, and they automatically turn off.”

Once Providence did a trial of ParkMyCloud, they found that it would exactly meet these needs.

The Result

Through persistent education of all stakeholders – which Bryan even noted was “fun” – Providence overcame their cultural challenges around the cloud and expedited their cloud elasticity journey. In just 10 months, Providence migrated more than 1,900 workloads to Azure, with a total infrastructure footprint of about 3,000 workloads.

By adopting ParkMyCloud, with self-service users throughout the organization, Providence has made on/off scheduling a key part of their approach to public cloud. This approach alone has yielded more than $165,000 in savings.

Alongside ParkMyCloud, Providence also adopted Turbonomic for further cloud optimization and automation. Read more about their Turbonomic story here.

Bryan concluded, “I could probably go on for days about my passion behind snoozing and delegating and what that saves us.”

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Providence uses its voice to advocate for vulnerable populations and needed reforms in health care. They are also pursuing innovative ways to transform health care by keeping people healthy, and making our services more convenient, accessible, and affordable for all. In an increasingly uncertain world, Providence is committed to high-quality, compassionate health care for everyone – regardless of coverage or ability to pay. They help people and communities benefit from the best health care model for the future – today.

As a comprehensive health care organization, Providence is serving more people, advancing best practices, and continuing our more than 100-year tradition of serving the poor and vulnerable. Delivering services across seven states, Providence is committed to touching millions of more lives and enhancing the health of the American West to transform care for the next generation and beyond.