Spanish financial group speeds delivery with enterprise IT residency

Santander Tecnología, the in-house technology division of Santander Group, supports the group’s digital transformation efforts to improve the customer experience. As part of this work, Santander Tecnología adopted Red Hat OpenShift and Red Hat Data Grid with help from Red Hat Consulting. At a residency with Red Hat Open Innovation Labs, Santander Tecnología’s teams learned new agile, DevOps, and CI/CD approaches, as well as OpenShift best practices. The group has now used efficient, responsive capabilities to reduce time to market from weeks to minutes.

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  • Reduced provisioning time from weeks to 10-12 minutes
  • Established CI/CD and DevOps processes for faster time to market
  • Improved ability to attract and retain skilled talent

Supporting continuous innovation to stay ahead of financial services competition

Headquartered in Madrid, Spain, Santander Group is an international financial services organization and one of the world’s largest banking businesses.

Across the group, digital transformation initiatives are helping differentiate Santander from its competition with continuous innovation. These efforts to enhance the customer experience and operational efficiency are supported by technology services provided by its in-house technology division, Santander Tecnología.

Santander Tecnología’s application development architecture, Darwin, consists of innovative technology solutions, from big data to the AngularJS open source web framework. Darwin is available on premise and in the cloud, but adapting the architecture for different development teams, changing business demands, and multicloud use required an easier way to customize configurations and allocate resources.

“Our business is continually evolving. We want to explore strategic new technologies to see how they could benefit us, but that means learning the best way to work with these new technologies,” said said Joaquín Moraga Gallego, Head of Architecture, Santander Tecnología. “To get the entire organization aligned on Darwin as quickly as possible, we need to be able to easily adapt and scale to support new trends and tools that will improve project timelines from start to production.”

Optimizing development and IT management with Red Hat OpenShift and Red Hat Data Grid

As a long-time customer of Red Hat Middleware, Santander Tecnología worked with Red Hat Consulting  to support its adoption of two new Red Hat technologies: Red Hat OpenShift and Red Hat Data Grid. 

Red Hat OpenShift is an enterprise Kubernetes container platform with fully automated operations for managing hybrid and multicloud deployments. Red Hat Data Grid helps applications access, process, and analyze data at in-memory speed.

As part of this technology adoption, the company participated in Red Hat Open Innovation Labs. Over a residency of several weeks, Santander Tecnología’s teams worked with Red Hat experts to optimize its adoption of Red Hat OpenShift and adjust processes to deliver desired features and services to customers faster.

Santander Tecnología now runs its microservices-based Home Banking and Web Empresas applications on Red Hat OpenShift, supported by Red Hat Data Grid, MongoDB, and Apache Kafka, with a separate persistence layer.

Enhancing Red Hat OpenShift investment with Red Hat Open Innovation Labs

Reduced provisioning time from weeks to minutes

After deploying Red Hat OpenShift with guidance from Red Hat consultants at Open Innovation Labs, Santander Tecnología has reduced provisioning times for big data environments from several weeks to an average of 10-12 minutes. 

Development teams can now select the technologies they want to use for their applications and deploy them in their desired infrastructure of choice—an environment that is fully integrated, tested, and documented. This self-service provisioning, supported by Red Hat OpenShift’s automation capabilities and data caching from Red Hat Data Grid, helps the company’s developers focus on coding innovative new solutions, rather than managing the underlying infrastructure or accessing the mainframe.

Established continuous integration and delivery (CI/CD) and DevOps approach

With more agile, iterative processes, Santander Tecnología can quickly demonstrate potential new banking solutions and bring them to market faster. The Open Innovation Labs engagements helped developers, operations, and other staff at Santander Tecnología form connections to effectively collaborate on new features and services to bring customers faster, more engaging experiences. The company worked with Red Hat’s experts to automate project development from start to production delivery.

“Product owners from different teams and other people we had never worked closely with participated. After just a week, we formed personal links and became like a family. It was a fantastic experience,” said Gallego.

Improved talent retention and acquisition 

By devoting time and resources to learning new, innovative ways of working and adopting emerging technology, Santander Tecnología has improved its ability to attract and retain skilled talent.

“Participating in Open Innovation Labs and adopting technology like Red Hat OpenShift has demonstrated our commitment to exploring new ideas. We aim to attract passionate professionals, and we can’t do that if we’re working with proprietary, closed-source technology using traditional methods,” said Gallego.

Committing to new ways of working through long-term partnership with Red Hat

The teams who participated in Red Hat Open Innovation Labs are now applying the skills and best practices learned to new work throughout Santander Group. Santander Tecnología plans to continue collaborating with Red Hat to find new ways to take advantage of its enterprise open source technology and modern work approaches.

“We strongly believe open source provides not only key technology, but an optimal work approach, to create and scale holistic platforms that adapt to existing and future tools and cloud technology,” said Gallego.

About Santander Group

Banco Santander (SAN SM, STD US, BNC LN) is a leading retail and commercial bank, founded in 1857 and headquartered in Spain. It has a meaningful presence in 10 core markets in Europe and the Americas and is one of the largest banks in the world by market capitalization. Its purpose is to help people and businesses prosper in a simple, personal and fair way. Santander is building a more responsible bank and has made a number of commitments to support this objective, including raising over €120 billion in green financing and financially empowering more than 10 million people between 2021-2025. At the end of the first half of 2020, Banco Santander had more €1 trillion euros in total funds, 146 million customers—of which 21.5 million are loyal and 40 million are digital—11,800 branches, and 194,000 employees.