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10 June 2021

The Modern IT Ecosystem


Posted by  | Matthew Bull

A recent article posted by Chris Keeley (Elanco CIO), outlined Elanco’s remarkable journey over the past two years, which included a corporate separation and a major acquisition, successfully delivered during a global pandemic.

Before the corporate separation, Elanco was completely reliant on IT services from its parent company, covering Identity, Networking, Hosting (Cloud and Data Centers), HRP, ERP, Workplace, etc.

The IPO presented Elanco with a unique opportunity to rebuild IT from the ground up, including a new architecture, technologies, processes, and talent.

This unprecedented situation, where the weight of legacy and technical debt was lifted, enabled Elanco to take a “quantum leap” forward through the creation of a modern IT ecosystem.

This article highlights five key IT accomplishments that help to position Elanco as a digital-first business.

  1. Cloud-First: Elanco achieved 95% cloud adoption, covering SaaS, FaaS, PaaS and IaaS. Services that support commodity and/or highly industrialized processes targeted SaaS, with custom-developed and commercial-off-the-shelf services being hosted in the Public Cloud. A small percentage of services supporting specialized functions were deployed in our hyper-converged co-location data centers or at the edge.
  2. Modernization: Over 1000 applications were assessed, with a focus on standardization, modernization and (where required) migration, including business-critical capabilities such as HRP, ERP, etc. Modern architectures, technologies and techniques were targeted, delivering “Cloud Native” services that unlock business agility and are scalable, secure, and accessible.
  3. Automation: The Elanco IT ecosystem is software-defined, enabling a dynamic, programmatically efficient foundation and a secure access service edge. For example, the Elanco wide area network is delivered exclusively over Internet circuits, supporting the 65+ physical sites, including 24x7 manufacturing processes.
  4. Modern Workforce: Elanco successfully migrated 15,000 users to the new IT ecosystem, covering capabilities such as Identity, Productivity, and Collaboration. In parallel, over 14,000 new devices were provisioned and enrolled across 50+ countries, delivered following an innovative autonomous (home) deployment methodology.
  5. Zero Trust: Elanco has set the foundation for a Zero Trust security model, which assumes that internal and external threats always exist and that all networks are inherently hostile. This model promotes modern distributed working patterns, avoiding the inherent risks associated with traditional Moat/Castle strategies.

As you would expect, considering the time, budget and resource pressures associated with any corporate separation and major acquisition, many of our services and processes remain immature.

However, we believe that these key IT accomplishments deliver a strong foundation, which will act as a differentiator, unlocking innovative opportunities that help us better support our customers, improving the health of animals around the world.


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