Bank Upgrades IT Infrastructure With Private CloudBy Samuel Greengard Print
Business and IT leaders at Westpac New Zealand knew that IT infrastructure changes were needed to support business processes, so they deployed a private cloud.
The migration to digital business has introduced a variety of challenges for companies across a wide range of industries. Within the financial services sector, where performance and customer service are critical, there's a growing focus on building a more flexible, efficient and robust IT infrastructure.
One institution at the forefront of the charge: Westpac New Zealand, a leading global banking institution with about 1.7 million customers. Over the last couple of years, business and IT executives realized that major IT infrastructure changes were necessary. "There was a need to modernize and refresh the underlying infrastructure to support key business processes," points out Jason Millett, interim CIO at Westpac.
All roads led to cloud computing. In the past, the organization embraced the mindset of owning and operating the IT stack. However, "The speed of change that's now taking place requires forward-thinking solutions," Millett explains. "Our digital agenda requires different ways of thinking about technology investments, as well as how IT supports business operations. We recognized a need to improve our infrastructure, services and capabilities at the best possible cost outcome."
Westpac is now deploying a private cloud managed by IBM. The IT environment will allow the firm to develop and test tools within a dedicated and secure space, and to deploy new online and mobile banking services faster and across multiple devices and platforms.
What's more, as the digital footprint of customers changes and expands, the bank is in a position to respond more quickly—all while addressing constantly changing security demands, Millett says. This includes the ability to tap into enhanced online security features, such as managing identity and access through a single user ID.
It's a huge leap forward and one that promises to transform the company. "The platform provides a robust and advanced infrastructure that enables a seamless online banking experience across multiple devices," Millett explains.
The initiative aligns with the company's philosophy that computing resources are increasingly a commodity, and it is critical to create value closer to the customer through the application and business process layers. He believes that the cloud will help the bank "future proof" its business by making technology changes and improvements easier, faster and more accessible. In fact, as the business and IT landscape continues to evolve, Millett and fellow executives at Westpac are intent on changing along with it—all while placing a strong and ongoing emphasis on everything from coding quality to digital security.
"The 'rent-don't-buy' paradigm is extremely important, as is the need to move to high-availability services to support our fast-moving digital agenda," he explains. "The cloud technology offers utility, control, lower TCO, better resilience and great flexibility."
The ability to outsource data center operations and achieve 24x7 hardware and infrastructure monitoring from IBM is also a major benefit for Westpac.
"The goal is to significantly improve the way we do business," Millett explains. "Cloud technology will simplify, standardize and improve our business. It provides a pathway to progressively modernize to support business processes and customer services well into the future."
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