Gary Delooze, Nationwide Building Society & Ashutosh Muni, IBM | IBM Think 2019

Gary Delooze, Nationwide Building Society & Ashutosh Muni, IBM | IBM Think 2019


(techno music)>>Live from San Francisco. It’s theCUBE. Covering IBM Think 2019. Brought to you by IBM.>>Hey, welcome back, everyone. We are here live in San
Francisco for IBM Think 2019. It’s theCUBE’s exclusive coverage. I’m Jeff Furrier, here with Stu Miniman. Stu, it’s been four days,
we’re on our fourth day. Powering through a lot of interviews, extracting the signal from the noise, number one live event coverage at CUBE. We’ve got two great guests here Ashutosh Muni, Vice President of Applications Services within IBM, and Gary Delooze, Chief
Technology Officer, Nationwide Building Society in the UK. Great to have you guys.>>Thank you John, good to be here.>>Obviously, day four, applications, big part of the focus,
because the applications are now dictating the data strategy, the AI with IA, and you got
cloud, multi-cloud underneath. So the changing market requirements around what apps are
doing are super important.>>Oh yes. Yes.>>This is a focus that’s
dictating that the infrastructure, what to do, so this is
the key to the cloud. Talk about what you guys are doing.>>Absolutely, absolutely,
in fact, not just for IBM. For clients, mostly, for them to be able to ready for their customers, they need to make sure
that their applications are up there for their
customer experience as well. What we are seeing is,
most of these clients today are saying that all the
work that they have done in past, for the last five, 10 years, that’s the code that they have built. They are trying to look at how they can minimize the spend on that, and maximize the spend on all the customer-facing applications, like to enhance the customer experience.>>And people call that the workload.>>Oh yes.>>Workload is code for applications. Gary, you’re a customer of IBM. Take a minute to explain
what you guys do first, then we can talk about some of
the things you’re working on.>>Sure. So we are a large, UK-based
mutual building society. We have about 15 million
members in the UK. But you can think of us as a bank, in many respects, most people do. Challenge for us, as
Ashu said is basically, we have 30 or 40 years
of legacy technology. We need to transform that technology, and also build a next-generation digital services
alongside that technology. So for us, it’s the combination
of how do we transform that legacy core, whilst
also building for the new?>>And what are some of the use cases that the new technology’s
going to bring you, because containers has
been great with legacy, ’cause you don’t have to kill
the old to bring in the new, but as you look at the
modernization journey you’re on, what’s the guiding principles, what are the things you
guys are looking at, how are you guys thinking that through?>>Okay, so a number of things. One is we’ve been on a 30 year journey towards looser and looser coupling, and smaller and smaller microservices, so what’s you’re starting
to see is big applications, monolithic applications, being
broken down into services, and then microservices. So for us, the key is
the smaller and smaller the microservice is, the
more agility we can create, and the more value we can create. And that loose coupling then
becomes really important, because that then allows us to deliver a high level of parallelism,
in development and change. So those are two key areas.>>How’s it goin’?>>Um, today, good.>>Scar tissue? You’re learning?>>It’s learning, and it’s
iterating, and it’s failing, and it’s understanding,
but the main thing is the more we do the more we learn, and the more we can then build
that into next iteration.>>Ashu, I always love to hear, especially the financial services ones that have been around
awhile, that modernization, and how they do that. I couldn’t help but notice, you’re both wearing the
I heart AI t-shirts, so, wondering if you can
connect the dots for us, between that application
modernization, and the wave of AI.>>Yeah, so I heard that term
fail fast and fail regular. I mean, it’s all good,
until you actually have at least one success, right,
so failing fast is good, but you cannot just keep failing. So where AI comes into play
is primarily making sure you are basing those decisions on what have been proven
right in past as well. So what we have seen, especially
for financial services, as even though these systems
of engagement has chanced, the fundamental principles
on which the banking services or the insurance services
are provided has not changed. So you’re still providing
the same set of services, just in different ways. The expectation of the client has changed, but the services remain the same. So our ability to be able to look at what we have been doing
in past with services makes sense to be microservice enabled, as Gary talked about. It’s not that you just
take all the functions and enable them. That’s where we are able to
bring a value to our clients.>>Gary, what’s the impact on
this on your ultimate end-user?>>Better value. So for us, it’s about helping our members, our customers to make
