A successful CRM migration to the cloud encourages Commonwealth Bank to move more SAP workloads offsite.
Core banking service executive owner Simon Davies told the Amazon Web Services Summit in Sydney that the bank will focus on its cloud journey, rather than continuing to divide its attention between two parallel systems.
“CRM is our front-end deployment for a much broader SAP roadmap to the cloud. We are focusing on that right now,” he said.
“The challenge is that we have one foot in both camps now, one on [premise] and one in the public cloud, and different operating models for both.
The “positive in isolation” CRM business case convinced the bank to make the switch, “because it will really drive the operational efficiencies that we’re seeing through CRM on a much larger scale.”
Davies added that the ABC also placed “tremendous emphasis” on growing its engineering workforce during the year as a “top-down priority.”
“The importance of this really cannot be underestimated, because what the cloud really enables is engineering autonomy,” he explained.
“It’s a toolkit you can give creative people to solve problems that were previously beyond their control.
“In turn, this engineering autonomy creates a flywheel effect of innovation and continuous improvement.”
CBA began looking at DevOps and a migration to AWS in 2019 after realizing it had three pressing projects at once: upgrading SAP, while migrating it to the public cloud, and improving the skills of its workforce. work of engineering.
And, since “40% of the economy” relies on the ABC, Davies said it all had to be done “without breaking the Australian economy”.
“SAP on the public cloud was never really a question of ‘if’ for me, but more of a question of ‘when’,” he said.
“Our CEO, Matt Comyn, has publicly stated our goal to run 95% of our workloads on the public cloud, so this is really a priority…for all of us.”
However, such a massive change would amount to “effectively performing a heart transplant on the bank.”
Davies said the bank decided to start the movement “a little at a time and constantly test and learn”.
He also said the business case for moving CRM to AWS highlighted a number of benefits, including a 20% reduction in CBA infrastructure costs.
“The biggest benefit for me wasn’t CRM related at all…it was about building the power of the cloud and the technical blueprints that we continually refined with each successive migration, until it was finally ready to host one of the most critical workloads in the country, which is the ABC’s SAP banking system,” Davies said.
Despite the “very, very important goals and a steep learning curve”, all of the project’s commitments were met, he added.
A small engineering team made up of engineers from CBA and Accenture was also tasked with helping with the migration, combining “not just SAP skills, but also cloud and DevOps.”
Davies’ team decided it was best to “extract above pure [AWS] CloudFormation and take an approach of using Ansible to dynamically build CloudFormation and then orchestrate that build. »
In total, the bank’s journey to design and build “its SAP platform on AWS to target state”, redesign its operating model, and migrate CRM took about 18 months.