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On 15 November 2017 we had the pleasure to co-organize the IT Breakfast together with IT Leaders Club Poland and AWS. The event focused on the topic “Cloud and DevOps Eat Strategy for Breakfast”. In the first part of the meeting, we could listen to four interesting lectures by Michał Zaczek and Robert Karczewski from BlueSoft, Piotr Bednarski from Raiffeisen Bank, Michał Jaworski from Aviva and Łukasz Węgrzyn from Maruta Wachta sp.j. The lectures were the basis for the subsequent debate, during which numerous important questions were asked and substantive answers were provided.

The conference was opened by Wojciech Pawiński, CEO of BlueSoft, who briefly outlined the subject matter of the whole event. Then, the floor was taken by Michał Zaczek and Robert Karczewski, who gave a lecture on the topic “How the Cloud, DevOps and Microservices Are Related to the IT Culture”. The two specialists spoke about the perspectives and opportunities for organization transformation based on these three pillars from the point of view of an IT engineer.

The greatest benefits, as presented by the speakers from BlueSoft, are supplying solutions tailored to business needs and the possibility to build IT systems as if out of bricks, which significantly speeds up the development of new functions in the organization and gives the engineers an opportunity to suggest innovative changes. Mr. Karczewski and Mr. Zaczek also pointed out that building an organization based on  such a culture contributes to the employer’s attractiveness.

Piotr Bednarski, Head of IT Delivery for Retail Banking in Raiffeisen Bank, opened a cycle of lectures “A Practitioner’s View”. Mr. Bednarski presented the extent of positive changes which he observed in his organization after introducing new IT culture based on microservices and DevOps.

The speaker provided valuable advice for an organization willing to implement such changes. He pointed out that they lead to transparency and ensuring that employees feel safe when participating in building the IT culture and taking responsibility for their decisions. Mr. Bednarski indicated the benefits resulting from cooperating with external partners who bring fresh insights into the organizations, a different working culture and new expert knowledge – as an example, he mentioned his cooperation with BlueSoft. In our opinion, the most important benefit described by Mr. Bednarski was the internal innovation competition between teams. After such a transformation, the teams feel they have a real influence on changes in the Bank, promote an agile approach and are not afraid of making mistakes while responding to business expectations.

The lecture finished with a very active discussion with the audience on the topic of IT transformation in Raiffeisen Bank.

The next speaker was Michał Jaworski, IT Infrastructure Manager at Aviva Poland. Mr. Jaworski spoke about his experience with implementing cloud computing in the organization along with using DevOps. He presented the achieved benefits and the challenges that he had to overcome in the organization due to transformation.

The most important conclusion from his speech are the benefits arising from investing in Infrastructure-as-a-Code and the No-Ops trend. The described IT transformation was based on such investments and its result was achieving a spectrum of two-year-long benefits within a quarter of a year. Aviva Group sees the future in the cloud and is planning to make it the main platform for its applications by 2022.

The lecture series ended with a speech by Łukasz Węgrzyn, partner in the Maruta Wachta sp. j. legal firm. Mr. Węgrzyn presented the legal aspects of implementing cloud computing in an organization, including in regulated sectors.

The speaker indicated the need to prepare a detailed exit plan, even if the organization is not planning to change the provider or giving up on the cloud. An important element of the speech was Mr. Węgrzyn sharing his experience gained while negotiating contracts and agreements for cloud services.

The discussion, planned as the final point of the event, was prolonged due to numerous important questions and substantive answers. Our invited guests and speakers answered such questions as: Do the benefits gained in an organization by using the cloud outweigh the costs of maintaining compliance? What are the biggest challenges on the road to transforming the IT culture in an organization? What can you, and what can’t you expect of engineers when it comes to caring about IT culture? What are the expectations of the Ministry of Digitization when it comes to adapting the in-house model, and how does the Ministry cooperate with external partners? How do regulatory institutions perceive the shift to the cloud, and what requirements have to be fulfilled for it to be approved?

We are happy that so many guests attended and actively participated in the event. We extend sincere thanks to the speakers for their substantive presentations and answering all the questions that bothered the attendees. We would also like to thank IT Leaders Club Poland and AWS for co-organizing this extraordinary event.