Cloud computing definitions vary greatly, but according to Westpac Banking Group's head of engineering, it exists merely for the delivery of applications.
Michael Gindy considers the Cloud as a whole-of-business tool to deliver applications to a variety of organisational functions.
"It’s all about providing the service and that’s why you need to invest in this," he told delegates at CeBIT in Sydney. "Make no mistake - enterprise Cloud computing is all about enterprise applications."
Gindy said Westpac's Cloud is multi-tenancy in nature to meet a variety of business needs. Software-as-a-service and e-mail were some of the applications Westpac has moved to the Cloud, choosing a private Cloud deployment because of its agility compared to public and hybrid options.
“A Cloud has to be multi-tenancy - even in Westpac we have a variety of customers who have a variety in requirements,” he said.
Due to the all-encompassing nature of Cloud computing, Gindy said that Cloud security is an important topic for CIOs and IT managers in the banking sector.
“It needs to be secure and we, as an industry, have a couple of challenges around this area,” he said.
“We had to go through a lot of security challenges - you need to sit down with your developers and talk about components and who goes with what.”
Part of understanding the security risks of moving to the Cloud centred around collaboration among team members; Westpac worked with several departments when moving its company application to the Cloud.
“Going forward, for any of this stuff to happen, you have to get these guys in a room and challenge their thinking,” he said.
“You need to [know] your policies and sometimes challenge your policies.”