by Rebecca Merrett

NAB CIO to vendors: Stop flogging ‘old world’ software

May 08, 20153 mins
Cloud Computing

NAB CIO, David Boyle, has urged software suppliers to stop ‘flogging old-speed IT offerings’ that don’t allow his IT team to make changes easily.

“If you are still asking for upfront licenses, rather than having an ‘as-a-service’ offering for your software platform, then it’s no longer relevant. We are not going to buy technology that way anymore,” he told attendees at CeBIT yesterday.

Read: Software vendors are needing to ‘hustle’ organisations to buy licences these days because many firms see more value in open source, says OpenStack co-founder

Boyle is responsible for driving the bank’s five-year, $800 million transformation plan to update its core banking platform to reduce complexity and centralise operations and support functions.

“I need to understand in depth your schedule and your calendar for continuous evolution of your platform in and as-a-service environment,” he said.

Providers’ systems need to be able to move on the fly as the business moves, he said.

“It’s the commercial model, it’s the investment in all of the agility that you need to put into your platform for it to be a truly DevOps re-engineered and re-born platform. It’s the security requirements and it’s the tools and services that make that journey to continuous evolution,” he said.

Boyle said some providers don’t fully understand what it means for a business to be agile, using the analogy of the horse versus the Ferrari on a freeway.

“The horse can’t pull up at the gas station and put unleaded, high octane fuel into the horse and it’ll start to operate like Ferrari. And there are no stables that have been designed on the freeway to water and feed the horses.

“So what I’m not keen to be doing is uplifting previous generations of business applications and plonking them onto an infrastructure-as-a-service [platform] and expecting to get Ferrari IT.

“What I get is continuous improvement but not agility, and the benefits of agility in our business dramatically outweigh the benefits of cost reduction that comes from infrastructure-as-a-service on its own.”

The challenge to providers, Boyle said, is to help him be faster on a business application level.

“What tools are you going to keep that we can sustain the evolution of that platform after we upgrade the platform to that next generation?” he asked.

“I need tools and services to transition from old speed to fast speed, and I need tools that are going to enable me to be agile and sustainably agile on that platform for the foreseeable future.”