What's in it for developers?

The marriage between DevOps and finance — The way forward

Brian Dawson
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We are moving to an era where all companies in every industry are becoming software companies. The implication of this transition means that there needs to be an accelerated focus on creating new application quickly and efficiently. Why should developers be interested in banking? Let’s find out.

DevOps & FinTech: Challenges and opportunities

The finance industry faces strong upheaval and immense challenges in the coming months and years. We look at the challenges and opportunities in the DevOps sector in relation to banking and finance.

Challenges in the finance sector

With ever-increasing regulation, the continuous threat of cyber-attacks and disruptive innovation from outside of the sector. Add to this the upheaval in demographics and generational changes in wealth distribution, and a picture emerges of an industry beset with immense challenges. Strategies for dealing with regulations, cyber threats and technology innovation are defensive in nature. With the exception of innovation driven by non-traditional challenges, these shifts in the industry are not growth strategies. The changes taking place require tremendous resources, but really don’t add to the bottom line.

SEE ALSO: The real ROI of DevOps

In reality, we are moving to an era where all companies in every industry are becoming software companies. The implication of this transition means that there needs to be an accelerated focus on creating new application quickly and efficiently. These next generation applications have to be developed and put into production so that you can innovate in record time. More companies now realise that acceleration of new functionality and new application is the key to maintaining competitive advantage.

Customer experience revolution

Enhancing the customer experience is the sure path to growth. Customer loyalty is no longer a function of a good banking relationship. Instead, an easy to use, always available multi-channel offering enhances the customer experience, leading to loyalty. And in banking, loyalty is a significant part of profitable growth. But how to better service customer and continually create innovative new products and services? Financial institutions must accelerate the digitizing and ongoing enhancements of processes, services and products. The speed and quality of application development has become a competitive advantage.

The role of DevOps

Innovative banks that delight customers and achieve robust growth require the continual delivery of new and improved applications. In the race to offer new and enhanced services, bank executives demand speed and innovation without sacrificing quality. Application development and operations teams are under great pressure to meet the demands of the business. Development and operations organizations are being tasked to build, test and release both new applications and incremental updates to existing applications in shorter cycles.

Adopting DevOps practices have been a key enabler for companies that want to deliver a continual stream of new and improved applications. DevOps practices promote a culture of collaboration that reduces application delivery time and improves quality through improved productivity and efficiency. DevOps practices emphasize methods for more effective communication and collaboration between development, operations, testing and quality assurance teams.

However, integrating DevOps into an IT organization requires an organizational culture shift. Ironically, an increase in regulatory compliance mandates is supporting the acceleration of internal collaboration.

SEE ALSO: Top 4 obstacles to DevOps adoption and how to successfully eliminate them

Continuous Delivery & FinTech

Financial products are essentially exchanges of data; and much of this data is sensitive, regulated and highly proprietary. The stakes for banking executives are high, meaning that the stakes for application developers are just as high. Success in leveraging the benefits of continuous delivery depends upon several best practices.

These best practices include:

  • Ensure a strong, ongoing commitment to DevOps practices. As banking IT organizational practices swing from centralized to decentralized and now back to centralization, executives and IT teams need to ensure that DevOps practices are built into the application lifecycle.
  • Extend meaningful collaboration to include line-of-business executives. Banks should model themselves on the software industry. The mission-critical nature of banking applications, along with ongoing enhancements to them, requires developers to understand the business. By collaborating with banking executives, developers will gain a better understanding of requirements and executives will gain a better understanding of the software delivery process.
  • Use tools that are designed for enterprise use. This means development and deployment tools need to have the scalability, predictability, manageability, high availability and support that businesses require.

The way forward

DevOps is a movement which promotes a culture and practices for rapid and frequent application development; continuous delivery is a process which enables accelerated delivery of code and updates. Those who develop and deliver applications for the fintech sector do so with pressure on their shoulders to provide new applications and updates at an accelerated pace never experienced before. There are strong opportunities in this sector to develop leading edge applications which truly transform a financial organisation’s methods and successes. In adopting a DevOps approach, companies will be able to enable culture, practice and process for customer and company success.

Brian Dawson
Brian Dawson is DevOps evangelist with CloudBees.

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