Barclays Bank plans to slash software development costs by 90% by building a private cloud infrastructure and moving more applications to machines running the Linux open source operating system.
The plans, which the bank believes will save it billions of pounds in development costs and speed time to market for new applications, were outlined in an unsourced report in the Sunday Times.
The use of cloud technology and Linux has already been applied internally and in a limited number of consumer-facing applications in the retail bank, yielding positive results.
The Sunday Times cites the progress of the Pingit mobile money app as a prime example of the new way of thinking at Barclays, which is being pioneered by COO Shaygan Kheradpir.
The bank boasts that the development time for Pingit was reduced from two years under traditional methods to just seven months, as small development teams collaborated to share and re-use components created in the cloud. Since its launch, the bank has been able to update Pingit on the fly, adding new functionality and service upgrades up to twelve times faster than previously, which would typically have required multiple patches and re-writes.
In an interview
with Computing last year, Kheradpir outlined a vision for software development at the bank in which end users and developers freely mingle, sharing ideas and feedback. He said he wanted to increase staff mobility and flexibility by enabling tablet use in the office, with a Barclays app cloud providing everything staff need to work and communicate.
In November, Barclays made a bulk order for 1800 iPads - the largest of its kind by a UK financial institution - for distribution to staff in the branch network.