Bringing Cloud-Native Principles to a Monolithic Platform

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Application migration video - Sourced Group

About the Client

One of the UK’s largest banking groups modernised its cloud-based finance and risk data platform to improve the speed and simplicity of engineering.

This engagement enabled the banking group to embrace sophisticated, cloud-native approaches that enhanced performance.

  • Modern techniques were implemented, including infrastructure as code, configuration as code and continuous integration continuous delivery (CI/CD).
  • The velocity and quality of engineering have been improved through the automation of testing and validation.
  • It’s now easier for the bank’s team to maintain quality and compliance as regulatory requirements evolve.

Monolithic platform means change is cumbersome

The bank’s finance and risk data platform handles more than 100 million transactions per day. Many of the functions it performs, such as risk assessment, credit worthiness checks and reporting, are governed by stringent regulations.

When regulatory requirements are updated, or significant changes such as economic sanctions are introduced, the platform infrastructure needs to adapt accordingly. Historically, this has been a challenge due to its monolithic nature. The platform’s large codebase and tight coupling between its various components made it difficult and time-consuming to implement change.

Sourced Group, an Amdocs Company, was engaged to turn this situation around, working with the bank’s finance and risk team to modernise the platform infrastructure. The goal was to make it quicker and easier to implement changes while providing evidence that compliance requirements are adhered to.

“The bank needed specialist engineering expertise to take its finance and risk data platform to the next level of cloud maturity. Our engineers had the technical skills to help it achieve these goals, coupled with a good understanding of regulatory requirements for financial services data.”

Raj Fowler, Transformation Director

Advanced platform engineering enables modernisation

The finance risk and data platform is hosted on Amazon Web Services (AWS), and built using the open-source infrastructure as code tool Terraform. It follows a producer-consumer model whereby the platform team (producers) are responsible for data provisioning and delivery teams (consumers) use the data to assess credit risk.

Our main task was to simplify producers’ use of Terraform so they could exploit AWS capabilities more effectively, making it easier for consumers to meet evolving regulatory requirements and demonstrate compliance.

We focused on the introduction and enhancement of cloud-native approaches including infrastructure as code, configuration as code and CI/CD. Work completed encompasses three core streams of activity:

  1. Upgrading Terraform modules to the latest standards and versions.
  2. Refactoring and redesigning existing Terraform modules for better alignment with product and service lines.
  3. Creating a backlog of future work which has been shared with the producer team.

Refactoring the Terraform codebase enabled us to leverage Terraform modules for onboarding new producer teams while eliminating repeated code. This simplifies the onboarding journey, reducing manual effort and technical debt.

Modernising the platform in this way means producers can update specific elements of the platform more efficiently as security, governance and compliance parameters evolve. Consumers can then access the elements they need, knowing that all current requirements are properly accounted for.

Platform improvements boost engineering speed and quality

Activity completed to date has put the banking group’s finance and risk data platform on track to achieve a high level of cloud maturity. Producers now have greater control, making it easier to maintain quality and compliance as requirements change. We’ve improved the velocity and quality of engineering through the automation of testing and validation. Consumers are already benefitting from the ability to access what they need more quickly and with confidence.

Going forward, working together we will enable producers to make further improvements and reposition the platform as a self-service model.

“The changes we made quickly resulted in material improvements to the speed and quality of engineers’ output. This has laid strong foundations for the future roadmap which will see the platform become increasingly sophisticated and efficient.”

Raj Fowler, Transformation Director