Case Study


Commodities Trading, in the Cloud


Agriculture giant Cargill partnered with SDG to reinvent its global agricultural commodities risk trading platform from the ground up — and from the Cloud down.


Multi-national scope
Multiple legacy applications
High financial stakes
Heavily regulated industry

    SDG Solutions

    AWS Cloud-hybrid Architecture
    Agile coaching
    Technology Delivery
    App modernization
    Application development

      Managing risk in global agriculture

      Cargill Corporation is the world’s leading supplier of products and services to the global agriculture industry. Risk management across commodities, industries, and geographies is one of Cargill’s critical business units, and Cargill maintains a portfolio of applications and infrastructure to enable this complex business. Every day, agricultural producers, investors, and regulators in countries across the globe use Cargill’s tools and data to make high-stakes financial decisions.

      Facing a competitive market and aggressive goals, Cargill Risk Management needed to transform their trading platform to a cloud first, modern technology platform. SDG worked alongside Cargill to design and implement a solution that improved the overall quality of market and performance data, reduced administrative costs, and increased usability and reduced errors through a modern, mobile-friendly user interface.

        Building the solution together

        In implementing the solution, SDG partnered with Cargill to redesign Cargill Risk Management’s fundamental approach to technology initiatives.

        The first step in a cloud technology strategy

        The biggest technical challenge: migrating from Cargill’s legacy infrastructure to an AWS cloud-based platform that would unify Cargill’s applications and data, without sacrificing productivity and performance.

        Cargill had considerable in-house expertise on this opportunity, and they had even already built a rough proof-of-concept. But to turn that expertise and conceptual work into the company’s first production-ready cloud app, Cargill engaged SDG. Together, SDG’s consultants and Cargill’s technology team designed a comprehensive cloud adoption strategy, with risk management applications positioned as one of the first solutions in an enterprise-wide app modernization strategy.

        A platform for growth

        The AWS cloud-hybrid platform that the SDG and Cargill team designed is robust enough to handle high volume, globally distributed transactions, while remaining flexible and adaptable to allow the team to rapidly build and deploy new capabilities as their users’ needs evolve.

        It’s a platform that Cargill is now putting at the heart of its strategic capabilities, where it will help Cargill differentiate from competitors and respond quickly to a changing market.

        Comprehensive roles

        SDG oversaw system development and configuration, coordinated deployments, and implemented mature product management and software development practices.

        SDG consultants partnered with Cargill in the following roles:

        • Agile project delivery and management
        • Product and Program management
        • Design, UX and Prototyping
        • Enterprise architecture and application development
        • Consultation on long-term product management and operational strategies
        • Digital operations best practices

        Transforming to agile methods 

        While building and delivering a sophisticated new technical solution, SDG also worked with Cargill to implement agile, product-driven methods across the enterprise. Agile coaches worked with technology teams and market and business experts to identify gaps in understanding and opportunities to be more productive for the business and satisfying for the teams.  

        While the transformation is just beginning, Cargill is already working in new ways, with more frequent releases, new integrated team models, and clear, shared understanding of the problem at hand.

        Images courtesy of Unsplash and Cargill