Czech-ing into the cloud

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January 16, 2019
Czech-ing into the cloud
By: Martin Trcka

The first-ever cloud migration in Central Europe by a traditional retail bank: that’s the accomplishment of MONETA Money Bank, the fourth-largest financial institution in the Czech Republic, with more than a million clients and over 200 branches. Martin Berdych—senior manager of IT infrastructure at MONETA—and I were interviewed recently at the AWS re:Invent conference for 2018. This blog contains some highlights from that interview.

MONETA made the decision to move about two dozen internal applications from its data center to the public cloud—in this case, AWS.

Why migrate?
MONETA made the decision to move about two dozen internal applications from its data center to the public cloud—in this case, AWS. This is giving MONETA a high-quality and flexible infrastructure for the growth of its services, important because the bank’s legacy infrastructure had been preventing them from being quick to market and responding to customers in a nimble fashion. With reduced legacy IT costs, the bank could then invest more in digital products.

The migration is part of a larger IT strategy for the bank which includes becoming more agile (with a scalable infrastructure and short delivery times), and becoming more innovative, which means in this case using the latest technologies and external data for a seamless origination process for financial products.

Accenture’s role

Accenture has been a trusted partner on this cloud journey. Accenture leveraged its 12-year professional relationship with AWS and engaged the Accenture AWS Business Group (AABG) to support a local Accenture team with multiple AABG migration assets. AABG has a dedicated team of AWS experts experienced in the latest AWS technologies and services who are providing technical support along the way.

Our work began with a preparation phase, helping the client to assess their risks, especially regulatory ones. The team then moved into the application assessment and blueprint phases—designing what the target environment would look like in terms of the architecture, connectivity, security, governance, etc.

Prioritizing apps for migration

Replacing and enhancing applications is also a key part of MONETA’s overall IT strategy. We helped the bank review hundreds of applications and prioritized them. High-priority apps were mostly in the area of transactional banking, including a new, up-to-date web experience; high-availability banking with 24/7 service; and an improved CRM system. MONETA also prioritized digital solutions for mortgages and consumer loans.

Journey TO cloud first, then the journey IN the cloud

Martin Berdych from MONETA remarked during the interview how surprised the IT staff were at how easily the technology itself was adopted. The setup and migration phase happened in only about four-and-a-half months. However, as Martin noted, a different kind of journey then began: It’s no longer about a journey TO the cloud, but now it’s about the journey IN the cloud. As Martin put it, “The job is not done when you migrate to the cloud. Instead, it just begins.”

When we speak to clients about public cloud adoption, they usually think about it primarily in terms of technology. But that is not the whole story; in fact, it’s just a small part. As Martin noted, “The bigger story is about changing the operating model and the business, and how the organization works, as well as every function it touches—HR, finance, security, risk, etc. So, my recommendation would be think of cloud adoption from that perspective. It's not just a technology change. It’s a sweeping transformation. Have courage. Don’t be afraid.”

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