Financial services, pat yourselves on the back. A new study from Redgate shows financial services have superior database DevOps and database monitoring compared to other sectors.
Financial IT appears to outperform other industries with high-quality database monitoring benchmarks consistently. For example, financial services on average are far quicker to detect and remediate failed deployments.
Below, we’ll cover the main takeaways from Redgate’s latest 2020 State of Database Monitoring in Financial Services report, and bring in Grant Fritchey, Product Advocate at Redgate, to better understand why the financial sector is performing so positively in database DevOps.
2020 State of Database Monitoring in Financial Services
Redgate has released a special financial services edition of its 2020 State of Database Monitoring Report, a study that surveyed 971 database professionals across a wide range of sectors. This financial segment report highlights how database monitoring practices within banking, investment and insurance groups compare to other industries. Here are the main takeaways:
Frequency and Remediation
Financial services deploy more frequently and detect and resolve issues more rapidly.
Financial services are quickly updating their databases. Sixty percent of financial services deploy once a week, whereas 43% of other sectors deploy once a week and some (10%) only update their databases once per year.
Financial services are quicker to detect issues and respond. For example, 49% of financial institutions detect failed deployments within 10 minutes, compared to 39% across other sectors. The average Mean Time to Recovery (MTTR) is less than 10 minutes for 32% of financial services compared to 24% for different sectors.
It is impressive that financial services deploy more frequently yet still maintain higher Mean Time to Detection (MTTD) and MTTR than other sectors.
Growth and Tools
Financial services have a larger data footprint and a higher demand for database monitoring tools.
The survey also demonstrates significant growth in overall database footprints, reflecting the sheer accumulation of data year after year. Whereas 26% of other sectors have 50 to 500 database instances, 36% of financial services have this many. Large financial data estates with more than 1,000 instances have grown 8 percentage points year over year.
To help track these data estates, 66% of financial services use paid database monitoring tools. In other sectors, only 39% use paid database monitoring tools. The report predicts ongoing cloud migration and hybrid cloud modes will push these rates higher.
Sixty-eight percent of customers report general satisfaction with database monitoring solutions. Yet, financial services cite a lack of features and time-consuming processes as top drawbacks, reflecting a need for financial services to utilize advanced functions and innovate quickly.
Financial professionals perform more tasks and grant more non-IT members database access.
Working with more rigid security benchmarks, database professionals at financial services are often responsible for an increased number of tasks.
Across all sectors, performance optimization and backups are the most common tasks performed by 70% and 60% of database professionals, respectively. However, if we look at financial services, tasks such as optimization, availability checking, user permissions management, patching and auditing are more common, all 8% to 11% higher.
The report also found financial service databases, on average, are more widely accessed across the whole business, including database admins, management and business teams. According to the report, this could reflect a higher skill standard across the board at financial organizations.
Human error spikes moderately as financial IT innovates.
Human error, capacity problems, bad deployments and software failure are top database issues across sectors. However, human error raises slightly within financial services, to 27% from 23%.
“This spike [in human error] is just showing how fast our financial services institutions are changing to meet the needs of a changing business environment,” said Fritchey. Though there is a high demand to fill roles with data management skills, there is a talent shortage. “Recruitment is one of the biggest challenges,” he noted.
That said, financial services do report fewer issues in other areas. For example, database access management is handled more efficiently at financial services. Whereas ad hoc user access issues have doubled in other sectors, financial services reported no significant change.
Looking to the future, respondents indicate cloud migration, migrating to new server versions and improving performances as the top three impending challenges.
Why Do Financial Services Outperform?
Data demonstrates financial services on a superior overall curve when it comes to database DevOps. But why is this?
“The answer is pretty simple,” said Fritchey. “Finance is driven by data. Therefore, they’ve always put the time and effort into protecting that information, and monitoring your systems is a fundamental aspect of data protection.”
The financial sector is also prone to more security exploits and data privacy issues. Such concerns amplify the need for quality monitoring.
“Organizations with good monitoring in place either also have better security or can spot vulnerabilities faster,” said Fritchey. With such measures in place, if a breach does occur, such organizations can react rapidly.
International regulations such as GDPR or PSD2 mean financial services must meet stringent compliances. For Fritchey, active investment in quality database monitoring is part of this process.
“The need to be able to operate across borders means that your systems must meet multiple compliance regimes. It simply makes sense to set the most stringent standards to ensure you can easily operate in the international sphere,” he said. “Monitoring is a fundamental aspect of meeting these compliance requirements.”
The Future of Database Monitoring
Financial services inherently require greater fault tolerance, and database monitoring is helping such services reach bank-grade security. As most respondents estimate their deployment frequency to increase in the next year, a greater focus on database integrity will be essential to keep pace.
The financial services sector appears to be well-positioned for continued growth. With a shorter MTTD and a faster MTTR, financial IT is significantly more advanced than other sectors when it comes to database change frequency and issue remediation.
“The fact that those with monitoring in place are also those who can more quickly deliver value through some type of DevOps process should cause people to pay attention,” added Fritchey. “All of this combines to make for a better overall organization who does more for their clients.”