The Volksbank gains control over cloud costs and saves significantly

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De Volksbank
Cloud Financial Management
13 Nov 2023
In progress

At the Volksbank, the move to the cloud is one of the major transformations. This transition is achieved not only through technology but also with the right governance. Together with TechNative, an AWS Advanced Tier Partner, the Volksbank gained control over their cloud costs.

Many companies fail to realize that the shift to the cloud is not just technological but also requires a change in employees' mindset. Scalability makes an environment very flexible, but every click costs money. ‘That requires insight and overview of your cloud environment so that you can precisely consume what you need and therefore only pay for what you actually want to use,’ says Sebastiaan Kalshoven of the Volksbank, the parent company of SNS, ASN Bank, RegioBank, and BLG Wonen. Kalshoven was hired as IT director two years ago to realize the transition to the cloud.

Cloud Costs

Where developers and architects traditionally tend to overestimate their required environment to accommodate peak loads, the flexibility of the cloud allows for easy scaling up and down of capacity. Kalshoven: ‘So employees need to learn to critically assess what is actually needed to achieve their goal.’ Furthermore, to make employees even more aware, Kalshoven intends to allocate cloud costs to the teams using them in a subsequent phase, making it even clearer and more tangible how important it is to judiciously manage resources. Not only does this save money for the Volksbank, but it also contributes to sustainability. ‘Our systems run in AWS data centers. Any storage and computing power we don’t use reduces the CO2 emissions and energy consumption of those data centers.’


Through his network, Kalshoven connected with AWS partner TechNative. They conduct FinOps implementations and provide FinOps training. Kalshoven worked with them on the Cloud Readiness Assessment. This process examines FinOps - the framework that combines finances with operations for managing operational costs and maintaining financial responsibility in the cloud - software asset management, and contract management. ‘We also included our application portfolio and the application lifecycle. This gave us an overview of which applications are running where, what value we derive from them, what costs are involved, and whether we are getting the right cost-benefit. In fact, within a week, TechNative was able to make significant savings through optimization.’


Insight, overview, and action are the pillars through which Kalshoven executes his IT strategy. He aims to migrate most of the Volksbank’s current data centers to the cloud. He adopts a cloud-first approach but not cloud-only. ‘For us, the value of the cloud lies in security, compliance, scalability, and overall flexibility, but some systems we will always keep in-house.’ Over the next few years, the majority of systems will be moved to the cloud. It’s crucial to have overview and insight, says the IT director. And that the costs lie where they belong, including the responsibility. ‘This isn’t something you do overnight because it truly requires a different way of thinking and doing. First, we want to make it clear how the cloud can be optimally used and what it costs in terms of awareness, and then we’ll decentralize the costs within the organization.’

Customer Experience

Kalshoven follows a ‘buy-before-build’ strategy where the goal is to build and maintain less over time. Services providing transparent insights for steering are essential. ‘Ultimately, I would like to move towards understanding the costs and clear CO2 footprint per product at the Volksbank.’ During the cloud migration in the upcoming years', FinOps is just one of the actions, says Kalshoven. ‘We’ll also standardize solutions in the cloud so that 95 percent of what we do fits into that standard. The fewer deviations we need, the better we can manage our environment and the faster we can achieve results. This will lower costs, provide better insight and overview, and allow us to improve our quality.’ Because ultimately, that’s the main motivation for Kalshoven in everything he does: being able to contribute to the customer experience of the most customer-friendly bank in the Netherlands."

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De Volksbank krijgt grip op cloudkosten en bespaart fors

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