Bank Of America Next Giant Corp. Heading into the Cloud

By on March 11, 2015



One of the biggest and most prosperous banks in the nation, Bank of America Corp. was definitely paying close attention in 2011 as Facebook Inc. announced they’d be opening a data center in Prineville, Ore., that promised to be significantly lower costing than other data facilities and still supported one of the most demanding Internet operations the web has ever known.


Bank of America wanted to incorporate less-expensive hardware and new software into its own information-technology infrastructure. They knew that meant possibly seeking a more efficient way of handling their data operations than how their traditional vendors were doing things. A move that could possibly elevate them to the same efficiency levels of Web-based companies such as Facebook, Microsoft Corp. and Inc.


They have announced that by 2018, 80% of its workloads will be running on the cloud and other software-designed infrastructure.


The transformation reflects the migration of state-of-the art IT developed by web-based companies into the new age economy. Businesses learn from one another, even if they are in a completely different industry. Successfully stepping up their digital game by replacing hardware and software with a new generation of gear designed for massive data sets, mobility and the cloud isn’t reserved only for firms such as Facebook. BofA can thrive from these upgrades as well and create healthy competitive pressure on traditional vendors like Hewlett-Packard Co. and Dell Inc. to adapt.


“I worry that some of the partners that we work closely with won’t be able to make this journey,” said David Reilly, Chief-Of-Tech at the bank, referring to the prospect that some of its current vendors won’t get a piece of the bank’s new IT investments.


Market-research firm International Data Corp. estimates that global spending on the new technologies, will reach $11.4 billion in 2018, nearly double the $5.8 billion spent in 2013.


BofA believes it can successfully move to the model while still buffing up regulatory compliance and security.


The main goal is to create a shared infrastructure that can be readily accessed. Older models of the IT department would typically allocate separate hardware in its data centers for each line of business, wasting resources and most of all dollars. Creating this new infrastructure that will have most info in one virtual space will give the company more flexibility and speed. Allowing the bank to do more computing tasks with less hardware. Essentially, replacing physical pieces of hardware with software.


By restructuring how its data is stored, Facebook saved $1.2 billion over three years, the social network conglomerate announced in late January 2014. The new system uses one administrator per 20,000 servers, as opposed to roughly one administrator per 300 servers in a traditional business.