ANZ plots a clear path to cloud

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ANZ plots a clear path to cloud

"Not quite at the scale we would like".

ANZ Banking Group is tipping a three-to-five year horizon to migrate or uplift “the majority” of its IT and application estate into the cloud.

Group executive, Technology Gerard Florian told The iTnews Podcast that ANZ intends to use hyperscale providers “as much as possible”, but will also run some workloads from cloud-like infrastructure in its own data centres.


Florian said that, “for a range of reasons”, ANZ had been “a little slower out of the blocks” on its cloud adoption.

“While we've been using cloud for many years, it’s maybe not quite at the scale we would like,” he said.

“Over the last couple of years, we've brought some people into the organisation who have had experience doing this with other financial services companies.

“We've also been working with our cloud partners, as you'd expect.

“The result of that is that we've got a pretty clear plan now and are well into that plan as far as migrating our estate … and we would expect that over the next - I'll call it three to five years - we will have the majority of our estate in the cloud.”

ANZ offered a progress update during its recent half-year results, with CEO Shayne Elliott indicating the bank would "soon have one-third of our applications based in the cloud” and is “well on track to get into about 50 percent in the next 18 months.”

Florian said there are some workloads - or components of workloads - that did not lend themselves to run on public cloud infrastructure, and so would be kept in-house, albeit hosted on cloud-like private infrastructure.

“Some of them may be [kept in-house for] regulatory reasons, some of them may be for performance reasons, or because of the age or even the type of the system,” Florian said.

“What we will do there, though, is still make our environment inside our data centre as cloud-like as possible.

“We certainly believe in the fundamental principles around cloud as far as automation, elasticity, availability and resilience. We want to use the hyperscalers as much as possible - we have a hybrid strategy there to use two providers, and we will have a cloud-like environment with our own data centre for those applications that we choose not to move.”

On the hyperscale front, ANZ has been pushing workloads into AWS and Google Cloud Platform for several years.

It has also put thousands of staff through cloud boot camp-style training run by hyperscalers.

Florian said there is considerable cloud-based work underway in ANZ’s New Zealand operations, as well as in some of the bank’s “backoffice areas” such as talent and culture.

Additionally, the bank has been working on cloud-native systems and architectures for its recently-launched ANZ Plus app, which is the first product to be delivered via its transformation program ANZx.

“ANZ Plus has been a very helpful catalyst for what we were doing in cloud,” Florian said.

“It's by no means the only area of the bank working on cloud, but ANZ Plus gave us an opportunity to think differently about how do we combine a number of technologies or components using the cloud as an underpinning foundation, working not only with new infrastructure but also new application providers - specialist companies in the financial services areas such as Zafin but also well-known organisations such as Salesforce, who have a lot of experience providing their solutions in the cloud.

“Putting all those components together, ANZ Plus enabled us to effectively build some key components of our stack, starting with the customer and working back.”

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