Wells Fargo's latest cloud project will be a disaster

Wells Fargo think they can save a billion in ten years moving to the cloud, I bet they don't.

Max Chesapeake
1:09 PM, Apr 23, 2022

Wells Fargo Cash Machine
Photo by Erol Ahmed on Unsplash

There were 2 pieces of news out of Wells Fargo this week, the first that they sacked 550 trained mortgage people. As a mortgage advisor as well as a technologist I tried to guess what was going on internally. I surmised this will either be them preparing for a downturn in the housing market or going along some ill thought through mad technology adventure.

Then I heard that they are moving to azure, the Microsoft cloud platform, and google cloud in the attempt to save 1 billion over the next 10 years. So It's a technology adventure then.

I have over 10 years experience with cloud technology, I work day to day with both azure and google cloud. I have financial training and am capable of advising on such matters. These unique skill sets make me a valuable asset and I make my money from advising on technology in the financial arena.

If I was there to advise Wells Fargo on this I would simply say this has total disaster written all over it. Firstly you don't really save any money on cloud computing at this scale. It looks like MS will be replacing their on site servers with virtual cloud servers. The reality is that they cost the same if not more.

The argument is that if one server fails then there is no maintenance, MS just simply moves onto another cloud instance, OK, but there is still a cost to replace the broken metal machine for MS and that cost is played out in the cost to use azure.

You don't have to have space for these machines, MS pays for them, and the electricity, and the cooling, but again Wells Fargo will still pay for this. Cloud infrastructure like this is coinventing and mitigates whole lot of risk but as for saving money, that's not what it is there for.

Onto the Google side of this and they are specifically saying that they will be used for AI, which is odd as I think MS is actually stronger on this. But they will be advancing their technology here and that will be a new cost. You can't save money on buying something new.

Add in the cost of migrating and running parallel systems for a period and there will be no cost saving. Also add in the usual absolute disaster events that take place when grand technology moves stacks and the clean-up that is required.

I'll make this claim now, Wells Fargo won't save any money with this. And some people will make a lot of money.