Deploying PaaS in a Bank

 
My name is Brian and I’m an Ammeon Solutions Consultant.

My name is Brian and I’m an Ammeon Solutions Consultant.

I’ve worked as an Ammeon Solutions Red Hat consultant for the past three years on various customer sites. I started as an Openshift Consultant deploying 3.4. Now we are deploying 3.10. and looking forward to getting to grips with 4.2. Along this journey, I metamorphosed into a Consultant Engineer as I began to understand the implications of deploying PaaS in a complex organization such as a bank or financial institution. Gaining new perspectives and a broader appreciation for how people use technology and integrate systems, as well as, how technology can radically change processes and disrupt established culture in an organization.

Recently at the Red Hat EMEA Partner Conference, I described what I’ve learned over the past three years about consulting, systems engineering, PaaS and the financial sector. In my talk, I described how the financial sector is leveraging RedHat technology and explored a number of concepts about people, processes and technology, and the dynamics between them in the context of complex organizations. Changing these dynamics with technology is contemporarily called “Digital Transformation”. 

 
 

Regardless of the impetus for cultural change, the theory, practices and desire to do it aren’t new. The struggle to understand how to change a culture goes back a long time. The most complete text I have found on the subject by March et al [1] was first published in 1965. The literature survey in [1] was an effort to establish the state of organization theory and research in the 1960s. In my experience, the digital transformation movement of late has been leveraging lean and agile methodologies and pragmatic approaches to changing organizations rather than scientific study.

Organizational theory emphasises experimentation and empirical analysis and draws on scientific fields including sociology, anthropology, psychology, economics and political science, to establish itself. This is great when you have many organizations to analyse and compare. It can be a top down tool for developing long term strategies and for building a holistic view of digital transformation. In contrast, lean thinking [2] and agile methods are per organization, pragmatic, bottom up approaches to eliminating waste from processes. These heuristics are known to work and are process focused. Their application is tactical and depends on convincing people to adopt them.

I didn’t obey the first rule; “Keep It Simple Stupid (KISS)” when writing the title of my presentation. If I had there may have been more people at my talk. So the title of this blog series will be “Deploying PaaS in a Bank”

I didn’t obey the first rule; “Keep It Simple Stupid (KISS)” when writing the title of my presentation. If I had there may have been more people at my talk. So the title of this blog series will be “Deploying PaaS in a Bank”

 

Participating in the conference required signing a non-disclosure agreement. For this reason I cannot provide the slide deck for this presentation. The premise of my presentation was that it would be useful for consultants to have a handy set of heuristics that are more specific to deploying PaaS in a financial institution.

 

I will use this blog series to provide a deeper exploration of the concepts from my presentation and investigate the middle ground between organizational theory and agile practices. Can we take the best from both to improve the delivery of digital transformation.

  1. Modern IT Organizations

    People, Processes and Technology. A simple abstract model for reasoning about modern IT organisations.

  2. Organization Profiling

    Much of consulting and digital transformation initiatives seem to trial and error with some systematic approaches that leverage applied group dynamics. Is it possible to improve on the current state through empirical analysis and what would that look like?

  3. The 4 Types of Work

    How do contemporary concepts in DevOps [3] stack up alongside Organization Theory.

  4. Agile Delivery

    A retrospective on delivery and how organization theory could complement agile practices in digital transformation.

KEEP AN EYE OUT FOR BRIAN’S NEXT BLOG ON MODERN IT ORGANIZATIONS


References

[1] James E. March (Editor), Handbook of Organizations, 1965

[2] James P. Womack and Daniel T. Jones, Lean Thinking, 1996

[3] Gene Kim, Jez Humble, Patrick Debois, and John Willis, The DevOps Handbook; How to Create World-Class Agility, Reliability, and Security in Technology Organizations, 2016