DevOps: how utilising automation can help financial institutions get ahead
Picture the scene. A traditional building society is surrounded by a multitude of new industry players and seeks to innovate its legacy systems quickly to stay ahead of competitors and meet evolving customer demands.
But that’s not all. The building society also faces the challenge of maintaining and improving online services and requires fast speed-to-market to ensure everything is running smoothly and is optimised for high traffic. Not only that, the building society also needs to ensure that it remains compliant, something that is crucial in the financial sector.
This all sounds tricky for a financial institution to manage independently, especially as software delivery is becoming more complex. But DevOps tools and processes can help with overcoming these challenges so that organisations in the finance sector can achieve their full potential.
With automation, financial institutions can keep step with increased competition
Financial institutions need to embrace digital transformation to keep pace in a highly competitive market. Thanks to DevOps tools and practices, they can boost their agility, automate processes, eliminate bottlenecks and deliver reliable software more efficiently and securely.
Compounding the need for agility and automation, fast online banking and smooth-running financial apps are needed in order to meet users’ ‘always on’ mentalities and expectations for quick services. By using DevOps technologies and cloud-based systems, legacy institutions can keep up with the needs of today’s technology-savvy customers, who have grown increasingly intolerant of buggy and unstable software that is difficult to use.
Through their user experience, customers form an opinion – positive or negative – about any organisation. This is magnified with financial institutions. In an industry where trust is paramount, building societies and banks cannot afford to let a bug or a slow app affect their customers’ experience journey. Therefore, aspects of its software, such as ease of use, stability, quality and ongoing enhancements, are vital.
Of equal importance is ensuring control and security within an organisation. Institutions can not only work faster and more efficiently with automation, they can also improve their overall insight into the businesses’ controls and security posture. Financial institutions have a huge responsibility of processing highly sensitive information while remaining compliant and must adhere to a set of industry-wide standards that can be subject to change at any time.
Using automation lowers the chances of a financial organisation receiving a compliance fine or suffering a devastating data breach, as there’s less room for human error and security requirements can be continuously enforced. There are interesting DevOps tools and solutions available that allow organisations to embed further control while allowing organisations to operate faster. There is also a need to connect digital transformation to its business value and assess how DevOps will help financial institutions to compete in an increasingly competitive market.
Balancing speed and stability is key
Financial institutions increasing their speed-to-market is certainly important, but there must be a balance between speed and stability to avoid any unwanted consequences. For example, if something goes wrong on a trading floor, millions of pounds could be lost in revenue.
With the help of DevOps solutions, such as a robust, mature software delivery platform for continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD), legacy institutions have the ability to compete with new players because they can manage the entire delivery process – from code to deployment – within one platform. This enables financial organisations to mobilise quickly, innovate and push out updates at scale with confidence, all while remaining compliant with changing regulations.
Going beyond software and changing the cultural mindset
If anything can be learnt from the past two years or so since the Covid-19 pandemic hit, it is that it is critical for financial organisations to effectively maintain productivity, and this means generating a shared understanding of DevOps with employees across the organisation. Over the years, DevOps has matured and is now very much a necessity for financial institutions since it provides the tools to enable a successful digital transformation.
As many financial institutions embrace hybrid work models, automated and controlled activity for all engineers is also critical to maintain productivity. Institutions need to support their engineering community when adapting to a DevOps culture, while continuing to scale the enterprise DevOps tooling solutions and ensuring CI/CD product sets satisfy the needs of engineers.
By observing firsthand how operation teams are utilising an agile mindset, the financial organisation could learn how to adopt an agile framework to respond quickly and deal with uncertainty. Ultimately, competition drives innovation, which plays a critical part both in keeping engineers engaged and enthusiastic and in helping the organisation solve big problems and stay ahead of competition.