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May 31, 2017
How do you fit a core banking system into a few containers—Part 1: The why
By: Jose Quaresma

It is my pleasure to bring you this blog post co-written with Amine Boudali, Nordea’s delivery lead of the Platform Stream in the Core Banking Program (CBP). We will be co-presenting some of the cool stuff we’ve been doing in the CBP at the upcoming 2017 DevOps Enterprise Summit in London next week, June 5-6. This post introduces our presentation, “How do you fit a Core Banking System into a Few Containers?”, and the initial stages of our journey in the application of containers’ technology to a specific core banking application. Our goal here is to share our experience and lessons learned in applying the DevOps principles to a Core Banking Application in an enterprise context.

#DevOps enables the #DigitalBank of future – Our @josequaresma details guiding principles in a new blog post.

How do you fit a Core Banking System into a Few Containers—Part 1: The Why

The Challenge

Nordea, one of the largest financial services group in the Nordics with around 11 million customers, is currently undergoing the largest transformation in European banking to simplify and enable an end-to-end digital bank of the future. A major component of this transformation includes the Core Banking Program (CBP), which delivers a common solution to support transaction banking, deposit taking, lending, mortgages and global cash management. By leveraging Temenos’ T24 as its core banking platform, CBP focuses on delivering incremental and frequent value with the goal of enabling early business value realization. We achieved this through an approach that supports product releases throughout the program’s lifecycle as opposed to a big bang approach, which releases all products simultaneously across all countries at the end of the program.

Guiding principles

In designing and implementing the program, we used several guiding principles to help keep us on course, with the most relevant ones being automation, everything as code, and short feedback loops. One of the main drivers for embarking in this journey was the fact that, before we started, we were aligned with these principles but not quite fully achieving them. Some of the pain points we experienced before the start of this journey into the containerized world include:

  • Long environment provisioning time

  • High number of short-lived environments

  • Complex deployment orchestration requiring downtime

  • Lack of full control over all environment configuration

  • Integration to a high number of development and test environments

  • Feedback time to developers and testers needed to be shortened

In the next post (and in our presentation), you will learn how we tackled these pain points, more lessons learned when setting up the Core Banking Platform in the chosen container platform and, of course, the positive results we’ve already achieved. Stay tuned.

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