WARDY IT scores with UK-based Iceland Foods

UK-based grocery brand Iceland Foods has tapped the services of Brisbane-based WARDY IT Services to move its systems to the cloud.

WARDY IT migrated Iceland Foods from a legacy Teradata-based environment to Microsoft Azure Synapse, while also upgrading Iceland’s data warehouse to a modern version.

Iceland Foods mostly operates in UK and Europe but also runs a global export business.

WARDY IT general manager Peter Ward said Iceland is one of many organisations that have recognised that their data estate needed a technology overhaul.

“Iceland Foods’ previous data estate had been in place for over two decades and, in addition to systematic improvements, the organisation could not tap into the evolutions of cloud technology and advanced analytics during that time. They knew they required increased agility of the data platform in order to drive more value from the data but the perceived risks and downtime kept pushing the process to the back-burner,” he said.

“This is consistent with a number of organisations we have been working with, and we are definitely experiencing an acceleration of businesses coming to terms with the fact that their ageing data systems are simply not suitable to meet the demands of modern business practices. By delaying the upgrade, they are effectively holding their operations back from a myriad of opportunities that could improve the functionality and flexibility of their data. In the case of Iceland Foods this also translated to their bottom line.”

The new data warehouse used was Azure Synapse, helping accelerate Iceland’s journey to the cloud and enable advanced analytics capabilities.

Iceland Foods database administrator Phil Oldfield said moving from an established system to a brand new platform was “definitely daunting” because there are some unknowns.

“The old platform was difficult for new staff to understand and access and posed a challenge for recruitment. A lot of our staff had experience working with Microsoft products, so Microsoft seemed like a possible option,” he said.

Iceland said it saw a decrease in time and money outlays on expensive upgrades or migrations, while also ensuring future-proofed data.

“The WARDY IT Solutions team were able to demonstrate their skills very quickly. They reviewed elements of the estate and were quick to suggest improvements, changes and provide an overview. Other organisations we met with were much more reactive and did not have the strategic outlook that Peter and his team have,” Oldfield said.

“Our initial brief was to recreate the estate we had before, now we want to continue to leverage the platform to drive ongoing efficiency and greater customer insights.”