Commerzbank picks Google for cloud migration

German bank expands its work with Google Cloud and plans to move 85% of applications to its platform

Commerzbank will work closely with Google Cloud over the next five years as part of its digital transformation plan.

The bank said it is expanding its work with Google Cloud through a “five-year strategic partnership”. As part of this, it plans to move 85% of applications to Google’s cloud platform by 2024.

Commerzbank recently announced it will spend €1.7bn on IT over the next four years to digitise and automate, while reducing its branch network from 790 to 450.

“In our new Strategy 2024, a multi-cloud approach continues to play a major role. We will benefit from Google Cloud’s extensive capabilities in infrastructure modernisation, as well as from its know-how in data analytics and machine learning, as one of the pioneers of this technology,” said Jörg Hessenmüller, chief operating officer at Commerzbank.

Commerzbank has been using Google Cloud services since 2017, but the relationship will now go deeper with a wider set of platform services to support the bank’s digital transformation. It said using Google Cloud means its developers will follow a continuous integration and continuous delivery approach, “building and maintaining applications faster and easier”.

The firm recently announced it is closing more than 340 branches and making 10,000 job cuts as part of its digital transformation. This echoes an announcement made by other traditional banks.

Cloud providers such as Amazon, Microsoft Azure, IBM Cloud and Google Cloud are making huge gains in the financial services sector as large traditional banks transform digitally in the face of increasing digital-savvy competitors.

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Google Cloud offers on-demand cloud infrastructure and a wide range of tools and expertise that traditional banks don’t have in-house.

For example, last year, Deutsche Bank committed to in-house digital transformation with Google Cloud, and is collaborating with the supplier on bringing new customer-facing services to market.

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

Meanwhile, Spanish Bank BBVA recently hired the help of Google Cloud to revamp its IT security strategy, geared towards optimising its infrastructure to withstand large-scale threats.

The ability to offer banking services in the way Google supplies its services is seen as a Holy Grail in digital banking.

While banks traditionally hired IT staff to work internally, the sheer pace of change has forced them to outsource more with tech companies that can offer on-demand cloud infrastructures with a portfolio of tools and expertise.

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