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Barclays cuts software spending by 90 percent with Linux

Internal cloud helps shorten deployment times
Tue Jan 08 2013, 12:54

MAJOR UK BANK Barclays said it has reduced IT spending for software development by 90 percent by moving to an internal private cloud environment and using open source Linux software.

The Sunday Times reported that Barclays is saving billions by using open source software, in what was deemed a "snub" to legacy software vendors like Microsoft and Oracle.

However, a spokesperson for Barclays told The INQUIRER that it is continuing to work with existing software suppliers but is also taking advantage of alternative IT systems to improve efficiencies across its business.

"We've been making significant savings in our technology platform by doing a lot of the work in-house to develop and launch our own applications rapidly," he said.

"It means we can write new applications once and then develop them using an open source model, rather than rewriting them again for legacy systems."

The work has been driven by the COO of Barclays Retail, Shaygan Kheradpir, who has also pushed the development of key tools, such as its mobile Pingit payment services app and Banking app, as well as rolling out 8,500 iPads to branch staff.

"Because information is hosted on our own secure internal cloud, information that provides access to our legacy systems, whether you're a mortgage or credit customer for example, it can still be accessed. This was not possible beforehand," the spokesperson added.

The move appear to be working, as to date the firm's Banking and Pingit apps have been downloaded over 1.3 million times each across the UK.

At present, though, the apps are not available for Windows Phone users. Barclays was unable to comment on whether it is working to develop for the Microsoft mobile operating system at the time of publication. µ


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