Westpac steps up cloud strategy

Westpac steps up cloud strategy

Westpac has begun the migration of data to a new offsite private cloud environment operated by IBM in two data centres in Australia as part of a strategy to save money on data storage and stay at the forefront of new technologies.

The massive project is a key element in the bank's 'hybrid-platform-as-a-service', with the aim of combining the use of public and private cloud environments to reduce complexity, costs and respond faster to customer needs.

The Hpaas project has already included investments in Panorama for BT, a customer service hub and a big data platform alongside the use of public clouds operated by the likes of Amazon.

“It has been a big and complex project,” says Westpac chief information officer Dave Curran of the offsite go-live. “And it is a vital step in our hybrid cloud strategy, vastly accelerating speed to market.”

He says the new IBM environment was built as an “evergreen platform” with minimal application set-up and maintenance costs by using APIs to allow developers to integrate with the infrastructure.

The new private cloud will include infrastructure associated with the core customer service hub, regulatory compliance and Open Banking applications.

Having already moved as many as 30 applications to the cloud since the middle of last year, Curran says the off-site infrastructure will enable a “massive” drop in the time and cost to set-up and host applications.

“What historically took weeks is now automated and happens in hours. For example server provisioning has gone from two to four months to two to four hours and application installation will be reduced from months to hours,” he says. “We are able to keep our technology current; scale-up and down on demand, and deliver efficiency gains through increased automation.”

Curran says the bank's aim is to host 70% of applications in the cloud within the next three years, and 100% within a decade.

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