Cloud Makeover: How has cloud migration changed National Australia Bank?

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Cloud Makeover: How has cloud migration changed National Australia Bank?

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This content is contributed or sourced from third parties but has been subject to Finextra editorial review.

In the lead up to Finextra’s first annual Financial Cloud Summit, Finextra is reaching out to leading companies in the industry to discuss their cloud migration for our Cloud Makeover series. These case studies will explore how banks operated before and after their migration to cloud, and how the transition has impacted their product rollout, customer experience, efficiency, and workplace.

For our first case study, we sat down with Roger Schobben, cloud executive at leading Australian bank, NAB, to discuss how moving to the cloud has transformed the financial institution.

NAB traversed new territory as one of the first large Australian Banks to migrate its business banking platform and global trading platform to the cloud to support their consumers and to improve efficiency.

Detailing NAB’s shift to the cloud, Schobben explained that cloud technology was introduced to the bank in 2013, ten years ago, but they only fully migrated their systems to the cloud in 2018. Now over 70% of the bank’s applications operate on the cloud.

He explained: “Prior to this acceleration, our operations were frozen in time – we were still operating like we were in the 1990s with big monolithic platforms and a waterfall mindset. Our systems were highly process driven, but in a very manual way, and it took us a very long time to roll out new products and services that our customers really needed.”

Using cloud migration technologies has allowed numerous international banks to innovate their programs and enhance their user experience strategies. Schobben adds that the shift has allowed NAB to scale up and modernise at a faster pace. NAB utilises public cloud providers on an on-demand basis, allowing them to tap into various offerings from different leading cloud providers.  

“The cloud is powering our ability to deliver new and improved services to market more quickly for our customers, with added reliability,” says Schobben. “NAB also benefits from the investments made by cloud providers like AWS and Microsoft in highly secure and resilient global infrastructure. In combination with NAB’s investments in security, we create a highly secure environment to keep our customers and the bank safe.”

Schobben elaborates on how cloud has transformed numerous aspects of the bank’s operation for the better, noting that customer experience and cybersecurity are key areas in which cloud has enhanced the productivity of the bank.

“To help us move at the speed we do, we have worked to develop standards and procedures that govern and guide our approach. A number of years ago we launched our Cloud Adoption Standards & Techniques (CAST). This is a framework that sets out the standards and controls that govern our migration, but also the supporting processes to make the journey to cloud fast, secure, and reliable.”

Migration to the cloud has also opened up new avenues for expenditure for the bank. Now that cloud technology had become essential to the development of the institution, NAB has focused more energy and resources on upskilling and training their employees and attracting new talent.

Schobben notes how the transition has led to major changes within NAB’s workforce: “Five or six years ago, our original teams didn't have a lot of tech skills as a lot had previously been handed to outsourced companies. We have really brought that capability back in-house. Since 2019 we’ve hired more than 4,300 technologists and gone from around 70% of our workforce outsourced to around 37%. We knew that we needed to invest in our people with the skills they’d need to help us reach our ambitions. We launched the NAB Cloud Guild in 2018 and since then have trained thousands of people in cloud, resulting in more than 4,500 industry certifications.”

At NAB, the cloud is used to support multiple platforms, products, and applications such as their Simple Home Loans, internet banking, NAB Connect online, and NAB Now Pay Later.

There are still ways to go for cloud to develop and become fully integrated in various international banking structures that have been operating via monolithic, labour-intensive methods since their establishment. The transition can be time-consuming and difficult, but leads to a cost-effective and commendable result. The introduction of cloud technology provides numerous benefits for both the operators and customers of banks that are looking to scale up and rollout new products and platforms to keep up with emerging fintechs.

To learn more about cloud migration and how it is revolutionising banking, check out Finextra’s recently launched inaugural Financial Cloud Summit, scheduled to take place on 2 March 2023. For more information and to register for this event, please visit the event page here.

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Contributed

This content is contributed or sourced from third parties but has been subject to Finextra editorial review.