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Five benefits of IT automation for financial services

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Introduction

Globalization has increased the complexity of management and operations for financial service IT systems, due to competitive threats from new, nontraditional entrants to the market, the loosening of restrictions on cross-border capital flows, and the deregulation of domestic capital markets. Financial services institutions are embracing digital transformation to work smarter, better, and faster to maintain regulatory compliance, reduce risk, increase productivity, and exceed customer expectations. 

World financial markets are so intertwined that when one entity is affected, it quickly ripples across the global ecosystem—for example, the 2001 New York Stock Exchange outage affected both the American Stock Exchange and NASDAQ.1 

Infrastructure automation enables financial institutions to transform digitally, mitigate risks, and lower costs. Here are five benefits directly applicable to financial institutions.

1. Complete automation

Technology is the engine that fuels innovation, and automation is the high-octane fuel that financial institutions need to reduce costs and risks. Automation is about much more than configuration management and siloed teams writing scripts—it benefits the entire technology process, end-to-end. Effective application management requires a tool that can provision resources, make configuration changes, and run commands across a variety of environments, helping everything and everybody work together faster, with less risk. 

Red Hat® Ansible® Automation Platform is an easy-to-use infrastructure automation engine that automates provisioning, configuration management, application deployment, and intra-service orchestration for a wide range of use cases, and across your on-premises and cloud environments.

2. Simple collaboration

Innovation can be hampered by complicated, manual coordination. Simplicity is critical, especially in a financial services environment composed of so many moving parts— investment bank, retail bank, card services, commercial bank, treasury and securities, asset management, risk and compliance, infrastructure, architecture, and operations—all performing complex tasks and making complex decisions. The simpler the enterprise is to end users, the better. 

Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform makes it easy to get started and helps IT teams collaborate—whether their  focus is networking, development, infrastructure, applications, or security. Ansible Automation is agentless, so you do not need to install software on each managed host. This eliminates the requirement to install, manage, patch, and support those agents across your technology environment, removing the barrier to entry presented by agent-based systems. Agentless management also reduces the likelihood of software library conflicts, and it does not increase the system’s security footprint or attack profile. 

3. The people engine

When people collaborate, ideas get stronger and progress moves faster. Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform encourages collaboration by simplifying the complex and reducing the learning barrier to accelerate success. Ansible Playbooks and roles are human-readable and perfectly describe an entire application environment. This process reduces the likelihood of miscommunication and reduces delays by streamlining the change management process. Openness allows everyone to communicate in a common automation language.

4. Control and governance

Financial institutions manage complex, sensitive financial and customer data sometimes scattered in different silos across the organization, making centralized management and oversight a challenge. In addition, personnel changes can make it difficult to maintain specific levels of access to data. 

Control over access rights needs to be reliable, consistent, and easy to manage. Red Hat Ansible Tower makes implementing role-based access control simple so that permissions are easily added, reviewed, updated, and deleted. Administrators can delegate automation jobs in a controlled and auditable way, centralize credential management, and provide provisioning, configuration, and policy control workflows. Policy application and enforcement can also be automated to increase security, governance, and compliance across infrastructures. Administrators can enforce many different IT policy models and easily assess compliance, enforce security standards, and optimize resources.

5. Tame complexity

While financial institutions adopt new technology to remain competitive, existing systems still need maintenance and support. This can lead to complex, disparate infrastructure that spans on-premises and off-premises resources.  

Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform creates a precise definition for each application and its associated environment. It encourages all members of the release process to take ownership and accountability for running a business service. Automation frees up admins to focus on efforts that deliver more value to the business, helping financial institutions reach their goals in a seamless, efficient manner. 

Red Hat helps financial institutions balance the pace of open source innovation with enterprise requirements to optimize business value. 

Learn more about the benefits Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform can offer your organization. New to Ansible? Learn the basics in this Ansible starter article.

CNN Money, “NYSE calls time out.” June 8, 2001. http://cnnfn.cnn.com/2001/06/08/markets/nyse_halt/