The inception point for rapid cloud transformation: Hello Pokémon GO
2016 marked the start of a rapid cloud transformation journey for The Pokémon Company International. Prior, things looked very different for Jacob Bornemann, senior security engineer for the popular children’s entertainment property. Once focused solely on marketing for physical gaming cards and events, “with the release of Pokémon GO in 2016—Pokémon Training Club being a big part of this— we saw a huge explosion of traffic basically overnight that we could not handle.”
This spurred an immediate initiative to “lift and shift” their applications and services into the AWS cloud to ensure future-forward agile development, constant uptime for their global users, and business scalability. Along with the move to the cloud came a focus on augmenting its then four-person technology organization within The Pokémon Company International to what is now composed of about 100 expert global employees spanning IT, security, DevOps, development, product management, testing, and more.
Today, the team is creating multiple AWS accounts (e.g., business intelligence, production accounts, development accounts, sandbox accounts, IT accounts, etc.) for multiple AWS services, with a dedicated, cloud-based Game Studio that’s pumping out new cloud native applications on a massive scale, including the launch of a revamped Pokémon TV and new Pokémon Center, among other new applications. While tremendously beneficial for the business, the rapid cloud transformation placed a significant burden on the lean security team.
“I work for a security team of now eight people in total, with only half of us focused on cloud security. It quickly became a critical requirement to be able to manage all of these accounts, plus the configurations within, centrally and easily. So, I started to evaluate a few different services, ultimately landing on Prisma Cloud by Palo Alto Networks.”