Hybrid Cloud transformation in a financial institution

How do you carry out a cloud transformation in an organization that operates the critical, shared infrastructure for the financial sector in Denmark?

In 2016, the organization faced a landscape of critical applications with growing technical debt, where maintenance costs would significantly increase over the coming years, while strong vendor lock-in created a deadlock in standard applications that were reaching end-of-life.

The vision was to create a unified new, modern private cloud platform based on DevOps and cloud technology, and then gradually migrate and modernize the critical applications onto the new platform. To execute the vision, the aim was to transition to an agile organization, where maintaining and developing digital services with real value for their customers would be easier.

The challenges of creating such a platform consisted not only in developing and planning the platform itself but also in transitioning the organization to become agile.

In addition to architectural and technical challenges, there was a need to renew processes for operations, security, and compliance. On the human side, new skills were needed, including a methodical foundation for building the organization’s architecture and software development capabilities. Additionally, new roles and skills were needed to align the agile development process and the opportunities in a private cloud platform.

It became crucial to have profiles that could align business goals, architecture, and agile project execution from a strategic to an operational level.

Three main questions were posed:

  • “How do we structure the journey to a private cloud platform?”
  • “How do we build a hybrid cloud platform that can support the vision?”
  • “In what order do we move applications over, and how quickly can we modernize them?”

The initiative became known as the “Modernization Program,” and OI was involved throughout the journey from 2016 to 2022, where we assisted with:

  • Designing the foundational program basis for the Modernization Program
  • Designing the architecture handbook and the process that ensured ongoing quality assurance of the architecture in the projects.
  • Program management, architecture, and RTE leadership across the Modernization Program.
  • Clarifying the application landscape and updating the migration plan.
  • Developing and implementing a pragmatic Asset Management system that ensured the customer’s overview of systems, processes, and roles/responsibilities, and partly created a good basis for IT audits.
  • Agile project management, including support for GDPR deletion in the application landscape, and deployment of NemlogIn3 as a new security solution across the applications in parallel with the cloud transition.
  • Management consulting regarding significant strategic decisions including procurement, vendor selection, decisions regarding EU legislation on cloud usage in the financial sector.

The Modernization Program was completed around the turn of the year 2023/2024. Hereafter, the organization has a modernized application landscape on a private cloud platform that supports a DevOps-based maintenance approach.

Economically, it has resulted in a reduction of risk profile and license costs, as well as a significantly faster and more robust release process for new features.