When you think about retail grocery, innovation might not be your first thought. With Norway’s Coop, however, innovation has been fundamental to their long-running cooperative. Whether it has been the cooperative business model itself, which gives its members a voice in how the business is run, leading the market in the 1940s with Norway’s first self-service store, or the introduction of Norway’s first self-scan store in 2018, Coop has embraced change that delivers value and convenience to its members.
With longevity comes legacy, which creates challenges when implementing technology that facilitates improving member experience. According to Coop’s Head of Engineering, Adam Bell-Hanssen, “Coop has always tried to be on top of technology. Now we are shifting from traditional enterprise hardware to be more software and data driven. Inevitably the stack needs upgrading and new technology such as Kubernetes, Docker, microservices, zero-trust security, and token-based authentication enters the picture.”
As part of this digital transformation, Coop wanted to move to a cloud platform from their on-prem identity solution which was difficult to maintain and scale. The idea was to re-architect the entire landscape, which included re-engineering the Coop approach to identity management. As Bell-Hanssen explained, “We have key days during the year, such as Black Friday or the January sales, when traffic spikes reach up to 25 times the normal amount of traffic. At the same time, our old identity solution relied on token validation, which accounted for up to 85% of our traffic. We needed to move away from that, and also use the elasticity of the cloud to be able to scale up or down to meet demand without wasting resources or overloading the system.”
"Our old identity solution relied on token validation, which accounted for up to 85% of our traffic. We needed to move away from that.”
Adam Bell-HanssenHead of Engineering