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Overcoming risks and maximizing gains

How developers can benefit from DevOps in finance

Kayla Matthews
© Shutterstock / By Billion Photos

The financial industry is not often associated with innovation and change. What’s more, it seems reluctant to adopt DevOps principles. What if there was a way to overcome the risks of change?

There is definitely a lot of growth being done but not in terms of the systems, processes and methodologies being used. You could argue it’s because finance as a whole requires safety and security, which is conducive to tried and true methods. Change is risky in that case.

However, it’s more likely that banking and finance are, obviously, dominated by well-established organizations. Not unlike a monopoly, the major players decide when, what and where something is used or adopted. This makes innovation and disruption difficult for startups and makes it very difficult to compete.

After all, why uproot processes and operations that have been working for decades? A whopping 88 percent of tech companies are concerned about their abilities to maintain their IT systems as it is. Why adopt something totally new and foreign and risk multiplying those concerns?

SEE ALSO: Why finance needs to adopt a DevOps culture

Luckily, that way of thinking may be about to change. DevOps — a form of “agile infrastructure” — is taking hold, at least among those who are researching and seriously considering the methodology. Experienced developers don’t need a cookie-cutter definition. For everyone else, let’s start with the essentials.

What is DevOps?

 DevOps is something of an encompassing term, meant to describe a methodology or operational process called “agile operations” or “agile infrastructure.” For the most part, a lot of businesses and organizations already adhere to DevOps standards unknowingly while trying to remain lean and efficient.

When you spend a lot of time reviewing definitions and guides on the topic, things can sound complex. Really, it’s just a practice of operations for developers and engineers that favors collaboration and agile processes — namely, those that involve working together through an entire project’s life cycle. It carries through from design and conceptual phases to development or even production support.

When you adopt DevOps, your staff or teams often use the same techniques and tool sets across the board. Developers, designers, support teams and additional staff are all aligned and in-sync.

For a more specific definition, it includes operations staff, system administrators, release and network engineers, systems engineers, DBAs, maintenance developers and a variety of other sub-disciplines in the same sector.

The best way to truly get a grasp on the subject is to read more about DevOps and its inner workings. For now, we’re just going to stick with what we have here and move on.

How developers can benefit from DevOps adoption in finance

It’s no secret that the finance industry is benefiting from DevOps adoption. They’re seeing much better security, improved compliance and audit results, a more collaborative IT and development process, as well as improved visibility and control over all aspects of a project.

SEE ALSO: The marriage between DevOps and finance — The way forward

DevOps is also responsible for a cultural change at the organizations deploying it because it’s a philosophy and a practice that favors streamlined teamwork. Everything including development, design, operations, support, quality assurance and beyond are tasked with collaborating more openly towards a shared goal.

But what are the benefits for the developers themselves? What do they stand to gain?

Any time a development-centric or staff-heavy methodology is adopted in the development industry, those within it can benefit immensely. Not only does this introduce a handful of new jobs and project opportunities, but it also drives innovation and growth for all.

Naturally, the same is true for the widespread adoption of DevOps in the finance industry. Solutions such as mobile-only banking and contact-less or mobile payments offer a push in the right direction.

As companies look to adopt more agile processes, they will need experienced and knowledgeable professionals to guide and educate them, more and more. Furthermore, DevOps professionals will be in demand — especially those with a versatile and open background.

A growth in adoption means that not just the hardware and devices will be necessary, but also the applications, software and related experiences, too. This lends credence to the idea that DevOps engineers and developers with even minimal experience in the field will become highly sought-after.

Is it a pipe dream?

In the real world, DevOps is already rolling out across major organizations and businesses. Capital One, for instance, shifted focus to become a heavy DevOps enterprise in the last three or four years. Other prominent names utilizing DevOps include Amazon, Netflix, Walmart, Facebook, Sony Pictures Entertainment and more.

The one downside is relatively straightforward. DevOps requires a widespread change across the entire organization and forces nearly all teams to update and revise how they do their work.

The necessary collaboration and universal tool sets, for instance, may require a legacy team to get on board with a more modern approach. It’s not that there’s a ton of basic training involved, but rather that the affected parties will require time to grow familiar and knowledgeable about the practice.

As mentioned earlier, some businesses and organizations just aren’t going to feel this revamp is worth the investment, which is a shame. It most certainly is worth the investment, especially since becoming more agile, efficient and cross-functional is a big part of it.

To close out, we’ll give a great example of where the DevOps industry is headed. The discipline “DevOps Engineer” ranks at number-two on Glassdoor’s 50 Best Jobs in America list. Also, Forrester revealed that over 50 percent of organizations are working on or planning to implement DevOps company-wide.

You might argue this largely influences other industries outside of finance, but the point here is that it’s growing at rapid clip. It’s only a matter of time before DevOps comes for finance, too, if it’s not already taking the industry by storm.

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Author

Kayla Matthews

Kayla Matthews is a technology writer, contributing to publications like VentureBeat, TechnoBuffalo, Fast Company and The Week. To read more posts by Kayla, check out her personal tech blog.


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