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Lloyds Banking Group signs five-year Google Cloud deal

The retail bank has a multi-cloud strategy as part of its multi-billion digital transformation initiative

Lloyds Banking Group has signed a five-year collaboration deal with Google Cloud in a bid to drive forward software engineering and boost its digital transformation strategy.

The collaboration is part of the group’s £3bn digital banking strategy that will build on its multi-cloud approach. The collaboration will add Google Cloud to the group’s portfolio of technologies, accelerating its ambition to deploy smarter technology and better experiences to its customers across the UK.

Over the course of the five-year agreement, Lloyds will have the opportunity to deploy a number of Google Cloud services, including Anthos to modernise app development, Apigee to manage the bank’s application programming interfaces (APIs) to support Open Banking initiatives, and others to improve the customer experience and enhance cloud security.

In January, the bank said it would be rolling out productivity tools and increasing security through Office 365 and Microsoft’s Managed Desktop (MMD) service.

“We’re in the middle of a massive transformation, which is focused on making sure the group can remain successful in a digital world,” said Zaka Mian, group transformation director at Lloyds Banking Group, in a Twitter video discussing the contract.

“As the UK’s largest digital bank, we’ve made strong progress in transforming not only our systems, but also how we work. The strategic capabilities of the cloud platform will turbocharge our engineers to build unique solutions.” 

Personalised experience

Among the areas Mian said he’s keen to explore is how the bank can make use of artificial intelligence and machine learning to help Lloyds Banking Group deliver what he described as “the best possible personalised experience” to its customers in whatever banking channel they choose to use.

“The underlying needs of customers hasn’t changed, but how we deliver to customers and their expectations have changed, and they want to be treated as individuals,” he said. “How do we make use of data and machine learning to deliver brilliant customer experiences at the right time, in the right moment and in the right tone?”

Mian also wants to take advantage of Google’s software engineering expertise, to upskill internal software development. “We’re also thinking about our engineers,” he said. “How do we use the great engineering skills of Google to influence our engineering capability, which is increasingly a strategic competence for the group.”

As Computer Weekly has previously reported, Lloyds Banking Group has been using DevOps since 2017, to streamline development work on its internet banking platform.

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Mian said the collaboration with Google Cloud will help drive forward the bank’s digital transformation strategy and increase the pace of innovation, as well as bringing new services to customers quickly and at scale. “This collaboration gives us a strategic advantage to continue as a leader in banking technology,” he said.

Over the course of the five-year agreement, Lloyds said it plans to deploy a number of Google Cloud services which will support its ambition to streamline, modernise and improve the customer experience. The collaboration will involve combining expertise, exploring new technologies that are reshaping the industry and offer the potential for quicker and easier customer transactions.

Google Cloud CEO Thomas Kurian said: “We believe we will learn a lot from this collaboration from Lloyds Banking Group’s deep understanding of the financial services industry and customer needs.”

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