better financial decisions. And to do that, they need data. So, what we’re trying to do is to really take that legacy of state, which is really about
locking data in at the core, so we can use it, trying
to liberate that data, get it out into the hands of our members, so they can make better decisions. And AI is a really key part of that.>>Think back to that wave
of Big Data, it was the I should be able to
have smaller companies, not take years and millions of dollars to be able to do that. Tell us, what’s different
about today in AI that we might not have been
able to do five years ago.>>There’s a couple of things, really. One is compute power. So, what you’re seeing really is, AI is not necessarily advancing massively in terms of the algorithms
and the approaches and the methodologies. What you’re seeing,
though, is compute power and storage capacity growing
at an exponential rate, still. So what it’s doing is
enabling those algorithms to work in a way that they’ve
never been able to do before. And we’re getting to value quicker, because the time it takes to reach that value is much shorter.>>I want to get your perspective on, you mentioned parallel,
breaking down, decoupling things like the looser sets of services, this is certainly the cloud way, right, big APIs and have microservice
is a big part of it. How is that going from
a culture standpoint? Because this is one of those
things we hear all the time, is it’s a cultural journey to one, get people lined up with that, and then what are some
of the business benefits that you’ve seen with this parallel? Is it efficiency, is it innovation? Where do you see that culture? What did you do to change the culture? Share some, because this is
what people want to know about.>>So, in fact, what we are seeing is a majority of the clients have
started to look into this, because everybody else was doing. Because somebody digital
native out there was doing it. Some of them actually
latched on too quickly. They have not been able to change their internal culture
within the organization. While the customers were ready, but their internal organizations were not. But I think clients like
MBS have thought out a fairly good strategy,
and it would be great, Gary, if you could share–>>What was your secret
sauce, that you were like, carrying a stick like, hey,
we’re going to go this way, or, you burn the boats as they say. How did you get people to
go in the right direction?>>So for us there’s two
really, really important related parts to this, the
culture and the people. From a culture perspective, we’ve got teams of people
who have been doing phenomenal pieces of
work for 30, 40 years. They’re coming to the end of their career, and the technology we’re using, again, we’re looking
at end of service life, so, it’s how do we get
away from that world where we’re constantly focusing on legacy, to start focusing on new technology? So it’s bringing in new
people with new ideas, it’s changing the way we work. So we started to focus
on things like Agile, DevOps automation, new ways of working, to allow people to sort of liberate away from the old ways of working, and give them new ideas
and new opportunities. As part of that as well,
there’s a couple of things in there for us the are really important. So one is, bringing new technologies in, and bringing new people in that
can use those technologies. We also have to make sure we keep our own people trained up as well. So we can’t forget the
people that we’ve got. So it’s a set of different things, culture, people.
>>Training’s critical, you’ve got open source out there, it’s like every year is like a dog year, and you got to keep up
to date, keep learning.>>That’s right.>>And all these aspects
of co-creation, right? So you cannot do it in isolation. If you’re doing it together, and whether you use deign-thinking or not, that’s a way to do it,
but I think the aspect of co-creating with your end stakeholders, and your own stakeholders who
are involved, that’s critical.>>Talk a bit more about that,
’cause this is a big theme, co-creation, we love
doing it with content, we’re in theCUBE, we’re
doing it here with content, but when you get into development, this Is a new psychological dynamic, but also it’s a productivity opportunity. Can you just share what
you’re seeing there and explain co-creation
a little bit deeper?>>Yeah, look, so, let me talk hypothetically, right? So from a hypothetical perspective, if we were able to look at organization, or a platform where we are able to access an amount of computational
power, computational skills, or programming skills, our
ability to be able to do the most creative aspects for any use case in the industry would be enormous. We just don’t have that. We are limited to specific partners that we are working with. We are limited to the specific
employees that we have. And we’re limited to the
customers that we are catering to. I think if we expand, so
if we don’t have handle of all the things that we have in play, but if we are able to
bring in our customers, our internal stakeholders, as well as our partners
that we are working with, and are able to build a common theme, and one of those common themes could be that I need to get you
