Cloud: ANZ shifts from ‘tactical projects’ to ‘an industrialised factory’

Bank accelerates embrace of cloud with help of Google

ANZ now looks at cloud computing through the prism of “an industrialised factory” rather than “tactical projects,” the bank’s tech chief said today.

The bank has gone from taking a “very clear” but “cautious” step towards cloud to accelerating its embrace of it over the last 12 to 18 months, Gerard Florian today told the Google Cloud Summit in Sydney.

That acceleration has accompanied the ANZ’s transformation of how its organises its employees as part of its ‘New Ways of Working’ program.

“We’ve taken an organisation of about 5000 technical people and a similar size number of people within our business and moved to working in a blend of Scaled Agile, human centred design and Lean, so that we can provide that value to the customer in a faster way, with more engaged staff, but also take out some of the wrinkles and the friction that often appears in a large organisation,” the ANZ group executive, technology, told the conference.

In the past the financial services sector has been characterised by multi-year and sometimes multi-billion-dollar transformation programs, he said.

“But breaking it up into smaller pieces, by thinking about the customer before the system, and then trying to make sure that we are delivering value very quickly in small incremental chunks and getting feedback on that, rather than perhaps waiting two or three years, is certainly part of the way in which we are approaching transformation,” he said.

On the development side, the bank has previously revealed details of its “paved roads” CI/CD effort to help get code in production faster.

The paved road pipeline feeds into the bank’s hybrid environment including its virtual private cloud within the Google Cloud Platform, which contains production and non-production workloads as well as hosting ANZ’s innovation work.

ANZ is seeking consistent management across its environment, Florian said.

“I want to make sure that we are managing the entire environment as one,” the ANZ executive said. “Things like the private cloud solution that we now we can have access to, private virtual cloud, within the GCP environment help make this a reality.”

The bank revealed earlier this year it was exploring the use of Google’s Anthos platform to manage its multi-cloud environment. ANZ has previously detailed its use of Google’s cloud-based data analytics muscle to analyse its hoard of payment data.

ANZ has also turned to the OKR (‘objectives and key results’) framework, which is used at Google, to help steer the bank as it continues its agile transformation program.

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