Bank of America's Ryan Thomas has taken the leap to a tech startup.
Thomas had been head of architecture and technology strategy for a segment of the bank. As recently as December he detailed how the bank was using container technology to save app developers time and effort.
But on Tuesday a platform-as-a-service startup called Apprenda announced that it had hired Thomas.
It's not like going to the bank every day, Thomas said.
"I walked in on my first day and half the company was wearing Apprenda shirts and was excited to be there," he said.
Apprenda provides a platform that lets companies develop, run and manage Web applications without having to build and maintain the infrastructure typically associated with developing and launching an app. It handles patching and upgrades for applications, for instance.
According to Thomas, Apprenda is unique in that it can host the legacy and existing applications many banks have as well as newer application architectures. It supports Windows, Linux, Java and .net applications as well as Cassandra and Hadoop databases. Its clients include large banks such as Bank of America and governments.
"The real wins for our clients are provisioning of their environment, because you can now spin entire platforms very quickly instead of having to provision each individual component," he said. And IT staff no longer have to upgrade hundreds of thousands of monolithic, individual applications.
One reason Bank of America chose Apprenda under Thomas' watch was that it could support the bank's existing private cloud environment and enable it to migrate to the public cloud when the time seemed right.
"We wanted a platform that would allow us to optimize the private cloud but also enable the management team, when they were comfortable with the security and the risk, to migrate to a hybrid cloud," Thomas said.
Another reason was the technology could handle diversity. "We were a company that had been organically built on multiple frameworks; we had to deal with Java, .net and everything else," he said.
In his new role, senior vice president of client services, Thomas will be supporting companies like his former employer.
"It's going to be a series of prototypes developed quickly and cheaply, so clients can start to see what works," Thomas said. "In order to do that you need to quickly and securely provision those platforms."