To Bankdata it is a strategic priority to utilize the cloud services placed high in the stack. Still, they treat their cloud as they would any other third-party supplier.
Many companies choosing a cloud solution approach the project as a transition from on-premises to cloud: The goal is a hybrid solution where cloud and on-premises software work together as a whole. Bankdata has chosen a fundamentally different approach.
“Back in 2018, when we started working on our cloud strategy, we knew that we were facing a new and gigantic paradigm shift,” says Allan Riis, Cloud Center of Excellence Lead at Bankdata.
“The starting point of our strategy and approach to the cloud universe was not an ambition to move servers and infrastructure from our data center to the cloud. We approached it from a different angle, asking: ‘How can we access and use the cloud services high up in the stack to service Bankdata and Bankdata’s customers in the best possible way?’”
“The foundation of Bankdata’s business model is that we build for ourselves first and then for our customers,” says Allan. “We want to use the same generic foundation as our customers to avoid building silos for either of us. Our foundation should be structured and homogeneous to ease operations, and then we can customize the top layer.”
Obviously, Bankdata has extremely high security standards. This means that they are not just seeking to build a cloud solution on top of their data center, risking to transfer traditional challenges and requirements from their data center to the cloud.
Therefore, there is no connectivity between onpremises and cloud, instead they are using modern connectivity with secure, encrypted data exchange through gateways.
“Please wipe your feet before entering the cloud. This is an expression our team uses to signal that we’re moving to something else, making a mental transition out of the data center and into the cloud,” says Allan.
“We’re doing greenfield development in the cloud. We don’t want to bring architectural disciplines and decisions from the data center to the cloud. We want to explore the existing setup with new designs, technologies and architectural principles.”
“We’re not extending our data center to the cloud. We’re building something else entirely, applying a pronounced security mindset to technology and infrastructure,” Allan explains.
He elaborates: “Our cloud environment is an island, and we approach it like we would any thirdparty supplier. When our data center and legacy communicate with our cloud, it’s handled in the same way as if communicating with a third-party supplier.”
First, Bankdata and Automize established a safe landing zone in Azure, approved by Bankdata’s own security organization. The landing zone is basically directed towards PaaS, but it will also be a prerequisite for the subsequent phases involving SaaS, for example, in the beginning of 2021, when deployment of Microsoft 365 and Exchange to the banks starts.
“The first phase of the implementation of our cloud strategy has been to build a generic model that we can deploy to the banks, and we’ve successfully completed that phase,” says Allan.
“Together with Automize, we built a fully modular model based on Microsoft’s Cloud Adoption Framework and best practices. Automize’s true strength lies within the entire Microsoft universe. They’ve used Microsoft’s recommendations and tweaked the model just enough for it to match our needs.”
“Over the next years, we would like to build a solid cloud development framework where we can utilize cloud services in combination with the existing data center while keeping things separate to achieve the dynamics,” says Allan.
He concludes: “We don’t feel that we have a burning platform. But we feel that we need to utilize the potential the cloud offers. There will definitely be more cloud in Bankdata’s and our customers’ future.”
Bankdata is one of the biggest finance-IT companies in Denmark, providing IT solutions for the financial sector. That means all of the IT solutions a bank needs – including the development of online and mobile banking, credit and advisory tools as well as support and security. Bankdata is owned by nine Danish banks, who are also the company’s customers. The banks participate actively in the planning, development and prioritization of Bankdata’s activities. Bankdata was founded in 1966 and currently employs more than 750 people.
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”We’re doing greenfield development in the cloud. We don’t want to bring architectural disciplines and decisions from the data center to the cloud. We want to explore the existing setup with new designs, technologies and architectural principles.”
”We don’t feel that we have a burning platform. But we feel that we need to utilize the potential the cloud offers.”
”Together with Automize, we built a fully modular model based on Microsoft’s standard framework and best practices. Automize’s true strength lies within the entire Microsoft universe.”
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