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Deutsche Bank turns to a known quantity as digital shakeup continues

Deutsche Bank has extended a contract with Kyndryl (previously IBM Infrastructure Services) to run its continental European core banking and mission critical IT infrastructures, in what the two described as one of the “largest and longest-running vendor contracts in the financial industry” at nearly 20 years together.

Kyndryl will also support Deutsche Bank’s public cloud efforts, saying its “knowledge of Deutsche Bank’s systems will play a part in helping to migrate some of its critical business operations to the cloud.”

Kyndryl will be keeping the lights on amid a multi-year digital transformation initiative at Deutsche Bank led by its Technology, Data and Innovation (TDI) division under Chief Technology, Data, and Innovation Officer Bernd Leukert, which has included a strategic co-innovation partnership with Google Cloud, signed in 2020.

See also: At Goldman Sachs, old school and open source rub shoulders

The bank is working, like many, to become more developer-centric; streamlining its processes for open sourcing code, contributing to Java build automation platform Maven, and building relationships with startups via a “global innovation network” that includes offices in Berlin, London Singapore, Palo Alto and New York.

(The bank trained 2,000 staff in Google Cloud Fundamentals in 2021 and aims to have software engineers accounting for more than 50 % of its Technology, Data, and Innovation staff by the end of 2022.)

“Our decision to renew our almost 20 year working relationship with the experts from Kyndryl is based on their experience in operating mission critical infrastructure services for the financial industry, as well as Kyndryl’s continued ability to adapt to the changing needs of the banking and IT industry,” said Gordon Mackechnie, Chief Technology Officer (CTO) at Deutsche Bank in a release shared Tuesday, October 11. 

Digital Transformation at Deutsche Bank: Simplify, Cloudify

Deutsche Bank’s IT leaders have been working to streamline complex legacy on-premises infrastructure in recent years. On the cloud side the bank’s agreement with Google Cloud will see the two not just bring workloads to GCP but “co-innovate new products and services” in what they described as “the first partnership of this kind for the financial services industry”. (That partnership will also see the two “selectively co-innovate with promising start-ups and fintechs that can support the bank’s client and transformation goals” they said.)

The German investment bank and financial services heavyweight is also looking to strip out cost including via consolidation of multiple legacy Oracle systems onto Oracle Exadata [email protected], an on-premises deployment option of the Oracle Exadata Cloud Service, to support applications that either will not move to the public cloud or may in the future. That project comes as part of efforts to break down data siloes. 

See also: JPMorgan vows $1B/month effort to get off legacy stack

The bank’s non-financial annual report for 2021 emphasises that Deutsche Bank remains focussed on “fundamentally changing the way it develops technological solutions” – painting a picture of familiar sound efforts at large banks: “We are bringing together businesses and technology experts in agile teams. We are strengthening our engineering expertise and fostering a new engineering culture by increasing the proportion of engineers in IT roles. In addition, we continue to simplify our processes and make them more flexible…”

“ In 2021, we adopted a set of enterprise architecture principles that provide an objective means of assessing the alignment of our change programs with our strategic intentions” the report adds, noting that “the principles cover aspects including data, reuse of components, automation, and security. Our portfolio of change projects is now rigorously and consistently evaluated against them, with deviations challenged to ensure progress toward a simpler, more efficient target state architecture. 

Under the agreement published today, Kyndryl will “support the enhancement” of Deutsche Bank’s mission critical banking infrastructure by integrating automation and security technologies… and drive efficiency in day-to-day operations. Kyndryl will also pilot hybrid networking solutions in Deutsche Bank’s data centres, further enabling integration of workflows and tooling. Deutsche Bank will be able to improve data integration across its on-premises IT environment as it prepares for its longer-term cloud journey” the two said. 

“We’ve stood side by side with Deutsche Bank for nearly two decades as they’ve evolved their business and shaped the future of banking. As we continue our work together, we’re committed to helping them deliver reliable and secure services to customers while being their trusted partner to lay a future-forward foundation that helps them bring more innovative offerings to market,” said James Rutledge, Global Head of Delivery, Kyndryl.

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