Unilever goes cloud-only: HCLTech supports industry game-changing cloud migration | HCLTech

Unilever goes cloud-only: HCLTech supports industry game-changing cloud migration

5 min read
5 min read

In one of the largest cloud migrations in the history of the consumer goods industry, HCLTech helped facilitate Unilever’s vision to be a cloud-only enterprise and innovative leader in sustainable business in 18 months.

Producing an agile and factory-based cloud migration

Embracing next-generation technologies

Modernizing and maturing multi-cloud operations

Cloud transformation program involved over 160+ application migrations

The Journey to Cloud

From Dove to Marmite, Hellmann's to Ben & Jerry's, you’d be hard pressed to find anyone who doesn’t use at least one of Unilever’s brands. In total, more than 400 brands used by 3.4 billion people in 190 countries are owned by the company, together generating an annual turnover of over €60 billion. Headquartered in London but with a global workforce of nearly 150,000 employees, including research and development facilities in China, India and the U.S., Unilever is a behemoth of the consumer goods industry.

Unilever’s vision is entirely forward-looking: to be a global leader in sustainable business and to demonstrate how their purpose-led, future-fit business model drives superior performance. As part of that, the company aims to create an edge-to-edge experience across its entire supply chain and product-to-market strategy. Technology is the key enabler of this transformation. Amidst the core tenets defined by Unilever to drive growth in the years ahead, as a secure, resilient and data-driven enterprise, was a bold ambition to become a cloud-only enterprise by 2023. The cloud-only strategy enables Unilever to improve agility, strengthen security, eliminate waste through simplified processes, enhance user experience and crucially, reduce their carbon footprint. The key challenge of exiting on-premise data centers hosting legacy IT systems with minimal business disruption within only 18 months had to be addressed.


The partnership

HCLTech took up the mantle and worked closely with Unilever and other partners to plan, design and deliver the Cloud Transformation Program.

With the aim of delivering new, sustainable ways of working, HCLTech led and executed the migration to the Google Cloud Platform (GCP), while supporting other key migrations to MS Azure too as part of Unilever’s multi-cloud strategy.

To enable this effective transformation that would help bring products to market faster, while improving customer service, HCLTech created a tailored and fit-for-purpose cloud solution for Unilever. This involved utilizing the distinct advantages of Cloud Service Providers in line with HCLTech's innovative CloudSMART framework and solutions.


This partnership involved:

  • Leveraging intelligent rehosting, secure by design patterns and cloud architecture frameworks that significantly improved security and standardization for environments.
  • Producing an agile and factory-based cloud migration which included designing, provisioning, migrating and decommissioning of workloads.
  • A migration and deployment approach that integrated a range of advanced technologies, including infrastructure-as-code (IaC), Policy-as-code and others to ensure a seamless, efficient, and secure transition.
  • The consolidation and rationalization of databases and software licenses leading to significant cost optimizations.
  • Modernizing and maturing multi-cloud operations, through a revamp of cloud ready processes and intelligent automation

The Transformation

As a result of this industry-defining cloud migration, Unilever is now able to embrace next-generation technologies to unlock new opportunities and drive innovation across its organization.

Overall, the cloud transformation program involved over 160+ application migrations and was completed in just 18 months with no critical incidents and zero disruption to business operations.

The migration of these key applications and the associated consolidation and decommission of under-utilised workloads resulted in improved operational efficiency, significantly reduced costs and a dynamic, future fit estate primed for future modernisation.

Ultimately, being a cloud-only enterprise allows Unilever to drive new innovation avenues across its business, become data-driven and provide real-time response to market demands to gain a competitive edge.

We are already seeing the immediate benefits from a faster, more scalable, on-demand compute. However, operating in the cloud is not just a source of efficient IT and dramatically increased speed. Cloud is the enabler for adopting a new, future fit and customer centric Cloud operating model which demands the upskilling of our people in the latest technology trends. This combination is the real unlock to generating competitive advantage and driving value to the business.”

Phil Parr

Phil Parr

Director - Cloud Platform Services