Bendigo and Adelaide Bank pushes first workloads into AWS

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Bendigo and Adelaide Bank pushes first workloads into AWS

Completes '30 in 30' shift.

Australia’s fifth largest retail bank, Bendigo and Adelaide Bank, has migrated 30 non-critical workloads to Amazon Web Services in 30 days ahead of a wider push into the public cloud.

Chief information officer Andrew Cresp said the migration took place over the course of the last month as part of an ongoing program aimed at consolidating the bank's applications.

“As of yesterday [December 1], we’ve actually moved 30 workloads in 30 days,” he told a AWS re:Invent media event in Sydney on Wednesday.

'30 apps in 30 days' is an AWS program designed to get customers to start migrating apps or workloads into the cloud at scale. 

Bendigo and Adelaide Bank's migration, which follows the delivery of the bank’s new cloud strategy in May, was accelerated by Covid, which also resulted in a number of pandemic-themed customer service improvements.

The bank recently pumped $52.4 million into the transformation, which will see it cull 12 percent of its app stack to reduce costs.

Cresp told iTnews the initial cloud migration did not involve "material workloads”, with more critical applications set to follow after the bank beds down its governance, controls and risk frameworks.

Between 80 and 90 percent of the '30 in 30' migration was completed by internal staff, with the remaining work done by AWS and cloud consultancy and AWS partner Contino.

“It’s not just a matter of going through our technology processes and understanding the technology, we actually were testing our governance and risk approaches too,” he said.

“We got up to business banking pipeline management-type application program interfaces (API’s), so we didn’t actually get into the critical core stuff.”

The bank is currently in talks with the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority around its migration plans, as well as open banking more generally – a driving force behind the digitisation effort.

Cresp – who joined Bendigo and Adelaide Bank in January after nine years at NAB, which itself is further down the path with cloud – said the project allowed the bank to test its cloud skills.

In November alone, more than 50 percent of the banks developers were trained in cloud as part of a “learning month”.

“It was a good evidence point of ‘have we got the team, are our team capable of learning and adjusting and have we booked that properly?” he said.

“Does our risk and governance processes stand up and our security factor stand up? It does? So let’s go after [the migration].”

Bendigo and Adelaide Bank is now looking to continue the digital acceleration next year, using the cloud shift to simplify the bank’s processes and, ultimately, drive better customer outcomes.

“We’re adopting an approach of consolidating to cloud, so we’re not going to lift our applications – all of them – and then drop them there and hopefully consolidate later,” Cresp said.

“We are really moving towards a position of consolidating to one target state, and then basically simplifying the process.

“So API-enabled, make it the best we can and then consume that throughout the organisation.

“Our organisation previously had been operating business silos where everyone had their own document management system or collection management system.

“We’re fundamentally about consolidating to cloud, and creating great APIs that can be consumed internally by our applications but also externally by our fintech partners.”

Digital signatures

Cresp also touched on Bendigo and Adelaide Bank's digital signature capability, which it quickly stood up when the pandemic hit in late March.

“One of the things that was highlighted really early for us is actually signing contracts and getting that sorted out with our customers,” he said.

It took just over a month to introduction the technology, allowing customers to continue to sign documents, particularly during the 109 days of lockdown in Victoria.

“By May 8 we actually had our digital signature capability rolled out into the consumer bank,” Cresp said.

“When I think about our organisation, and what I’m probably the most proud of, it's how quickly we could move for our customers at those times.

“And that is one small story in the challenge that we had as an organisation post-Covid – having to become more digitally relevant, but also maintaining that human connectedness of our customers.

“It’s certainly been a bit of a learning trip for us through that period.”

Cresp added that it was the risk and legal implications of digital signatures, not the technology itself, that took time to work through.

Justin Hendry attended an AWS re:Invent 2020 media event in Sydney as a guest of AWS.

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