Case study

Jira Cloud to Server Migration for Major Insurer

In the midst of a large digital transformation, this insurance company needed to manage dependencies across multiple instances of Jira by migrating a major team from Jira cloud, managed by a third party, to Jira server, as utilised by the rest of the organisation. Agility, collaboration, security and compliance were of paramount importance. Catapult CX created a solution that enabled the swift and secure migration of all content from cloud to server, saving thousands of pounds in license fees, reducing errors and increasing team productivity. To find out how, read this case study.


The situation

A major UK based insurer was undergoing a transformation programme to realise £10s of millions of savings, with over a dozen initiatives across the organisation, touching 1000s of employees and including support from over 120 third party employees. Different initiatives had started at different times, but most teams had chosen to use Jira Software, Portfolio for Jira and Confluence as their tools to collaborate, plan and manage their work. As the initiatives got into full swing the programme managers wanted to start managing dependencies across these multiple instances in order to work more effectively, securely and quickly. This presented a problem because, whilst most teams were using the internal strategic private Jira and Confluence, one major team were using Jira and Confluence on an Atlassian cloud account that was being managed by a third party supplier. The main challenges this caused were:

  1. Compliance - the cloud instance needed to be examined to ensure it was aligned to the company's compliance policies.
  2. Data Security - much of the data was visible to and being controlled by a third party, which presented a potential risk to internal and statutory data protection requirements.
  3. Suboptimal velocity - difficulty collaborating effectively with other teams meant they were unable to properly plan stories across projects, which was slowing down productivity and delaying time to market.   
  4. Agility - the programme teams were working within a rapidly changing agile model and they needed to continually evolve their Jira configuration to enable their continually evolving processes. 
  5. Consistency  - the third party team had a different story hierarchy from the rest of the organisation and had renamed Epic to Feature.
  6. Security - it was essential to ensure that the third party organisation could access the internal instance securely.

The solution

As there were requirements coming from several sources, including the Head of Security and the Transformation Programme Director, we ran workshops to capture all requirements and plan a way forward that would meet the differing needs of all parties.

Catapult created a solution that involved migrating the content from cloud Jira and Confluence into the internal Jira and Confluence and then provided secure access to the internal instance from the third party's network. This involved:

  • Recreating the cloud hierarchy in the target Jira without breaking the existing issue types. This was achieved by using the parent-link field provided by Portfolio for Jira.
  • Migrating all the configuration, for example issue types and workflows, and issues from the cloud Jira into the internal strategic Jira. 
  • Migrating all the Confluence pages while maintaining Jira issue links. 
  • Creating a federated admin model that allowed selected admins from different teams to edit the Jira configuration at the pace they required, in a controlled manner, without compromising security and whilst enabling them to have full visibility of the relevant sensitive data.
  • Setting up a secure VPN between the clients network and the third party's network for secure access to the internal Jira and Confluence.

Jira configuration has interdependencies that means it must be migrated in the correct order. To reduce the risk of data being missed, we automated this process and took an incremental approach, developing automated scripts to increase speed of migration and reduce errors. 

The results

Once complete Catapult's solution enabled the whole organisation to collaborate, plan and manage their backlog from one Jira instance. The overall benefits were:

  • Increased velocity in the teams. 
  • A repeatable model in place for working with third parties and giving them secure access to company systems.
  • A reduction in security governance overheads for working with third parties on internal tools.
  • The controlled configuration changes to Jira reduced the number of errors and associated user complaints. 
  • £1000s of savings in licence costs. 

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