Founded in 1807, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., is a leading global publisher of scientific, technical, medical, and scholarly journals for universities, researchers, businesses, and societies. Based in Hoboken, New Jersey, Wiley produces digital and print books, journals, and major reference works, as well as test preparation for professional certifications and higher education materials for professors and students. The company maintains three business lines: Research, Knowledge & Learning, and Talent Solutions & Education Services. Through its scholarly research business, Wiley publishes work by a dozen Nobel laureates each year.
For the past several years, Wiley has pushed to modernize its technologies to foster more innovation. “For quite some time, the publishing industry didn’t necessarily embrace technology as a business differentiator,” says Peter Marney, the organization’s senior vice president and chief product technology officer. “We needed to change that to be able to compete more effectively.”
As part of its technology modernization efforts, Wiley wanted to move several key applications, such as the application it uses to transact with its authors, to the cloud. Wiley receives more than 500,000 articles a year. “We were looking to undertake a massive effort to change the way scholarly content is produced and distributed,” Marney says. Making that happen, though, proved to be challenging, given the company’s existing IT model. “We were too reliant on external IT services partners and slow moving on-premises infrastructure management, so we wanted to bring more of that work in-house to gain more agility and create and launch applications faster,” says Marney.
Wiley also wanted to introduce more automation into its development processes. Meltem Dincer, the Wiley’s vice president of platform capabilities, says, “We knew we wanted to create a platform for the future, and to us that meant an automated approach based on a DevOps model.” To give its developers more autonomy and to enable automation, Wiley decided to pursue a cloud-first strategy.
Wiley had already been using the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Cloud for some workloads and decided to reach out to the AWS Professional Services team for assistance with its platform modernization efforts. “We knew we didn’t have time to do all this on our own, and we knew AWS could help,” Dincer says. AWS Professional Services suggested that Wiley use AWS Service Catalog to enable developer self-service and automation.
AWS Service Catalog gives users the ability to centrally manage and deploy common IT services, including virtual servers, software, databases, and multi-tier application architectures. Using AWS Service Catalog, developers can access and deploy IT services themselves through a self-service portal. AWS Professional Services helped Wiley develop the architecture and implement AWS Service Catalog, and it trained Wiley software developers to easily create and deploy IT services via the catalog.
Wiley also uses more than 300 Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) instances to support several key digital applications, including scholarly research and test prep applications. Additionally, the company stores application and image data in Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) buckets, and it utilizes AWS CloudFormation templates to automate the provisioning of compute and storage resources through AWS Service Catalog.
Using AWS Service Catalog, Wiley developers have automated application development processes and can manage and deploy IT services themselves. “Our technologists can easily deploy our application builds to production using the AWS Service Catalog self-service portal, without having to open tickets,” Dincer says. “As a result, they can launch a new application stack in five minutes instead of the many weeks it would typically take. Because of AWS Service Catalog, we are enabling DevOps and automation at Wiley.”
With its new approach to software development and deployment, Wiley can bring new products to market faster than before. For example, the company recently launched a new online platform for its scholarly research business. “We were able to roll out our new research platform to 20 internal systems quickly because of the automation we’re getting through AWS Service Catalog,” says Dincer. “This is part of our new initiative to radically change publishing pathways for authors. Using AWS, we can support new ways of producing and distributing content.”
By releasing new applications faster and offering new digital publishing tools, Wiley will be more competitive. “Using AWS Service Catalog, we are truly a cloud-first company,” says Dincer. “We can support a new platform that we believe will revolutionize the way scholarly research is published. That will help us leapfrog the competition.”
The organization also has a repeatable deployment model, with reusable artifacts, to ensure rapid deployment of future applications. “We can reuse the same artifacts for new projects, which will help us create faster onboarding for products,” says Dincer. “And because the AWS Professional Services team taught many of our developers here how to launch AWS services via AWS Service Catalog, our DevOps and automation teams are not bottlenecks when it comes to getting projects up and running. Overall, after taking advantage of AWS, technology is now a differentiator for us.”
Learn more about AWS Service Catalog and Enabling DevOps for an Enterprise with AWS Service Catalog.