Banco Santander moving more than 200 servers to cloud per day

by Joseph K. Clark

Banco Santander has migrated 60% of its IT infrastructure to the cloud and set a 2023 deadline to complete the transformation. To this end, the Spanish banking giant, which aims to be “fully digital-enabled” in 2023, has moved 200 servers to the cloud every working day over the past two years. Santander has benefitted from its fast migration to the cloud during the disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. Its cloud platform allows it to provide the services customers want when they want them while operating with 100,000 staff working from home.

“Helping customers and creating the best customer experience is key for Santander,” said Dirk Marzluf, said chief operating and technology officer at Santander. “To achieve this, we are innovating and moving our services to the most advanced cloud-based platforms.” The cloud ensured customer service availability during the lockdowns. A 60% increase in digital activity among the bank’s customer base of about 148 million people in Europe and the Americas. Part of that success was down to its ability to quickly enable staff to work remotely, which was made possible by the cloud platform. Santander was able to migrate more than 100,000 employees to home working in just days.

Banco Santander

Santander’s cloud platform uses in-house and supplier capabilities, giving its 16,500 developers access to the latest tech to enable them to add the functionality customers demand in the age of digital banking. Beyond the benefits seen during the pandemic, the cloud has also helped it attract top tech talent and reduce the bank’s carbon footprint. It said last year that it successfully added 3,000 people to its global IT team as part of a €20bn digital and technology transformation.

At the time, Ana Botín, group executive chairman at Banco Santander, said having the best technology is not just about having the best infrastructure, applications, and processes. “It also means having the best, most innovative talent,” she said. “We have an outstanding team at Santander, and by adding talent across our markets, we can further accelerate our technological and digital transformation.”

Santander said its cloud migration has also reduced the energy consumed by its IT infrastructure by 70%. Due to heightened competition from challenger banks, big banks have had to adopt cloud strategies quickly, often offering cloud-native services. As a result, there has been a boom in contracts with cloud suppliers in the financial services sector. For example, Deutsche Bank committed to an in-house digital transformation with Google Cloud last year and collaborated with the supplier to bring new customer-facing services to market.

In the UK, Lloyds Banking Group signed a five-year collaboration deal with Google Cloud to drive forward software engineering and boost its digital transformation strategy. Meanwhile, Standard Chartered Bank is deepening its long-standing ties with Amazon Web Services by signing a global, five-year deal to migrate its core banking systems and customer-facing applications to the public cloud giant’s infrastructure.

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