Then if I extend this. Two years ago, we launched DevCloud, UBS DevCloud, which is essentially an open ecosystem built on a public cloud where all our software engineers can have a seamless experience going from development, testing, deploying solutions as they work. This accelerates time to market, reduces costs, which obviously affects customers. With DevCloud, we can also constantly improve our apps so they will never be 10 years old, but instead will continue to be relevant.

Now, the biggest benefit of moving to the cloud is that things that used to take, say, five days, now only take one, which helps increase the productivity of our engineers and makes it a great place to work. Here we have an expression that we use quite often, which is “All engineers, all developers wait at the same rate.” So anything we can do to reduce their waiting time is value added. If we have the best engineering talent, if we have the best platforms, we can create the best experience for our customers in terms of how they engage and interact with us.

Laurel: You mentioned cloud computing, and to create a more definitive timeline here, in late 2018, UBS announced a plan to make the firm more efficient and effective through cloud computing. Then, as of February 2021, it was well ahead of that schedule, with 50% of computing happening in private and public cloud. So obviously a huge transition if you’re talking, right in 2016, about mainframes, but what did that move to the cloud allow the company to do?

Mike: The strategy we laid out at the end of 2018 was to move within four years to a cloud setup that was third, third, third. So, one third is hosted on a private cloud, one third on a public cloud, and one third on a mainframe. And we wanted super clear objectives, to try to transition and transform the organization and how we then move forward and what that means. We are ahead of schedule on what we want to do. I would also say that our advancements in the cloud have prepared us for the unpredictable, and we’ve seen that through COVID, we’ve seen it through spikes in volumes that have happened at high power because of some of the situations in the world. We need more capacity to handle high trading volumes, and with the cloud you have explosive elasticity because you can burst for additional capacity. At the same time, we have always been able to ensure that business critical applications are stable and in fact our availability is over 99.999%. So, the five nines of affordability and that really puts us among the leaders in the financial industry.

Also, because we’ve set up our cloud-based employees, which we call A3, anytime, anywhere, from any device, which is now a workspace, we’ve enabled 95% of our employees to work from home. So we saw more than 60,000 users logged in at the same time, a huge increase in the use of communication tools, so 3 million Skype calls per week. The cloud ultimately makes us more flexible, more stable, more transparent, I think facilitating us with other ecosystems is much easier. All of this is great for our customers. That’s something I keep saying, even the part that doesn’t seem to be related to the customer means we can respond faster to their needs and actually maintain security.

Laurel: As part of this company-wide initiative to think more strategically about these technology investments, UBS recently joined the Green Software Foundation as a lead member, in part to support the company’s efforts also to net zero greenhouse gas emissions across all of its operations by 2050 d. So how does joining the Green Software Foundation affect the choices you make when building and deploying software?

Mike: Yes, I mean, at a strategic level, UBS is absolutely committed to sustainability, and I think as an individual, but also as a member of GEB, it’s a priority in general. We have thousands of applications running across our global business, and I think one of our big steps in our evolution is not just accelerating our digital transformation, but how do we do it the right way? So how do we use these principles of greener development as a huge part, an integral part of our approach going forward?

We’ve made progress in reducing our carbon footprint, and that could be moving from on-premises data centers to the cloud, or reducing or actually eliminating idle, energy-intensive resources. We’re also now looking more and more at whether we can use carbon-aware applications and then consumers can choose the lowest-emissions options. The Green Software Foundation is a really great group, partnering with them to share best practices and knowledge with other members is part of this journey to continue reducing carbon emissions. I think we, along with others, can really lead the way here.