HSBC standardises on DevOps platform

HSBC to standardise and automate software development through CloudBees platform

HSBC has chosen a software delivery platform to enable its 23,000 developers to keep pace with customer demand for digital banking services.

The five-year agreement, with California-headquartered CloudBees, will speed development through standardisation and automation as software becomes core to everything the bank does.

HSBC is an investor in CloudBees and the contract is an extension of an existing relationship that dates back to 2015. The CloudBees platform provides continuous integration, continuous delivery, release orchestration and feature management capabilities.

“As customers shift more and more of their banking online, software is at the heart of everything we do at HSBC,” said Ian Haynes, chief technology officer (CTO) for shared services and cloud at HSBC. “We are digitising the bank and innovating faster to improve the customer experience while prioritising security and compliance.”

Haynes said the CloudBees platform was chosen for the standardisation and automation of the bank’s entire software delivery system. “It will enable our developers to get new digital products and services into our customers’ hands quickly and securely,” he added.

“HSBC is an industry leader and the definition of global enterprise scale,” said CloudBees CEO Stephen DeWitt. “It doesn’t get more massive or more complex than the environment at HSBC.”

CloudBees said the platform allowed HSBC to create a “repeatable, secure, standardised approach to software delivery”, providing developers with the freedom to innovate more and deal with maintenance and rework less.

“The immense scope and scale of software delivery at HSBC requires a powerful suite of tools and we have to choose partners that allow seamless integration across our toolchain,” said HSBC’s Haynes. “CloudBees offers us a powerful platform for the capabilities we need while making it easy for us to have one unified platform that includes all the other tools we leverage.”

CloudBees was founded in 2010 by former JBoss CTO Sacha Labourey.

Development platforms and the use of DevOps will help banks keep pace with customer demand. The Covid-19 pandemic heightened the need for continuous software development and the need to be able to launch digital services quickly.

Traditional banks like HSBC, unlike their digital challengers, would traditionally have longer development cycles in IT. But today, in the age of digital transformation and the rise of cloud-native competitors, they have had to invest in continuous development tools like the CloudBees platform.

Customers are moving to digital channels faster than ever after they got a taste for digital services during Covid-19 lockdowns. Banks are moving away from a focus on branch services and need to fill gaps in service through digital services as a result.

For example, at the beginning of this year, HSBC announced it would close a further 82 branches after Covid-19 reinforced its strategy to move customers to digital channels.

The bank said that even without the pandemic effect, 90% of all customer contact was now made by phone, internet or smartphone. It also said more than 100,000 customers a week interact with it on social media.

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