Nationwide Building Society moves website to Azure cloud

Building society’s tech teams work with consultancy Contino to implement new website using the chaos engineering method

Nationwide Building Society has moved its member website to Microsoft’s Azure cloud to cope with its increased size and complexity.
 
The move is the building society’s first application in Microsoft Azure. It has been a user of the Amazon Web Services cloud for several years.
 
Nationwide said the website, available to 16 million members, was growing in size and complexity and it had asked members what they wanted from the website.
 
Peter Nutton, the website’s senior manager, said Nationwide had decided “to build a new site from the ground up and simplify”.
 
The new Azure-based website has improved security and reliability and can cope with sudden increases in demand, he added.
 
Lottie Coleman, in charge of the Nationwide website’s look, said the upgrade followed the modernisation of the building society’s branches.
 
“We’ve been modernising our branches, so our website was the next logical step,” said Coleman. “The design was focused on improving our members’ experience by simplifying what you see on the screen. But as well as refreshing Nationwide’s look, it was equally important to make sure the website was accessible for everyone.
 
“By implementing new technology, we are able to stay modern and react quickly to the ever-changing needs of our members and the industry.”
 
Nationwide said it plans to move additional workloads to the Azure cloud following the successful relaunch of its website.
 
Its own tech teams worked with consultancy Contino on the implementation, using the chaos engineering method, which tests distributed computing systems to ensure they can withstand unexpected disruptions, focusing on random and unpredictable behaviour.
 
Deepak Vensi, director of strategy and transformation at Contino, said: “The financial services sector is under constant pressure to provide a differentiated digital customer experience while being subject to regulatory scrutiny to improve operational resilience. Partnering with Microsoft, we have been able to instill a modern approach at Nationwide based on chaos engineering, allowing their engineering teams to proactively fix any incidents ahead of time and provide Nationwide’s members with a reliable and industry-leading digital experience.”

Last month, Microsoft launched a cloud service tailored for financial services companies. The Microsoft Cloud for Financial Services, as it is known, offers Microsoft productivity tools bundled with financial services-specific components and regulatory approval.

It is one of the software giant’s bundles that build industry-specific requirements on top of its suite of cloud-based productivity tools, including Microsoft 365, Teams, Azure, and its customer relationship management and enterprise resource planning offering, Dynamics 365. The UK finance regulators have approved them for use.

Read more about cloud adoption in the financial services market

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