Westpac takes first steps in cloud infrastructure reform

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Westpac takes first steps in cloud infrastructure reform

Brings in new team of architects.

Westpac is about to begin work stitching a range of cloud and IT infrastructure components together into standard patterns and services that can be used and re-used by its business groups.

The bank has spent the past month recruiting an architectural team into its technology infrastructure & operations (I&O) unit in Sydney’s south in an effort to present a single, unified IT infrastructure to the business.

Westpac last year committed $1.3 billion to fund a long-term technology standardisation and simplification drive, and said it would increase its use of hybrid cloud technology.

It now appears ready to begin work architecting the single, standard IT infrastructure platform, putting in place appropriate orchestration, governance, service delivery and support.

The bank is in various stages of recruiting a team of at least seven architects to work on various parts of the project. Taken together, they reveal how Westpac is approaching the rejigging of its IT infrastructure model.

I&O will take on a “business partner-centric service delivery model with [its] teams structured around how services are consumed”.

It will begin by creating a series of “detailed” cloud service patterns – essentially reusable solutions that address common challenges or functions.

“Cloud services are consumed as standardised patterns composed of several reusable components,” Westpac said.

“Most patterns have five technology components and standardised consumption ‘options’.”

Cloud “service owners” will work with internal customers based in Westpac’s various brands “to build a deep understanding of their needs and deliver an industry-leading and best in breed service strategy” to underpin their projects.

They will also have “final authority on cloud service definition and design, acting as the final point of escalation and decision-making” for changes to a particular cloud service offered by I&O.

Services may involve architectural elements from more than one vendor or provider; the bank is bringing onboard several people to define and manage cloud service delivery.

They will “ensure partners, vendors and third party suppliers …deliver cost efficient and reliable cloud services”, and put in place the orchestration layers, governance and service management to present unified cloud services to the banking group.

Third party suppliers will know their place in the services they are part of - Westpac laid out in no uncertain terms its expectations that everyone involved in a cloud service will have bought into a “one team mindset” underpinning its approach to the project.

The cloud infrastructure services will be available to Westpac Group‘s portfolio of businesses including Westpac Retail and Business Banking, Westpac Institutional Bank, St. George Bank Group (including BankSA, RAMS and Bank of Melbourne), BT Financial Group, and Westpac New Zealand.

A Westpac spokesperson said only that “the roles advertised are part of Westpac’s ongoing commitment to our digital transformation program and standardisation across the group".

CIO Dave Curran has made it clear he wants to move away from deploying technology “in silos or around a specific product” and set a clear architectural vision for future IT infrastructure.

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