those services quickly, and then figure out how the three can actually work in tandem,
we’ll be able to make that.>>How has that changed
your engagement model? Because let’s say I’m a
naysayer, I’m a skeptic. Whoa, we used to do that before. We used to partner, and
understand their needs, bring solution to the marketplace. Is it more software driven? So, what’s changed from
the old way to the new way? ‘Cause, I agree with you, by
the way, I’m not a skeptic, but that was what a skeptic might say.>>I think earlier what was happening was, it was more offering-led, and what I mean by offering-led is, these
are the assets I have, and let’s make these
assets find the solutions. So what people will do is, they will say, this is the banking solution I have, in this specific case,
and let’s figure out what 15 things I can do
with those solutions. The approach now is different. The approach now is, this is
what the customer is demanding, and the reason they are demanding it is because customers
expectation is based on their most recent experience
that they had somewhere else, not necessarily with the bank. They may have experience in Uber. So when they have that experience there, they want the similar
services from the bank. So now, the co-creation
model is actually starting from the other side of the equation, rather than coming from asset out.>>So it’s flipped? The old model is, here’s what we got, here’s what you can do, you’re limited, and now it’s like, here’s
what we want to do,>>Precisely.>>Program the infrastructure and focus on software define, Agile. This seems to be the new way.>>Yeah, let me add to that as well, because I think on of
the things we’ve done over the last year is really focus in on what’s our technology strategy, how is technology going
to change our business? What we’ve done is
created a strategy where our ambition actually exceeds
our ability to execute, so from a co-creation perspective, we actually really need good partners that are going to work
with us in that context. And be strong challengers. Be our critical friend in that process.>>So it’s more efficient
and more productive. You get best of both
worlds, and the outcomes are more aligned via Agile to
be more acute and on target. (Ashutosh and Gary murmuring agreement)>>Gary, actually I’d love
to get your perspective on what does it mean to have
a cloud strategy today? We heard this week,
Ginni said we’re entering chapter two of the cloud. We took care of the 20% that
was a little bit easier, we’re getting 80 harder,
lots of customers I talk to, it’s changing all the time. Things like hybrid and multi-cloud don’t really mean much to them. I’m curious in your shop,
how you think of things.>>Great question. I think it’s changing, and it’s different from industry to industry. So in banking, the challenge for us has always been regulation. It’s been the regulators
pushing back on public cloud and saying, we’re nervous about that. Have you managed the security,
the controls around that? So a lot of banking is
focused on private cloud. Can we adopt the
technology and those styles of technology delivery, in
the sort of private cloud way? But we’re now starting
to see there’s this shift towards public cloud, with
the economic advantage that public cloud has, and
the innovation that’s going on in public cloud is
becoming really attractive. So the strategy for us is about,
how do we make that happen? How do we build that multi-cloud model? And then how do we move
that sort of hybrid model from private to public,
and get the advantages of the different styles
of cloud computing?>>Guys, thanks for coming
on and giving the inside. Love this DevOps, co-creation model, and really the applications are driving the requirements now, with programmable infrastructure, this is changing the procurement, it’s changing the culture,
hiring strategies, this is really disruptive, this is really the digital transformation,
this is what it’s all about.>>Grateful, grateful.>>Great job, thanks for coming
on, really appreciate it. Final question while we’re here, Thoughts on Think this year? In San Francisco, little bit
rainy February, but it’s okay. All tight linked together,
what’s your thoughts, what’s the themes, what’s
the top story here?>>Gary, your thoughts first.>>The weather makes me feel
like home, it’s fantastic. (all laughing) No, it’s been an amazing
week, lots of innovation, lots of great conversation,
so we’ve really enjoyed it.>>No, absolutely. I think we’ve gone around, myself, even though we are definitely aware of what’s going on in here, what I think, there have been lot of partner
ecosystem that has been here, and I think that
collaboration has been great, so thank you.>>Well it’s been a great
show, a lot of insight, customer perspective, thanks for sharing what your journey’s
on, and some specifics, we appreciate it. It’s theCUBE coverage, I’m
John Furrier, Stu Miniman. Stay with us for day four. Four days of coverage,
we’re here on day four. Stay with us for more
after this short break. (gentle techno music)

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