Agile and DevOps Transformation in Mainframes Systems - an Enterprise Journey

This presentation is on the journey of Agile and DevOps transformation within the Core Banking & Payments division in RBS (Royal Bank of Scotland). This division forms the heart of the banking and Payments technology of RBS. The division has around 25 platforms supporting 150+ applications with most of their technology base being IBM mainframes.

These are critical platforms as 1 in 4 of all payments in the UK are processed by RBS' payment systems, with the total value of RBS UK & International payments in 2016 being around GBP 55 trillion.

RBS has embarked on an audacious journey to change their way of working through the adoption of Agile and DevOps in their legacy mainframe applications, and in this session, we will speak about the challenges we faced, the approach we took and the progress we have been making.


Outline/Structure of the Presentation

Today, any change in the mainframe system within the bank takes between 4 to 9 months to implement. The key reasons for the long cycle times are –

  • Highly complex inter-linked applications.
  • High dependency on SMEs.
  • Multiple business owners.
  • High cost of creating environments, leading to shared environments for development and testing, which in turn leads to longer testing timelines.

We, as a department, embarked on a audacious transformation journey to adopt Agile and DevOps with an intent to reduce cycle time and improve operational efficiency. One year into the journey, these are the aspects we are working on –

  • Improving how we organise our work
  • Improving how we organise our people
  • Speeding up our work by investing in DevOps tools (generic and mainframes) like zD&T, Urban Code Deploy, Topaz Workbench, JIRA, Confluence, Zephyr and SonarQube.

We have not yet completed our Transformation journey, and will be speaking about the journey, challenges faced, progress made, failures etc. with the audience.

This is a unique transformation journey as there are very few large enterprise organisations in the Financial Services industry that have implemented Agile and DevOps in their mainframes landscape.

Learning Outcome

What the audience will take back from our session

An insight on how a large UK based bank would be adopting Agile and DevOps in a predominantly mainframe landscape.

We hope this will inspire similar large enterprises on legacy systems, and help dispel the myth that Agile and DevOps are not for mainframe systems.

Target Audience

Leaders, managers, Agile practitioners, Agile coaches, mainframe professionals

Prerequisites for Attendees

Basic knowledge of Agile and an open mind.

schedule Submitted 1 year ago

Public Feedback

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  • Peter Stevens
    By Peter Stevens  ~  11 months ago
    reply Reply

    I find the topic interesting and important. But given that the material is confidential, how are you going to present it? It sounds like you need to clarify your NDA issues, then please let us know when you can share something.

    • Sathya Jayapaul
      By Sathya Jayapaul  ~  11 months ago
      reply Reply

      Hello Peter, we have taken approval now with our Corporate Communications team on the pack that we'd be presenting. The pack (password protected) has also been shared via email to the Conference organisers.

      • Peter Stevens
        By Peter Stevens  ~  11 months ago
        reply Reply

        Thank you Sathya, 

        Could you share the link here privately (see the checkbox below "Private Message (Only visible to Program Team)").

        Will there be a version of these slides that you can make public (publish on the conference web site)?

        I am not sure if we have that as a formal requirement (@saket what is the position on that? ), but I believe it is highly desirable for the information to be public.


        • Sathya Jayapaul
          By Sathya Jayapaul  ~  11 months ago
          reply Reply

          Peter, am afraid RBS Corporate Communications does not support making the slides public. Happy to email them password-protected to the Program team (have already done that though), but my company policy prevents me from making the slides public, except for when presenting them at the conference.


    • Peter Stevens
      By Peter Stevens  ~  11 months ago
      reply Reply

      and... Could Gupta kindly complete their profile. Thanks!

      • Sathya Jayapaul
        By Sathya Jayapaul  ~  11 months ago
        reply Reply

        Anuj Gupta has updated his profile now.



  • Kshitij Agrawal
    By Kshitij Agrawal  ~  1 year ago
    reply Reply

    Bring agile to IBM Mainframe systems is a challenging transformation. However, I am sure lot of experiences and learning would be applicable for many other similar legacy systems. So, my suggestion is to highlight some of these common legacy devops transformation patterns so that session is useful even for people not working on IBM Mainframe.

  • Saket Bansal
    By Saket Bansal  ~  1 year ago
    reply Reply

    Thank you for your talk proposal and we are looking for more and more case studies for the community. 

  • vinaya muralidharan
    vinaya muralidharan
    Agile Coach
    schedule 1 year ago
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