Story House Egmont’s Transition to Modern Azure Infrastructure Creates Fresh Avenues in Dynamic Market

Dardan Dashaj

Dardan Dashaj

Go To Market Lead - Azure

Læsetid, 4 min.

Story House Egmont is part of the more than 100-year-old Nordic media group Egmont. As the name indicates, Story House Egmont is the guardian of tales. Armed with a diverse arsenal of platforms spanning magazines, digital media, e-commerce, and agencies Story House Egmont is continuously developing its core business to respond to a rapidly evolving market. One of the key elements is automation and that’s why Story House Egmont has embarked on a modern cloud-based journey based on Microsoft infrastructure focusing on bringing down cost, automate workloads and release resources.

„From my perspective, one of the main goals of digitizing our business is liberating time and resources, channeling them into business development,” Johan Friberg, Head of Subscription Systems at Story House Egmont initiates before he continues: „The modern infrastructure needs to be fully automated with minimal infrastructure operations. It should have a self-service mode that provides flexibility to spin workloads up and down with respect to corporate guidelines, and eventually, it must be self-healing. This means the systems warn you if a service’s performance drops and that it can practically heal itself automatically.” Johan Friberg continues: “Microsoft’s cloud ecosystem provides us with these capabilities, along with business benefits such as simpler and more visual order processing
system navigating seasonal fluctuations. Equally pivotal, the cloud has also freed up human resources.” Johan Friberg explains how he previously had a team of eight people operating the IT systems, but now they can re-focus their efforts onto business development.

For me a modern infrastructure is to have a variety of capabilities and move around workloads flexibly depending on cost dynamics.
– Johan Friberg, Head of Subscription Systems at Story House Egmont

 

Story House Egmont is not the only Egmont business in cloud transition. Other divisions are embarking on digital transformation focusing on the lift to Microsoft Azure and charting a similar trajectory. The gradual digitization of Egmont and its many businesses is part of an overall strategy focusing on futureproofing the entire business. Henrik Amini, Egmont’s CIO says:

Our overall responsibility in Egmont IT is to enable and inspire the entire business and create modern infrastructure and thereby support business opportunities, such as Story House Egmont, to deliver business value. We have also lifted all infrastructure capacity to a cloud model – both public and private cloud in order to accelerate modernization of infrastructure management and digital transformation.“ Henrik Amini continues: “The next chapter entails modernizing applications to make them cloud native embracing the trinity of scalability, flexibility, and efficiency. We have started with Story House Egmont and and now we have some great learnings that we will build upon and make common patterns for app modernization.

 

Henrik Amini continues: “The next chapter entails modernizing applications to make them cloud native embracing the trinity of scalability, flexibility, and efficiency. We have started with Story House Egmont and and now we have some great learnings that we will build upon and make common patterns for app modernization.”

The imperative of IT security

When dealing with 15-year-old applications, security updates emerge as a non-negotiable imperative casting the cloud transition in a different light. „Legacy applications can be very complex, but at some point, you need to dive into them and make the required updates to enhance IT security,” says Johan Friberg. He emphasizes: „Especially for an application that is processing orders of around 200 million kroner, like the one we’re discussing here. We saw this as a unique opportunity for change and we believed that if we don’t act now, it will never be done. That’s another reason for executing things quickly – to maintain momentum.” Johan Friberg further highlights the significance of the collaborative and trustworthy partnership with Microsoft partner cVation, which contributed to the rapid and successful transformation. „It has been a highly productive collaboration, and we’re extremely satisfied with the support,” he adds.

 

The rocket has been launched

For Henrik Amini and the rest of the Corporate IT team, the Story House Egmont project is only the beginning. Henrik Amini states: „The rocket has been launched and we are already exploring other areas of the business where this process is applicable. Our overarching vision is to deliver scalable and intelligent platforms, be more data-driven and keep developing high quality solutions with a sharp focus on cost. Since our business revolves around content, there are numerous opportunities to optimize our business using new technologies such as machine learning, AI, and large language models. We have barely scratched the surface.” Henrik Amini concludes.

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