Finnair’s Complete Cloud Migration Journey.

Read how Nordcloud helped Finnair’s complete cloud migration in just 7 months.

  • Provided complete cloud migration in just 7 months
  • Double-digit TCO reduction
  • Migrated 400 servers and 70 applications in cloud

Project Summary.

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The Client.

Finnair is Finland’s flagship airline. The company had worked with an outsourcing and data centre partner for more than 20 years and decided to migrate to the cloud at the end of their contract.

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Project Background.

Finnair saw the cloud as an essential step in their digital transformation journey. They chose Nordcloud as their migration partner, We had just 7 months get approximately 400 servers and 70 applications out of the data centre before the contract ended.

Migration Challenges.


In total, we had 7 months to exit the data centre before the end of their contract


The Covid-19 pandemic struck during the migration planning phase. The global aviation industry ground to a halt, which led to furlough and new working patterns at Finnair.

Technical debt

Some key applications used technologies that wouldn’t work in AWS and needed modernising, which meant we couldn’t do a wholesale lift and shift.

With Nordcloud, we decided to mainly lift and shift because of the short timeframe. However, certain applications needed replatforming and rearchitecting because of technical debt. Nordcloud helped us create a steering group with us, them and AWS working together really well to keep the process running smoothly.

Tiina Flyström

Head of Infrastructure & Cybersecurity, Finnair

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The Approach: Managed Cloud Migration.

Finnair used Managed Cloud Migration, a unique Nordcloud offering that helps customers reap cloud benefits quickly. It’s an operationally and financially savvy way to transition to the cloud because it eliminates migration risks while delivering 2 important benefits:

Zero up front costs

Finnair mitigated financial risks because costs were spread out over 3 years, leveraging available AWS funding and incorporated into the monthly opex for managed services. This gave Finnair closer alignment between cost and value.

Rapid ROI

Our managed services cloud engineers worked alongside our migration and modernisation experts throughout the process, leveraging cloud-native tooling and automation. As a result, there was no operational risk because everything was in place for cloud enablement straightaway.

Lift and shift + Rearchitecting/Replatforming + Managed services.

As part of the migration strategy process, we used cloud-native tooling to analyse Finnair’s workloads and applications and quantify the value of lift and shift versus rearchitecting and replatforming for each one. We therefore had a combined approach to ensure the best results.

  • Lift and shift

We lifted and shifted approximately 400 VMs and 50 applications from the data centre to AWS Cloud.

  • Rearchitecting & Replatforming

The remaining 20 or so applications were modernised with rearchitecting and replatforming. For some applications, modernisation meant Finnair could save on licences. For others, we eliminated technical debt and enabled the application to perform more effectively and cost-efficiently in the cloud.

Importantly, we managed all workloads and applications as they were migrated and modernised.

This created a seamless transition to cloud services – without requiring Finnair to build a new operations team.

Having managed services integrated into the project was key to our success. Often, these projects fall down because the right documentation isn’t there for managed services. Because of Nordcloud’s integrated approach, documentation was continuously updated based on whatever changes were being done.

Tiina Flyström

Head of Infrastructure & Cybersecurity, Finnair

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In just 7 months, we migrated approximately 400 servers and 70 applications so Finnair could exit its data centre as planned. And we did it on budget.

As a result, Finnair is on track for a double-digit TCO reduction. Capacity and licence costs have fallen dramatically. Expensive basic incidents have more or less disappeared. And managed services costs are based on consumption. Their entire commercial model is now scalable, and the service delivery model is completely agile.

We are extremely happy. We are 100% cloud. I am genuinely surprised that we completed the migration in 7 months and without any major hiccups.

Tomi Pienimaki

CDO, Finnair

Managed Cloud Migration: Finnair’s fast track to value from the cloud.

The rapid assessment and business case showed that migrating to AWS would give Finnair the savings, scal – ability and technical capabilities they needed to meet their short-term needs – while driving their post-pandemic growth ambitions.

There were 2 final challenges to address as we developed the migration strategy:


  • 400 servers and 70 applications in cloud just 7 months
  • Migration completed on time and within budget
  • Efficient rearchitecting and replatforming removed technical debt and provided access to native services


  • Double-digit TCO reduction
  • Zero up-front costs – plus leveraging vendor funding
  • Savings from licence and capacity optimisation and incident reduction


  • The pandemic presented an opportunity to act when applications weren’t at normal capacity
  • Integrated migration/managed services approach meant Finnair got more value from day 1
  • Finnair has a strong technology foundation for driving strategic growth

The result was a wonderful surprise! People didn’t think it could be executed in such a short timeframe, especially given constraints around coronavirus. But we executed the migration as planned, and the business is saving a very significant amount of money.

Tiina Flyström

Head of Infrastructure & Cybersecurity, Finnair


Charting Finnair’s course to cloud – in just 4 weeks.

See how we helped Finnair formulate a business case and develop a cloud migration strategy in line with their goals.

Read how here

Get in Touch.

Let’s discuss how we can help with your cloud journey. Our experts are standing by to talk about your migration, modernisation, development and skills challenges.

Ilja Summala
Ilja’s passion and tech knowledge help customers transform how they manage infrastructure and develop apps in cloud.
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Group CTO