Driving innovation: The Azure Framework in Banking
Our client, 45 Degrees, is a Belgium-based boutique Azure consultancy. The end-client is a leading private Belgian bank-insurer with more than 12 million customers, 1,200 branches and 40,000 employees. It focuses on private clients and small and medium-sized enterprises in Belgium and beyond (Ireland, Central Europe and South-East Asia).
Initially the bank started with the AWS platform on its journey to the cloud. Later, they decided to add the Microsoft Azure platform, with the vision of deploying a multi-cloud environment that provided flexibility, combined security and cost savings. Hence, they looked for external help with Azure tech and architectural leadership to bring the Azure vision to life.
The strategy taken was to embed a Senior Azure Cloud Architect into the end-client’s team to shape the new Azure platform. This would result in a hybrid cloud environment offering enhanced choice, security and cost savings simultaneously.
The challenge was to design, architect and implement the client landing zone in Azure, followed by the combination of cloud technologies, that meet the bank’s needs, taking into account their number of customers, employees and range of service types.
Hernán Feder, a Pluralit Senior Azure Architect providing services to 45Degrees, was assigned as Azure Cloud Lead Architect to the bank and embedded in their cloud architecture team. He single-handedly created the Azure Foundation Services, a secured, scalable, robust and modular environment -pre-provisioned through code- to host, migrate, modernise and innovate on applications.
Once deployed, the Azure Landing Zone offered a secure and repetitive environment to all DevOps teams, suitable for web applications, microservices, serverless and data solutions.
Hernán also led the design and implementation of several Azure technologies according to the bank’s needs, including networking, data stores, DevOps, monitoring, web and governance. As the Azure platform matured he was able to focus more on sharing knowledge across the bank’s cloud group.
RESULTS AND BENEFITS
120 .NET applications were onboarded within the first 12 months. In that period the delivery time on Azure environment for a single DevOps team decreased from several weeks to less than an hour, dramatically reducing bureaucracy and bringing significant cost savings, standardised security and rapid market deployment.
Also, the Azure Landing Zone is able to onboard data applications, web applications and future containerized solutions (AKS).
Today, with an established Azure platform and 18+ months from the start, Hernán continues to drive the evolution of Azure architecture and services, with his cloud and tech leadership skills recognised as outstanding by both our client, 45Degrees, and the end-client.