Case studies

25 May, 2022

Security uplift, cloud infrastructure revamp, and team capability development underpin technology transformation of Mojo Power

The client

Mojo Power is an Australian electricity company that focuses on making renewable energy and smart tool technology accessible across Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, and the Northern Territory. Mojo Power is included in the National Electricity Market portfolio of iON Holdings that also includes the acquisitions of QEnergy, People Energy, and Sanctuary Energy (iON Group). As a result, the four different businesses were brought under the one technology umbrella. To become a unified Group, systems, processes, and strategies needed to be evaluated and aligned. Mojo Power was the model business for technology infrastructure, and thus led this transformation. 

The problem

The four electricity retailers had separate systems and processes with different approaches to technology. This made it difficult to quickly gather a working group to begin centralising these functions. During the discovery and planning phase, three issues emerged as key priorities:

  1. A holistic vision and strategy would be needed to unify technology across the Group

  2. Existing teams would require an investment in training and development to bring this vision to life

  3. Security networks needed stronger protection to reduce AWS vulnerabilities 

Solution

The Chief Technology Officer of Mojo Power (and iON Holdings), Luke Giuliani, was tasked with scaling technology across the four electricity brands. Integrating the Engineering, Operations, DevOps, Data, and Security functions required a team with deep technical expertise and the ability to problem solve in a highly regulated and complex domain. Mojo Power needed a partner to help define the strategy and identify project priorities that could work collaboratively, quickly, and effectively to roll out the transformation. Midnyte City had these capabilities and was engaged as a strategic delivery partner.

Two Midnyte City consultants, Bhushan Manekar and Chris Copeland, worked closely with Luke Giuliani to assess the situation. The team devised a two pronged approach to improve and unify the overall technology function: 

  1. General security uplift and ensuring continued regulatory compliance of data access and retention, availability and accessibility, reporting, regulator interactions, and customer integrations.

  2. Uplift of backend infrastructure to best practice architecture, including separation into different AWS accounts with security hardened networks and modern, simple, and standard implementation processes and practices. 

Results

General security uplift 

  • Followed the framework established by the Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP) to audit and secure the AWS environments.

  • Set up best practice multifactor authentication and conditional access to reduce the risk of unauthorised access. 

  • Implemented AWS GuardDuty and Security Hub to address and safeguard against cybersecurity attacks. 

  • Used AWS Systems Manager Parameter Store (SSM) to secure data in applications and allow for credentials to be shared securely.  

  • Implemented SSM Patch Manager to automatically repair vulnerabilities or flaws in EC2 servers during maintenance windows.

Revamp of backend infrastructure

  • Overhauled the entire AWS environment for optimal performance.

  • Optimised cloud applications, downsized unnecessary large compute units, updated product selections, reduced cloud costs by migrating and switching off redundant legacy applications and in-house database servers.

  • Provided greater visibility over the software engineering infrastructure with ongoing monitoring and automated alerting.

Team capability development

One key goal throughout the engagement was knowledge transfer. By pairing and collaborating with internal team members on tasks, delivery, process improvements, planning, and reviews, Manekar and Copeland were actively sharing skills and coaching peers. This further embedded specialist skills and cultivated technical experience across the group, helping to create a cultural shift where robust and pragmatic security practice became the norm for engineers, developers, and the wider team. 

Final Words

“Our security measures, internal behaviours, and deployment practices have improved significantly since working with Midnyte City. Bhushan Manekar and Chris Copeland stepped in as leaders who had the technical skills and professional competence to get things done. They exemplified the curiosity, influence, and adaptability that motivated others to reach the bar they raised for technology across the organisation.”  

Luke Giuliani
Chief Technology Officer of Mojo Power (and iON Group)

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