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DevOps Awards winner ANZ on “going beyond the four keys”

ANZ provides banking and financial products and services to more than 8.5 million retail and business customers and operates in 29 markets across Australia, New Zealand, Asia, Pacific, Europe, America and the Middle East. ANZ is one of the top ten largest listed companies in Australia by market capitalisation, one of four major banks in Australia and the largest bank in New Zealand. In this blog post, we’re highlighting ANZ for the DevOps achievements that earned them the ‘Going beyond the four keys’ award in the2022 DevOps Awards. If you want to learn more about the winners and how they used DORA metrics and practices to grow their businesses, start here.

In 2022, ANZ bank – via the ANZx program – won the DevOps Dreamers commendation in the Google Cloud DevOps Awards. The challenge was then how we could supercharge our journey of DevOps improvement, allowing us to deliver new products and features faster, and provide a better customer experience.

At the heart of our DevOps evolution is “ANZx Delivery Insights” – a system that ingests data from a variety of sources along the engineering value chain (including Jira tickets, code repositories, and production release data) and then uses that data to create meaningful reports and dashboards for ANZx engineering teams to use to improve the quality and efficiency of their work. ANZx Delivery Insights has successfully helped our teams to improve delivery speed and processes, reduce lead times, identify bottlenecks or hotspots, and better understand team’s delivery performance in both real and relative senses.

Objectives

As the ANZx team, we knew that we needed a way to bring together relevant deployment data as the first step if we really wanted to deepen our understanding of our delivery performance and fine tune how we deliver. We – ANZx – also needed a method of presenting insights into engineering performance in a more easily digestible way, so the business leaders of ANZx could quickly and readily make sense of the data as and when required. We also sought to record any improvements made so we could apply these insights to other teams in the future.

To successfully supercharge our DevOps evolution, ANZx decided to adopt the DevOps practices found in the DORA research program, with goals to:

 Increase deployment frequency

 Measure and improve deployment quality

 Decrease lead times for changes

 Reduce duplicated efforts and other productivity sinks

ANZx Delivery Insights

We worked with Google Cloud to evaluate the infrastructure and explore where tools to improve productivity and consistency were most useful. By using Google Cloud services to produce the ANZx Delivery Insights solution and taking on a cloud-native approach wherever possible, we were able to establish a solution that met our exacting scalability, security, and reliability requirements while accelerating time-to-market.

Using Google Cloud to deliver ANZx Delivery Insights has allowed us to:

Minimize time-to-first-deployment and runtime costs with serverless technology like Cloud Run

Deliver users a secure data warehouse using BigQuery and BigQuery Data Transfer Service meaning teams could scale data processing capabilities while ensuring each dataset, table and view met ANZ’s stringent regulatory and compliance requirements

Provide a reliable platform for both their data warehouse and presentation using BigQuery and visualization tools

Monitor and generate alerts for all data ingestion, processing, and user access ANZx Delivery Insights helps our internal teams visualize, explore, and assess efficacy across the development cycle to derive deeper insights and recommendations for how we can continue to improve delivery. Even as team sizes and scopes grow, ANZx can find trends from the past 12 months, examine specific aspects of delivery, and offer data-driven proof to influence positive change. This, along with core technology principles like SaaS-first, cloud-first, automation-led and everything-as-code, helps to bring teams together in adoption of DevOps practices.

ANZx is now able to analyze far more data than previously possible. The new solution currently ingests:

85,000 Jira tickets and associated history in less than 10 minutes

Activity from over 425,000 events — such as commits, comments, pull request reviews, and approvals — across over 950 code repositories

Production release data for over 900 deployments in a three-month period, with the ability to scale as our service offering grows

Results

ANZx Delivery Insights allows our teams to assess delivery predictability, identify and resolve bottlenecks and perform comparative analysis to find areas for improvement across the program. This helps us get new features into the hands of our customers faster. In early 2022, ANZx averaged approximately 160 production deployments per month; 15 months later we are now doing nearly 390 production deployments per month.

We are now spreading adoption across non-engineering teams while also expanding the solution with additional features, for example, decomposing lead time to change, which provides deeper insights and advice to improve flow.

Ultimately, these improvements enable us to deliver new ANZ Plus products and features faster.

Stay tuned for the rest of the series highlighting the DevOps Award Winners and read the 2022 State of DevOps report to dive deeper into the DORA research.

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