Don’t go chasing waterfalls

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The cloud is where it’s at

Imagine if you had to run through an obstacle course to get from the front door to your desk at the beginning of every work day. And then again when you return from lunch. And a coffee break. And when you need to zip out and grab something for dinner. 

Are you exhausted just thinking about it?
 

The best kind of architecture is that which provides you with fewer hurdles to overcome in order to get to your destination, plus having a solid foundation you can build upon in the future. The result: agility, responsiveness and speed, without having to rethink the foundation each and every time.

We’ve been running ATB using an overly complex and resource-intensive Enterprise Services Bus (ESB) layer for a long time. That means that if we make changes to one element in our banking system, it impacts a significant number of other elements - forcing us to basically do an obstacle course through our own architecture. Think of it this way - if a service calls for XYZ, our ESB can provide ABC, but it has to hop over D-K and crawl under M-R before it can final go straight fromXYZ. This makes it complex to work with, not only for us, but for any third parties who require access to our system.

In a nutshell, our technological architecture has been slowing us down, so it’s time for a change.

We’ve teamed up with the most experienced mobile technologies team in the market: IBM. Together, we’ve built a digital lab where we’re working on a very exciting new architecture for ATB. There are no lab coats here. Just some of the greatest minds from both IBM and ATB, creating a system that could entirely change the way we provide banking.

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One of the biggest changes we’re working towards is our project approach. We’re leaving the waterfall approach to system architecture behind and focusing on faster technologies and methodologies. Rather than making a change to the system and having to wait to see if it’ll have a negative impact on the whole system, we can work very quickly—think deploying a new feature in one month instead of eight.

And if that feature doesn’t work as planned? The system works both ways: we can fail fast and fix it fast, allowing ATB to be incredibly adaptable in a world where technologies are constantly changing. Does that sound like the type of place where you can succeed? Check out our open positions

This adaptability isn’t due only to ditching the waterfalls—we’re taking a leap far ahead of other banks and moving to an agnostic and highly scalable system. One which allows us to adopt and adapt third-party APIs, quickly bringing them to our customers through strategic partnerships.

You can look forward to our first release with this approach—for mobile—around the end of the year. But remember, this is an ongoing journey. Internally, we’re looking at new releases to existing platforms every couple weeks, so there’s lots more to come. What we’re hoping though, is that the technology gets so good it disappears. So...in all likelihood, you may not notice our back of house changes because things work as expected. And that’s a great thing.

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Progress, BusinessJosh Posty