Bank Accelerates Technology Innovation with Lab as a Service
In This Case Study
- Client reduces technology certification time by 40 percent.
- Client confidently selects data protection, firewall and data center switching solutions.
- Client engineers enhance skills related to cloud compute, cloud operations and cloud data protection.
In the highly competitive world of global finance, banks must constantly find ways to incorporate the latest technology. At the same time, IT must follow strict security requirements that can slow down innovation.
With the rapid adoption of leading technology solutions and best practices a top priority, one bank was looking for a way to innovate at the speed of business without compromising security. The bank knew that hands-on experimentation was key to success, but it faced some challenges.
First, while the bank had a robust technology lab, a lengthy partner onboarding process made it difficult to get vendor products into the lab for testing. Second, security controls prevented bank engineers from going out to the public internet to experiment with cloud and software as a service (SaaS) solutions. Finally, because of security risks, the bank couldn't bring unknown code into their environment.
The Bank needed a secure, multi-vendor, cloud-friendly process for quickly learning, comparing and validating technology.
LaaS gives the bank access to technology solutions from the more than 100 hardware and software vendors in the ATC for functionality testing and product comparisons. Bank IT personnel can use the ATC's connections to all three major cloud providers 24/7 to securely access instances of cloud and SaaS solutions for ongoing experimentation.
Lab engagements are organized according to the bank's three key focus areas: hybrid multicloud, network and security, and employee experience technology. ATC resources meet with their engineering counterparts from the bank in each area weekly to review lab topologies and test plans, as well as make sure bank engineers are acquiring the skills they need to successfully manage new solutions.
Major lab activities include component testing as part of the bank's technology certification process, down-selecting technology products based on performance testing and proofs of concept that compare solutions from multiple vendors.
LaaS has become integral to the bank's technology certification process. ATC engineers perform component testing while at the same time the bank performs production readiness testing in its own labs. With roughly 80 percent of tests related to technology components, this hybrid lab methodology has reduced certification time by 40 percent.
Product comparisons have led to the bank adopting key technologies across its focus areas. Recent highlights include assessing two data protection vendors, four firewall vendors and two data center switching vendors. In all cases, the bank was able to confidently select the right solution to support their transformation initiatives, which are now in production.
Bank engineers regularly use the secure cloud portals via the ATC to further their skills around hybrid multicloud. Engineers access sandbox environments, on-demand labs and training resources related cloud compute, cloud operations and cloud data protection.
The bank has seen such value in LaaS that it recognized WWT with an internal award for "providing an integrated lab environment that offers a diverse range of leading-edge technology solutions."
Since beginning their LaaS program, the bank has nearly doubled its lab engagements. Lab activity continues to increase, playing an integral role in the bank's ability to innovate with technology.