Financial services company AMP is pursuing a cloud-first strategy and at the moment is making “big bets” on software as a service, according to chief technology officer Chris Bell.
Bell made the comments at an event marking Amazon Web Services fifth anniversary in Australia (a milestone officially notched up late last year — the AWS Sydney Region launched in November 2012)
The CTO said that the AMP-AWS relationship is around half a decade old. Cost was a big factor in the ASX-listed company’s initial move to public cloud, but agility, automation and having a platform for future innovation were also key motivations.
“In the first couple of years we had some really good early wins on the board,” Bell said.
“We took something like 50 per cent of our x86 infrastructure out of the ecosystem by moving to AWS. We took 30 per cent off the bottom line in terms of infrastructure costs from that move.”
“That was a real proof point to our business and technology organisation that this was a safe bet and something we should continue to invest in,” the CTO said.
“I think that initial lift-and-shift is obviously where a lot of organisation start and we made really good in-roads there,” he said.
“Secondly it was really around the automation and agility piece – and so that’s been the focus really for the last couple of years: Really allowing our developers and engineers across the different business units to focus on what’s important to them and really removing a lot of the mundane activities and pain from doing deployments and so forth.”
The early shift to cloud involved an intensive dialogue with the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA).
(APRA in 2015 released its information paper on “Outsourcing Involving Shared Computing Services (Including Cloud)” [PDF] — a decision, the organisation said at the time, that was based on the increased volume of consultations with it about the use of cloud services in the financial services sector.)
As part of its cloud push, AMP has been increasingly looking to SaaS offerings such as Salesforce and Office 365, Bell said.
Bell said that a centre of excellence focused on cloud has been set up within the CTO function. Its role is to examine how AMP can best leverage new and emerging cloud capabilities.