The financial services industry (FSI) has gotten the message: customer expectations have changed radically. They want to experience banking services through multiple digital channels, and they want those services to go well beyond the generic products that traditional banks typically offer. Customers are looking for personalization, are comfortable with service automation, and are eager to get what they need quickly and easily.
As the value chain for financial institutions’ services expands along with the need to deliver new and relevant customer offerings, their dexterity is being put to the test, according to an article by The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). To enable the flexibility and agility they need to support a dynamic environment, they’ve begun to create a culture of continuous delivery (CD). This allows for continuous cross-channel development, may allow deployment of features in hours rather than months, and lends support for performing system upgrades with zero downtime and without disturbing the customer experience.
Those who were early onto the DevOps train are moving forward to a model of continuous delivery, which revolves around refining digital processes to further enhance their digital transformation efforts. They’re embracing a DevOps 2.0 mindset by further embracing refined digital processes that help power the continuous delivery model, including making databases and applications more accessible, so that teams can work better together. This may result in a hybrid IT environment, underpinned by open source technologies with the ability to scale IT platforms using public and private cloud environments. It also includes better coordination and collaboration with non-technical business partners as they gain experience in delivering groundbreaking customer experiences.
DevOps in action
At Macquarie, the global banking and financial services group, the adoption of DevOps has driven collaboration to better serve customers as well as manage risks, according to Tony Graham, head of product and technology at the company and featured in a Red Hat customer case study. The digital culture it has set in place, married to the development and deployment practices of DevOps, creates a virtuous cycle for organizations such as Macquarie, each reinforcing the need for constant digital refinements, transformations, and innovation. As Graham explained in this EIU article, the catalyst for change comes from the awareness that Macquarie is not just competing against other banks but also strives to deliver the same best-of-breed digital experiences that customers get with services such as Amazon, Facebook, and Netflix.
As much as anything, the digital refinement process also demands embracing technology models that reduce complexity. That’s key if financial organizations are to proactively anticipate shifts in customer desires and ever-more-quickly adapt to deliver features that satisfy them.
Support from a smarter-fit technology partner – one that brings together expertise in creating modern, dynamic, and efficiency-oriented software infrastructures and that offers keen strategic insights – can help, as can the adoption of open source, next-gen architectures, as the EIU explains in another article.
These software architectures are composed of reliable platforms built to keep pace with rapid development cycles. They simplify provisioning and deployments through automation. So, they are well-suited to support the maturation of software delivery practices that make it possible for the continuous integration and delivery of code changes to take customer experiences to the next level. Cloud-based containers that let developers package and isolate apps with everything they need to run and that ease the move of applications between development, testing, and production environments are intrinsically linked to these architectures.
The future of banking and financial services institutions likely rests on rebuilding their organizations to meet customer expectations. With the right DevOps culture, practices, and business and technology models, that future for such institutions is becoming "the programmable digital native bank."