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Transforming Cloud Operations: Kion's Impact on Saint Louis University's Success

Shiara Carney

3 min read

Last updated on April 5th, 2024 at 11:20am

Organizational Overview

Saint Louis University (SLU), founded in 1818, was the first university in St. Louis, Missouri. With more than 13,000 students, and an alumni network of more than 130,000, the university has been recognized for world-class academics, research, and healthcare.


In 2020, Saint Louis University (SLU) set out on a transformative cloud journey, seeking to leverage public cloud technology to overcome challenges in managing massive datasets and streamlining research workflows.

Led by Maureen Donlin, Director of Research Computing and Shruthi Sreenivasa Murthy, Assistant Director of Research Computing, SLU embarked on a collaborative effort to modernize its infrastructure, embrace cloud-native solutions, and establish baseline security rules that are inherited across environments.

The Challenge

At the onset of their cloud journey, SLU faced significant challenges in managing large datasets and optimizing research workflows using traditional on-premises infrastructure. The surge in data volume necessitated scalable and cost-effective solutions, prompting SLU to explore cloud-based infrastructure services.

With projects involving massive data dumps, such as anonymized cell phone location data and clinical data warehousing, SLU required solutions to process and analyze data efficiently, as well as a straightforward way of adhering to compliance requirements.

The Solution

SLU recognized the need for enhanced visibility, governance, and automation in their cloud environment. This prompted them to explore offerings like Kion, which emphasizes the importance of aligning cloud operations with organizational goals and focuses on three key areas: identity management, financial operations, and compliance.

Kion’s platform provides SLU with a comprehensive view of their multi-cloud landscape, enabling them to understand their cloud estate and financial performance. With Kion’s governance capabilities, standardization and security can be facilitated across diverse cloud environments, and with the automation features, SLU can streamline provisioning, security enforcement, and compliance checks, ensuring a proactive and scalable approach to cloud management.

“As we have a single payer account, charging back the sub accounts and the respective research groups has been challenging and arduous. But now, this task has become significantly simplified thanks to Kion, making chargebacks more straightforward than ever before.”

– Shruthi Sreenivasa, Assistant Director of Research Computing, Saint Louis University

The Kion Effect:

By embracing cloud technology, SLU achieved remarkable results in optimizing research workflows and enhancing data management capabilities.

Key achievements include:

1. Cost Optimization

With AWS cloud services, SLU achieved significant cost savings compared to traditional on-premises infrastructure. Pay-as-you-go pricing models and optimized resource utilization with Kion minimized operational costs while maximizing ROI.

2. Enhanced Security and Compliance

Kion helped SLU follow best practices and leverage AWS security features to ensure robust data security and compliance with regulatory requirements, such as HIPAA & CMMC 2.0.

3. Operational Efficiency

Automation of account provisioning, security remediation, and environment setup simplified operational tasks and reduced manual effort. SLU’s collaboration with Kion also enhanced operational efficiency by providing centralized management and visibility into their cloud spend.

Looking Ahead

SLU remains committed to driving innovation and leveraging cloud technology to support its research initiatives. With ongoing collaboration between Kion and AWS, SLU aims to further optimize its cloud environment, enhance its security posture, and streamline research workflows for continued success.


Saint Louis University’s cloud journey exemplifies the transformative impact of cloud technology on research and academic institutions. By embracing change and partnering with industry leaders like AWS and Kion, SLU was able to implement a range of cloud-native solutions to address their unique challenges. From minimizing operational costs to developing strategies for data ingestion and processing, SLU has unlocked new possibilities in data management, analysis, and collaboration, positioning itself at the forefront of academic research and innovation.

About the Author

Shiara Carney

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