How CSI is enabling a multi-branch building society to modernise its IT platforms with Microsoft Azure cloud solutions and industry best practise services.
Our client: is a large independent building society founded over 100 years ago. The society serves local communities by sharing knowledge, expertise, physical and online resources for mutual benefit. The company offers a range of mortgage and savings products designed to meet the current and future financial needs of its members and customers.
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The society operates in an extremely competitive market and grown to over 80,000 members. Recent investment has focused on refurbishing branch locations and implementing new digital platforms including eBanking for online access to member accounts and an eBroker system to improve the processing of mortgage applications.
To achieve the society’s strategic goals and initiatives, existing IT platforms were reviewed.
This review resulted in a project to migrate to a robust, resilient, and fit for purpose technology platform supported by managed services. The society explicitly required a cloud-based platform.
The current IT environment included virtual and physical servers, terabytes of storage provided via a SAN, backup system, and firewalls – across two MPLS-connected data centres for production and disaster recovery (DR).
The society needed a partner to assist with the migration of virtual hosts together with backup, security, and DR to a new cloud-centric platform. This migration also required the existing MPLS WAN to be replaced by resilient cloud connectivity.
To reduce the burden on its in-house IT team, the society also wanted to engage a managed services partner that would provide access to advanced level of skills.
YOU CAN SIMPLY MOVE CURRENT SYSTEMS DIRECTLY TO THE PUBLIC CLOUD - THIS WILL PROVIDE SOME OF THE BENEFITS, BUT TO REALLY TAKE ADVANTAGE, COMPANIES NEED TO RETHINK HOW THEY WORK WITH NEW TECHNOLOGICAL CAPABILITY. IF THEY DON’T DO THIS, THEN IT IS SIMPLY PERPETUATING THE PREVIOUS MINDSET.
To increase performance and reliability CSI designed a new cloud environment using Azure IaaS and PaaS services. The solution is split across two Azure regions to provide disaster recovery. Replication between the two regions is provided by Azure Site Recovery and data protection is delivered via Azure Backup, with data stored across different data centres. Low latency / high SLA connectivity is provided via Azure ExpressRoute.
New virtual servers were provisioned via IT automation and Infrastructure as Code (IaC) reducing the time to deploy and removing the risk associated with manual configuration.
Cyber protection for the new platform is provided by Azure Defender with Azure Sentinel providing a SIEM service as well as CSI services for endpoint protection, web filtering, and firewall management.
CSI worked with a strategic partner to include a systems and database admin service for the core banking platform.
The migration to a cloud-based platform provides the society with an easy-to-grow and secure foundation to underpin its strategic goals.
On the successful completion of the migration to Azure, CSI deployed a portfolio of managed services to ensure the success of day-to-day operations and to review performance to confirm that the cloud environment continues to be fit for purpose.
Infrastructure as Code (IaC) and automation ensure that the estate is continually being checked, so compliance audits become ‘business as usual’ rather than periodic business disruptions.
By delivering cyber security services to protect endpoint devices together with managed backup and disaster recovery, CSI provides the society with the first line and the last line of defence against cyber threats.
More than 50 percent of enterprise workloads and data are expected to be in a public cloud by 2021.
Two-thirds of organisations plan to focus on cloud migration over the next twelve months.
The top challenge for new cloud users is lack of skilled resources; for advanced cloud users, #1 is managing cloud spend.