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The rapid growth of cloud technology is a challenge in itself'

8 January 2021

The financial world is moving towards an 'open system'. This transformation is driven by the opportunities provided by new technologies, and banks are also legally obliged to implement this due to the introduction of Payment Services Directive 2 (an obligation to give third parties access to a client's current account). This development encourages innovation. Both inside and outside of the bank, new applications are being developed that enable clients to handle their finances smarter. These include Gradefix, Tikkie, Grip and New10.

'Digitalisation is the future of banking and it is really taking off. Currently, some 700 development teams are keeping almost 3,000 applications running. A 'cloud-first' strategy applies here. ABN AMRO has selected Azure as its strategic cloud platform. It is my and my team's responsibility to offer this platform as an optimum resource within ABN AMRO. It's a tough job considering the rapid growth we are experiencing.'

Matthijs de Beer is a Platform Engineer at ABN AMRO. After studying Business Studies at Inholland University of Applied Sciences, he made a drastic career move. He opted for an IT traineeship, abandoning his marketing ambitions. 'I joined ABN AMRO through a permanent contract with a secondment agency and entered a completely new world. This new world has its own language and you have to guess what they mean by DevOps, hyperscaler, vendor lock-in, DNS, operating models, cloud agnostic, etc. At the same time, it's a very exciting, dynamic world. Looking back over the past two years, it has been a very steep learning curve that seems to be never-ending.'

Specialisation

'The Azure cloud platform consists of over 200 products and cloud services. Its scope forces you to choose a specialism. This is how I came to focus on network design. How do we connect users in a secure, fast, reliable environment? The starting point is the Azure Virtual Network (VNet), Express Route, Azure Firewall and DNS.
ABN AMRO is one of the largest cloud clients in the Netherlands, which gives us a special position compared with Microsoft. We join forces and we are closely involved in innovations. Compared to the rest of the market, we are definitely ahead of the curve and definitely have the most expertise in the field of Azure. That's what makes it so much fun to work here. The dynamics of innovation are almost tangible and working with the team towards a highly valuable achievement that determines the future of the bank gives you a kick.

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