Had enough of outdated and proprietary IT technologies? PostFinance’s IT department is constantly on the lookout for hot tech trends and makes bold decisions when it comes to introducing IT technologies − which is not a matter of course for a financial institution of this size. As the following examples show, this environment offers exciting opportunities and perspectives for IT specialists who want to work with the newest technologies.
Do you want to work with the newest IT technologies? You can do that with us!
Making the IT-heart beat faster: at PostFinance, the IT specialists don’t just find out about the newest IT technologies via the grapevine. They work with them. Pure open source systems, container technologies and blockchain technology are just three examples.
Hot tech 1: cloud technologies in the infrastructure
PostFinance has long been committed to using open source technologies for its IT infrastructure. During the emergence of the Java programming language, the financial institution became one of the first in the sector to migrate business critical core banking systems such as card money to Linux. Open source development is currently going in the direction of cloud native computing − an approach, which ensures that applications can be developed based on micro services and clouds. PostFinance relies heavily on the The link will open in a new window Cloud Native Computing Foundation’s open source technology stack.
Even today, state-of-the-art open source technologies in various software projects are already forming the foundations for components in core banking systems and in the PostFinance online channel. In the latest examples, PostFinance integrates ElasticSearch as the back-end of a transaction storage solution and Kafka together with Spark as the streaming and analytical components for fraud analysis. Subsequently, Kubernetes and open source monitoring tools form the basis for the runtime and operation of our business-critical application environment.
In practical terms, the IT infrastructure team uses Kubernetes as runtime for Docker containers and Prometheus, Grafana, OpenTracing as well as Splunk for observability, amongst others. To automate the infrastructure, Puppet, Ansible, Terraform and Vault open source tools are used; the team writes back-end APIs for infrastructure automation and self-service using Go, gRPC and ETCD.
Hot tech 2: container technologies for the development of business applications
The PostFinance IT specialists also only use open source technologies when developing business applications. Containerization is very important here. Based on Kubernetes − a cloud platform which runs over Docker containers − the developers access resources in the self-service and then configure them according to their needs. They then package the micro services in containers. How is this useful for IT developers? The flexibility that the containers and their coordination provide with Kubernetes allow developers to work more independently and be more agile as a team− and introduce new functions, services and fixes much faster. This shortens release cycles in the development of new applications.
Hot tech 3: blockchain technology
For three and a half years now, PostFinance has had a blockchain team, and although still small, it’s growing all the time. In the meantime, ten people will soon be working on blockchain applications and launching them on the market. For IT specialists this is not an everyday challenge: it may be easy to quickly write some code for a simple blockchain on your laptop, but in the banking world, much more effort is required. There are hardly any well-trodden paths. The team has to acquire a lot more basic knowledge and cautiously approach the solution one step at a time. For example, the B4U blockchain project, which simplifies electricity billing, has been successfully launched.