As society's digital skills improve, so do consumer expectations for modern, 24/7 accessible, personalised digital services. Meanwhile, for providers of such services, this means expanding data flows, the need to process data faster and securely, and the ability to adapt rapidly to the ever-evolving consumer needs.

The decision to integrate public cloud in Danske Bank follows now as a natural next step on the road to becoming a Better Bank and addressing these consumer expectations. The seamless implementation of changes across the Group is handled by teams primarily based in Lithuania.

Public cloud has matured for banking

Stasys Mikelionis, responsible for the implementation of public cloud services at Danske Bank, says that the transfer of some of the bank's processes and business applications to the Amazon Web Services public cloud marks a new stage in the company's digitalisation. This integration will allow access to modern, highly scalable capabilities, such as artificial intelligence, machine learning and Big Data analytics solutions, and help develop innovative digital solutions and services for customers.

"The decision to integrate public cloud in our strategy follows now as a natural step on the road to becoming a Better Bank with our shift towards agile ways of working and as a key enabler of our continued digitalisation of customer experiences."
Stasys Mikelionis

According to S. Mikelionis, the public cloud has been slower to penetrate the banking sector than other business areas because of the strict regulatory environment, which is not always uniformly understood. However, the Bank's representative is convinced that a breakthrough in this area can be expected in the next 2-3 years. Public cloud solutions can be fully applied to banking today with clearly defined internal procedures and risk factor management processes.

Cloud allows a flexible response to IT capacity needs

According to S. Mikelionis, it is worth taking on the challenges of public cloud deployment for many reasons. One of them is the ability to swiftly analyse massive volumes of data and transform it into valuable business insights. This enables businesses to accelerate innovation and build state-of-the-art digital solutions for customers.

According to Mantas Žalneravičius, IT Lead of Danske Bank's Core Payments Platform, the need for additional resources for data processing was particularly evident during the pandemic, when the volume of digital payments increased dramatically – by up to 40% in some geographic regions. However, expanding internal IT capacity to process these payments is extremely costly. In addition, when companies rely on traditional centralised computing systems, it is difficult for them to adapt quickly to the changing demand for processing resources.

For IT and other banking services developers, the possibilities to create are unlimited 

According to S. Mikelionis, the flexibility of cloud computing fits well with the Agile working principles applied in Danske Bank, which help us adapt continuously, work quickly and test solutions efficiently, and cloud technologies offer even greater opportunities.

"Working with public cloud solutions provides our colleagues a wide range of options to develop and test solutions, removing the constraints inherent in older technologies. In some ways, the use of public cloud solutions gives developers a limitless "playground", tools that enable them to test even the most ambitious ideas, which is extremely relevant to professionals looking for self-realisation. Thus, the possibility to work with advanced tools is a significant advantage. In this sense, we provide a start-up-like working environment, as well as the possibility to operate on a much larger scale," highlights S. Mikelionis

Making interbank payments faster and less expensive

M. Žalneravičius highlights the P27 project which is a joint Scandinavian cross-border payment infrastructure, as an example of a specific public cloud-enabled solution. The platform is being developed by Danske Bank and five other Scandinavian banks to enable real-time payments between payers and payees using different currencies in the Nordic countries. 

"Cross-currency processing is complex, time-consuming and expensive, and with public cloud solutions, we will be able to offer instant payments to customers in the Nordic countries. Furthermore, we’ll have an opportunity to expand such solutions in the future to encompass additional geographic regions with different currencies. This is only one example of how the data processing capabilities of cloud computing may provide actual benefits to bank customers."
Mantas Žalneravičius

M. Žalneravičius points out that certain applications and workloads are better suited to the mainframe, while others are better suited to the cloud. Danske Bank aims for the hybrid IT model spanning across its existing hosting platforms of mainframe, private cloud and multiple public cloud vendors, as we recognize that each type of environment has its strengths and benefits.