A world-renowned bank’s CEO was recently quoted as saying that while there are thousands of manual banks now, the future will see only a handful of digital banks. Along with the rest of the world’s critical business sectors, an overwhelming number of banks are also shifting to virtual platforms. This migration is being orchestrated by some of the best DevOps resources that the global FinTech sector has to offer.
The convenience of personalized services that are always on-demand has incentivized the banking sector’s reliance on DevOps workflows. When the COVID-19 pandemic struck and limited physical banking services, the migration of enterprise banking systems onto the cloud had been in full swing. Most bank employees had to shift to a work-from-home setup, accelerating the use of virtual service delivery.
As per an estimate by the IBM Institute for Business Value, about 59% of the companies surveyed are in various phases of their digital migration and the banking sector is naturally following suit. DevOps teams are tasked with writing software extensions for connecting digital banking services to the end customer in an agile manner.
This article explores why DevOps is slowly becoming an essential foundation for any successful banking institution. We will also discuss how traditional institutions cope with these changes and what benefits they can look forward to once they make the leap to DevOps.
Agile Processes Facilitate Digital Transformation
Most banks these days have been adopting agile processes to stay ahead of the competitive curve. The main motive behind this is to keep up with frequent business requirements that come with efforts to improve clients’ banking experiences. Fine-tuning the project planning and execution processes that drive this improvement are what the DevOps teams would be mainly doing.
Under the Agile methodology, banking applications would be created in small, controllable steps known as sprints. Each step is tested meticulously before it can be considered executable or complete. Before continuing to build on the delivered component, proper channels are followed for real-time feedback and course correction. The end goal is that the customer must get a product that is of value in a much shorter timeframe than is possible through any other development process.
More than even the process and the rules governing it, the DevOps teams involved and their collaboration is a top priority as well as the eventual outcomes. Agile projects behind the most optimal banking services and products must involve continuous planning, testing and integration of finished components.
Faster Success for DevOps Teams in Banking
To successfully drive new digital banking services, large banks need billions in assets and need to gain millions of new customers along the way. It all boils down to shifting their processes to a more granular process and continuously improving upon it.
In situations like these where DevOps practices need to be adopted proactively, the client’s line of business (LOB) teams move to Agile planning strategies fairly quickly. They use a variety of tools to implement Agile and DevOps practices to tackle growing customer demands for their improved digital banking services.
But for this to work seamlessly, the developer experience for both the LOB and IT teams needs to be streamlined. The LOB and IT teams’ efforts can be integrated if the DevOps platform is automated with built-in Agile capabilities and bi-directional integration. This ensures seamless collaboration, faster DevOps implementation and the speedy delivery of banking services and products.
Focused Insights and Better Predictability
Large banks can standardize the internal IT development team on an engineering life cycle management platform, simultaneously providing support to the LOB team via the Agile issue tracking dashboard. Agile life cycle management tools extend an integrated solution for banks. Using these tools, the DevOps teams can be provided with full transparency and traceability of developer data.
Developer-specific capabilities such as source code management, build automation, continuous integration and delivery and Agile planning are more accessible this way. The IT developer community considers Agile workflow management platforms as the benchmark for efficient and continuous business flow. Workflow management platforms and issue tracking portals are the places where most of the Agile planning takes place.
Agile life cycle integration adaptors then link the LOB-defined Agile stories with specific developer tasks in easy-to-manage packets. The developer changes to the application code are tracked within the workforce management tool to draw useful and quantifiable insights from the data. The speed of application delivery is accelerated further because of the connections established between the projects, teams and tools.
Minimizing Service Delivery Mishaps
Using workflow management tools, the team can provide continuous build and integration functionalities. They can deploy automated integration builds on dedicated cloud or on-premises environments which minimizes errors in service delivery. A software bill of materials (SBOM) is generated for each build in the final audit trail which lets developers resolve errors retroactively as well.
A broad picture is created of which new tasks and pieces of code went into the build and what software assets were created. DevOps implementation ensures continuous delivery of the banking application across test and production environments. Errors are reduced throughout the production life cycles of each banking service or product. This reduces the time taken from development to production. A fully automated and auditable delivery pipeline is created to make future deployments even faster.
Reduce Banking Product Release Cycles
DevOps provides a very robust and reiterable foundational environment for the bank’s business to thrive while reducing release cycle time with every iteration. This means every time a new banking service is delivered, the development life cycle is improved bit by bit. In some cases, the release cycle can be reduced by more than half the original time taken.
While service delivery is improved, this also frees up release engineers for urgent tasks crucial to the deployment window. More deployments occur while still keeping the bank or financial institution in accordance with regulatory guidelines.