How Clydesdale and Yorkshire Bank Group is working out 'what devops means for us'

Since becoming independent in 2016, Clydesdale and Yorkshire Bank Group has been on a technology transformation, adopting more cloud software as a service solutions, shifting towards a more agile, devops culture and releasing consumer-facing applications for mobile and internet banking.

The banking group, which includes the brands Clydesdale Bank, Yorkshire Bank and new digital-only bank B - hence CYBG - has been busy blazing its own trail to be a more digital-focused bank since its de-merger from National Australia Bank.

Speaking to Computerworld UK, head of IT service management at Clydesdale Bank, Scott McGarvey described the organisation as a 'challenger bank'.

"So we need processes and a platform to cope with high volumes of change and enable us to process them quickly and safely," McGarvey said.

The bank ended up opting for ServiceNow as a founding technology platform in November 2017. In a press release for the announcement McGarvey said: "ServiceNow is a best in class ITSM platform that is capable of supporting our long-term vision in the enterprise space. It can be integrated with a diverse mix of enterprise applications such as Office 365 and Jira for greater operational synergy."

So with implementation support from TeamUltra, CYBG will start rolling out ServiceNow's cloud based IT service management (ITSM) to nearly 10,000 employees in March, starting with password reset and hardware ordering capabilities.

Previously these core IT services were delivered by a team using "a mixture of four or five spreadsheets, or Sharepoint, or email, or all three, and some legacy tools," according to McGarvey.

This move drives two important results for the bank: shutting down legacy systems and saving money.

"It is about removing legacy and manual processes and having a single record of all data through ServiceNow dashboards," McGarvey explained. "That is out of the box, so we get rid of a lot of processes and free up IT to work on other initiatives and value add and continuous service delivery.

"The second element is cost saving as we drive stuff though the self-service portal and away from the help desk and there is staff efficiency there."

Change management

All of this is working towards the grand aim of making CYBG a more digitally savvy bank. Both Clydesdale and Yorkshire banks rolled out mobile banking last year and the bank wants to implement a modern, iterative approach to "support a more agile development cycle" throughout the bank.

Previously, to make any significant changes to these apps or processes teams would have to fill out a lot of paperwork, gain approvals and wait 10-20 days to be given a green light. McGarvey wants to get this approval time halved.

"Having these processes and the right data in the system enables that change to be processed quickly and efficiently," McGarvey said. "Our aim ultimately is to get that out in less than a month typically."

McGarvey admits that CYBG is still a legacy bank however, so "we need to understand what devops means for us."

McGarvey explained that only by figuring out how to make the hand-off between IT and quality assurance more seamless, and build security and version control into the development pipeline at an early point, can the bank truly start to see how that will look.

Copyright © 2018 IDG Communications, Inc.

Shop Tech Products at Amazon