Nothing beats engineering talent – ING’s agile transformation

01 July 2016 ... min read

1 July 2016

As ING’s customers, with their fast-evolving financial needs, are increasingly using mobile banking and mobile apps as the primary means to do their banking, ING’s Information Technology (IT) department has become the beating heart of the bank. At a ‘DevOps’ conference in London, ING’s Global Chief Information Officer (CIO) Ron van Kemenade addressed over 400 IT engineers with his keynote “Nothing beats engineering talent”, about the transition of ING’s IT department to DevOps over the past few years.

Ron kicked off with this “We love IT” video highlighting ING’s milestones during the transition to DevOps.

What matters most: people

DevOps is a contraction of the terms 'development' and 'operations’, and describes a practice or culture that focuses on the collaboration and communication between software developers and other IT professionals and the automation of software delivery and infrastructure change processes. “We wanted to establish a culture and environment where building, testing and releasing software can happen rapidly, frequently and more reliably. When beginning this journey we started with what matters most: people”, Ron van Kemenade explained.

More responsive to customer needs

Putting the focus on engineering talent and creating multi-disciplinary teams where software developers partner with operations and business staff has led to more automated processes, a sharp reduction of handovers and a collaborative performance culture. This transformation has sparked the bank as a whole to work in a more agile and flexible way and bring IT, operations and business closer together to deliver on ING's Think Forward strategy of creating a differentiating customer experience. ING is now able to be much more responsive to changing customer needs and expectations; taking the mobile banking app in the Netherlands as an example, ING continuously uses customer feedback to improve the app and nowadays the time-to-market of new, improved versions that incorporate this feedback has been dramatically reduced. As a result, customer satisfaction has increased, making ING’s app one of the highest-rated Dutch banking apps.

Beginning of a journey with no end

Despite the great strides that have been made, Ron assured his audience that the transformation is not over. “There was a beginning to this journey, but there will be no end. An end would put a stop to the transformation, while in fact you always need to make sure you keep getting better for the customer”.

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