ANZ picks up in-house testing platform

Continued moves to virtualisation and SOA likely motive

ANZ has continued moves to consolidate IT systems and personnel, picking up an in-house software testing and delivery platform as it moves toward virtualisation.

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The bank chose iTKO’s LISA end-to-end testing and virtualisation systems to be implemented across its newly formed Technology group for software development and implementation. According to a statement released by the vendor, the platform was chosen over others to provide visibility into ongoing architectural changes in ANZ’s IT systems while being able to keep management and testing resources in-house.

ANZ’s head of testing in the Technology division, Marcello Martino, said in a statement that the bank aimed to reduce risk, cycle times and costs across development and testing for the bank.

Kelvin Ross, managing director of software testing firm K.J. Ross & Associates, told Computerworld Australia the continuation of in-house testing was business as usual for ANZ but remained indicative of further inhousing by large Australian enterprises.

“In the past ANZ have had a high level of off-shoring but it’s been a bit different because they’ve used their own resources,” he said. “They’ve got their own company in Banglor that they outsource to, so it’s not like they’re outsourcing to a vendor.”

An industry benchmark of 40 Australian companies conducted by the testing firm found companies utilised approximately 60 per cent of internal and permanent resources to conduct software testing, often outsourcing the other 40 per cent to contractors or vendors.

“They’re still managing themselves but in the last two years we’ve seen a growth in outsourcing arrangements, both in onshore and offshore and really what that’s doing is they’re splitting the base. They tend to be stabilising the number of permanent resources but rather than using contractors they’re now starting to use vendors either onshore or offshore.”

Virtualisation and service-oriented architecture (SOA) remain high priorities for testing and implementation within the financial industry, according to Ross, but the move to inhouse testing was also a case of managing internal environments for ongoing projects.

“We’re seeing that as a big issue in banking at the moment. There’s issues around much larger systems in terms of numbers of systems being integrated, they need to find a better way of actually providing and test and development environments for those because it’s just so hard to create a copy of production in a test environment, it would just be way too expensive.”

The Technology group was formed by chief information officer, Ann Weatherstone last month to provide oversight over the bank’s $700 million IT budget, as the well as the areas of information technology solutions, infrastructure and information security for the six million customers the bank currently serves.

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