Société Générale is a leading French bank founded in 1864. With over 25 million customers and 117,000 employees in 66 countries, it stands as a European leader in financial services. In the current landscape of constant evolution, Société Générale must remain a technological leader in its field. Therefore, the Group is implementing a Cloud-focused strategy to foster innovation, digitalization, increased data usage, and the modernization of its information system. Following an initial migration to its first-generation private cloud between 2014 and 2020, Société Générale has decided to accelerate its cloud transformation to become a bank with one of the most efficient information systems in Europe by 2025,
in line with its 2026 strategic plan. To achieve this significant goal, the bank has chosen to partner with Devoteam, an agile or strong player in digital transformation and cloud platform adoption, to assist some of its IT teams.
In 2021, Société Générale initiated the second phase of its cloud transformation globally. A shift across all seven of the entire group IT departments. The goal is ambitious: to migrate half of its application portfolio to a hybrid multi-cloud, with one part on the public cloud (shared between AWS and Azure) and the other on the second-generation private cloud, featuring a highly automated and secure operational model. This cloud transformation, involving over two thousand applications, will significantly optimise IT spending. It will serve as a foundation for Société Générale’s digital transformation, with the bank aiming to leverage all the advantages of the cloud, including:
- simplifying usage,
- improving resilience,
- increasing elasticity,
- strengthening agility,
- reducing time-to-market,
- enhancing security,
- optimising infrastructure costs,
- and making IT roles more attractive.
To accomplish this extensive operation, Société Générale has engaged all seven of its IT Directions, including Corporate Functions Technologies (CFT) and Digital and Data Services (DDS). CFT is the central directions’ reference IT department, responsible for information systems related to compliance, human resources, solvency, credit risk, treasury, and structural risk. DDS, on the other hand, is the IT department creating and deploying digital foundations common to the entire IT department and business units, focusing on data solutions, digital capabilities, and reference frameworks.
To address this challenge, CFT led by Nicolas Saint-Supéry, and DDS led by Julio Lopez, chose to partner with Devoteam from 2022 to 2025. The objective of the partnership was to help the two IT departments:
- Initiate the Advance To Cloud program.
- Ensure the right technological and architectural choices.
- Support Société Générale’s teams in transforming applications to the cloud.
- Facilitate knowledge transfer to ensure teams are self-sufficient after the successful operation.
Devoteam was chosen for its ability to offer a multidisciplinary approach, its partnerships with AWS and Microsoft, its experience in such operations, and its understanding of the Société Générale context, promising a rapid increase in capability.
In practice, the Advance To Cloud program is sponsored by Jean-Pierre Brouste, with Olivier Guetienne for CFT and Victor Perez for DDS.
CFT and DDS, with Devoteam’s support, are leading a structured transformation program with a series of strategic projects, each contributing to the transition challenge and ensuring comprehensive coverage:
- The “Application Transformation Stream” is the core of the program. They are ensuring the quality and reliability of the transformation roadmap. It manages a community of “Cloud champions” responsible for their entity’s roadmap and reports at the Group level.
- The “Finance Stream” oversees the financing process of the application transformation (demand management, arbitration, allocation, and budget tracking). It also manages the Business Case (B-Case) and measures cost savings through cloud adoption, adjusting the financial trajectory as the application transformation roadmap evolves. This mission requires close collaboration with the “Application Transformation Project.”
- The “Change Management Stream” focuses on transforming human factors, an essential element for sustaining cloud transformation. Through DevOps training and coaching, this project enhances the skills of all IT teams at Société Générale in France, Romania, and India. In addition, it promotes the program through dynamic communication actions.
Beyond supporting each project in the program, Devoteam accompanies CFT and DDS employees to quickly become autonomous in operating this technology, especially in critical activities such as FinOps and security. Devoteam experts are engaged in these topics to establish new roles arising from the cloud. In the same spirit, Devoteam also integrates expert resources directly into development teams to accelerate and secure the application transformation.
Main Benefits for SG
For CFT and DDS IT departments, the cloud transformation momentum is in place and starting to yield results:
- Over 200 cloud transformations have been completed, with a third in pure refactoring and a significant portion in the public cloud.
- Significant operating cost savings have already been achieved through infrastructure changes and FinOps rigour.
- A new cloud-DevOps mindset has been established within application teams, making them more proficient and autonomous through coaching and training.
A new operational model of shared responsibilities has been implemented with new roles (FinOps, DevOps, Security), preparing CFT and DDS to operate in a cloud environment.
This Société Générale—Devoteam collaboration illustrates how a cloud transformation can be successfully conducted. The key to success? Addressing all issues by mobilising multidisciplinary talents and fostering teamwork between the client and its partner, focusing on critical activities without losing sight of the program’s ultimate goal.
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