“If I had my way, I wouldn't have a data centre in three years,” Tabcorp’s CIO, Kim Wenn, tells CIO Australia.
Going ‘all in’ with the cloud makes sense for the multi-billion dollar gaming and wagering organisation which uses every last piece of its available computing power on Melbourne Cup Day in November.
“On a typical Saturday we would use about 7 per cent of our infrastructure in terms of hardware and on Melbourne Cup Day, it will flat line – and every year we throw more at it because every year, the load increases,” Wenn said.
In the ‘land of tin’, as Wenn puts it, hardware needs to be ‘specced up’ to handle the massive increase in transaction load on the day of the Melbourne Cup.
“In a cloud-based environment, you can create infrastructure on the run and then tear it down after you finished using it so it’s very cost-effective. And there’s all sorts of services you access that don’t exist. A lot of the analytics are phenomenal,” Wenn said.
In 2013, Tabcorp said that around 50 million transactions were being processed on Melbourne Cup Day, and up to 2000 bets per second at peak times.
Tabcorp has adopted a ‘cloud-first’ strategy; its human resources, venue management, and marketing systems – such as its SuccessFactors and Salesforce implementations – are hosted at Amazon Web Services’ data centres in Australia and Dublin, Ireland.
The organisation currently runs two of its own data centres locally, one in New South Wales and one in Victoria.
“It’s all very much cloud-first, but having said that, there are regulations for our licenses in Victoria and NSW that at the moment obligate us to have hardware in those states. We are working with the regulators on changing that so we can get it [these systems] to the cloud,” Wenn said.
Wenn, who has been with Tabcorp since April 2005, said previously that around 30 per cent of the organisation’s transaction volumes came through its call centre.
“That doesn’t happen anymore. Customer profiles and the load and demand on each channel changes each year. Obviously, there’s a hell of a lot more [transaction] load coming through mobile phones these days.”
Betting on mobile devices curently makes up 65 per cent of the organisation’s digital wagering turnover.
Follow Byron Connolly on Twitter: @ByronConnolly
Join the CIO Australia group on LinkedIn. The group is open to CIOs, IT Directors, COOs, CTOs and senior IT managers.