5 Questions for IT specialist Erik Jongsma

Erik Jongsma is certainly not walking around with his head in the cloud, but it sure is all about the Cloud

7 January 2019 | IT Erik Jongsma is certainly not walking around with his head in the cloud, but it sure is all about the Cloud, as far as he is concerned. He loves his job at Rabobank’s Cloud Competence Center. As the product owner of the Platform team, Erik is responsible for Cloud Governance, Cost Management, Security, and all other topics related to creating and maintaining an entire enterprise-ready Cloud platform.

‘Our goal is to help every team that develops apps to work in the Cloud. It’s a fantastic challenge, because the Cloud is a bit scary for some old school IT professionals.’

What about your job makes your heart beat faster?

The fact that we are working with the latest technologies: not just servers and databases but also innovative services like machine learning and artificial intelligence. Cloud is the future and within Rabobank we are proud to say that we are at the forefront of this trend. The senior management fortunately sees that Cloud technology is the next big thing and recognized the need to take real decisions quickly. And the people! Having a beer with colleagues is no longer the exception.

Can you tell us some more about all the tasks in the Cloud Competence Centre?

My team builds the Cloud platform for Rabobank, including networks, firewalls but also monitoring capabilities for example. Of course, we want everything to be automated as well. We start the day with a small round of updates: how far along are we with the sprint? What are the challenges ahead of us? Do we need help from other departments? Back behind the screen we usually start with designing what we’re going to build, followed by some form of automation (creating scripts, building a release pipeline, etc.). We like to work in pairs because that increases knowledge sharing and because it is more fun!

Why is Rabobank such a great place to work?

Rabobank is a great company because they dare to invest in all kinds of innovation. Some big changes have been happening the last few years. For instance: previously, if there were six ways to solve an IT problem, we implemented all six of them. We were on that path with Cloud too, but because of the change in our strategy we are much more focused now.

What’s the most awesome Rabobank project you ever worked on?

The transition to the Cloud! Rabobank has made some pretty brave choices, because most large organizations still prefer classic data centers and mainframes. But let’s face it: a young talented IT pro doesn’t care for those old-fashioned systems. And at Rabobank, we have the privilege that we can experiment with the latest technology innovations.

What are the biggest tech challenges at this point?

Spreading knowledge about the Cloud. It’s new, also in terms of a shift of responsibilities to the developers. In addition to building an app, they also have to think about the Azure services that it runs on. However, this knowledge is also very helpful because they no longer have to depend on another departments for their infrastructure.

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