ANZ to move all traffic to re-platformed internet banking by March 2021

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ANZ to move all traffic to re-platformed internet banking by March 2021

Keeps its future infrastructure options open.

ANZ Banking Group intends to have 80 percent of customer traffic running on its re-platformed internet banking service by November, with full cutover by March 2021.

iTnews revealed last week that the bank worked with Infosys to re-platform internet banking to run on OpenShift, a container-based application platform made by Red Hat.

It had 30 percent of internet banking traffic running over the new OpenShift platform as of July.

Digital portfolio technology lead Raghavendra Bhat said today that more traffic is being progressively moved across to the new internet banking platform.

“My expectation is that we will probably be completing about 80 percent of the traffic to be transitioned onto the OpenShift platform by November and we plan to completely transition into the new platform by sometime in March next year,” he told iTnews on the sidelines of today’s Red Hat Forum.

Bhat noted there was “no cookie cutter” approach to such a re-platforming.

“We have to work with Red Hat and a number of other partners in terms of how we sequence those activities,” he said.

“In terms of the complexity of the ecosystem, we had the old platform and the new platform, and our primary focus is to make sure that we transition it seamlessly from A to B.

“In that process it was more about redundancy and making sure that … the traffic is balanced between the two sides of the fence.

“It’s fairly similar to our SRE [site reliability engineering] practices in terms of the distribution of traffic.”

Bhat said the project involved “a lot of moving parts” and represented an intermediate step towards potentially running internet banking on public cloud infrastructure sometime into the future.

“We want to keep our options open in the longer term, and Red Hat gives us the best architectural footprint in terms of an on-prem, cloud-native application which can be heavily containerised and ready for a more microservices-based architecture, which is aligned with a more broader direction of where we are going as an organisation as well,” he said.

“It also gives us the flexibility to choose where the workload runs. 

“At a point in time if we do decide to move from on-prem to off-prem - so, for example, if we choose cloud - it gives us the right foundational capabilities to start to focus on what that transition looks like when we look to make that decision.”

Bhat also said that although the re-platforming would bring engineering improvements, the bank’s primary focus “is less about tech and more about customer experience and the impact it could have.”

“We have a greater control over how a lot of the workload runs in terms of data integrity and a whole heap of other things that need the right focus and attention,” he said.

“This was the path of least resistance in terms of all of those areas being looked at and thoroughly scrutinised.”

Bhat said the move to OpenShift - and the containerisation of internet banking - would allow the bank to scale underlying compute quickly to meet demand, without customers noticing.

“In terms of our ability to provide better customer experience, this gives us the right foundations,” he said.

“With OpenShift it gives us the ability to horizontally scale our capacity fairly quickly based on what’s happening in the ecosystem. 

“So, for example, if you start to see traffic spike for whatever reason, which happened in the early days of Covid, then we have the ability to quickly scale the infrastructure, and from a customer experience point of view it’s more about them not knowing the difference between what’s happening behind the scenes.

“There [might be] a lot happening behind the scenes but it’s seamless and smooth for our customers.”

Bhat also said that ANZ wanted to offer customers a more standardised experience with digital products, no matter which channel they interacted with ANZ on.

“The biggest opportunity for us is now we have the right foundations to start to leverage a lot of the capabilities and expose them as APIs or features that can be consumed by other applications or channels within the bank,” Bhat said.

“That gives us a lot more synergy from a customer point of view for feature sets that behave the same way depending on what channel they are interacting with us on.”

ANZ’s internet banking modernisation project landed it a Red Hat APAC innovation award for 2020 today in the 'digital transformation and cloud-native development' category.

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