The Impact of DevOps on Financial Services


In the modern business world, companies are working towards process efficiency and quality goods and services. With rapidly developing customer demands, financial organizations have been left with no choice but up their game to remain competitive.

Different companies have set a high pace of service delivery and standard.

Most are implementing the development operations (DevOps) intending to be more responsive to the constantly changing and insatiable customer demands and gain a competitive advantage.

The Impact of DevOps on Financial Services

What is DevOps?

DevOps is a philosophy that aims at integrating two teams – software development and operations (a testing team) – to enable a swift and more steady release of digital products to consumers. This can be achieved by automating several steps previously dependent on human interventions.

COVID-19 triggered one of the most significant technological pressures on organizations causing a paradigm shift from the usual application of technology necessitated by the health guidelines around the country, such as social distancing.

As a result, estimates for handling daily transactions digitally are currently as high as between 60 and 85% in the Western European market. In the US, representatives of different generations are also expected to use online and mobile banking more.

Digital Banking Usage

DevOps is driven by the urge of service providers and their clients to access each other quickly by cutting the brick-and-mortar restrictions.

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Five ways DevOps is changing the financial world

DevOps and other similar Agile methodologies have slowly penetrated through the strict finance industry.

However, with the current improved infrastructure, we are likely to see a continuous substantial transformation tailored to the current requirements of a modern world. 

DevOps borrows from the Agile methodology, which stresses on: 

  • giving value to individuals and interactions over concentrating on processes and tools 
  • customer collaboration rather than contract negotiation
  • responding to change rather than following the laid down plan
  • a working software rather than comprehensive documentation

This allows organizations to critically analyze the various methods in which DevOps revolutionizes the financial sector and then choose which model works for them. Remember, not every model works with every business.

“The mindset of agile being a destination rather than a journey is a common pitfall.”

Julienne McLean, an agility lead for consumer and community banking technology at JPMorgan Chase

Below we look at five ways in which DevOps steadily bring change in the financial service world.

Modernizing outdated systems

The process of constantly updating systems is imperative in the IT architecture of modern-day financial systems. This can include applications, delivery, and service streams which ultimately ensure continuity and stability.

Updated systems also guarantee the efficiency of organizations’ business processes and the companies’ sustainable performance.

Since the early 90s, developers have been on a journey of improvements such as re-engineering and re-building to enable organizations and businesses to operate using data-driven, intelligent, automated systems.

This has been necessitated by the fact that legacy systems are bulky, inefficient, and highly vulnerable to security breaches.

Improving security and compliance

As time changes, old systems lose their security controls because they use old tools, ancient architecture, encompass unsupported infrastructure versions, and obsolete self-checking methods.

To avoid the risk of security breaches and vulnerabilities, developers continuously come up with new developments.

In recent times, the financial services industry had serious concerns with DevOps as it replaced legacy practices.

Due to its enhanced velocity of software releases, there was a feeling that these practices would be a significant risk to security and compliance with regulatory controls.

However, organizations that have embraced DevOps have shown that these practices enhance security and enforce compliance since they align with the continuously changing compliance regulations.

DevOps continuous releases ensure the software is optimized, can deal with new security threats and delivery pipelines, document and process checking are automated. All these also secure client information against hackers.

Increasing transparency

Even when efficient use of applications and automation is encouraged, we cannot downplay the human aspect.

People are one of the main hindrances in implementing DevOps in organizations along with legacy architecture and lack of automation.

The percentage differs from 21% for mid-evolution teams to 31% for low-evolution teams, so it’s necessary to promote a collaborative culture where all teams work towards the same goal and not act as adversaries.

If taken holistically, DevOps creates a system dedicated to improving the technology continuously, processes involved, and people running the processes, resulting in happier employees. 

Automating anything that can be automated

Automation has become an integral part of our society, ensuring resource utilization, developer productivity, and ultimate product quality.

With automation, financial service providers, such as banks, investment funds, lenders, etc., can automate their back-end and repetitive processes.

This will allow the staff of such companies to concentrate on the organization’s core business instead of during routine tasks. 

DevOps also aids the integration of technology in the financial industry – FinTech – to deliver financial services. Since the internet revolution with faster speeds and the advent of smartphones, fintech has grown exponentially.

These days people use fintech in their daily lives without even knowing; mobile money transactions, online money transfers, online interbank transfers are all fintech.

So fintech has improved service delivery to customers, allowing them to transact at the comfort of their homes, bypassing physical bank services. 

Altering the financial industry culture forever

The global culture changes, and so does everything else, including financial services. It is funny how things that would be considered outrageous some time ago are now the norm.

DevOps shouldn’t be focused on just changing a system and processes; it is effective if only it changes an organization’s mindset.

The philosophy breaks down the deliverables so that rather than assigning a whole team to work on a system, smaller teams can work independently on small deployable units, creating a working system. 

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DevOps, finance and the future: What’s next?

With the initial fears, organizations and businesses had about DevOps, who thought it would succeed? Many believed that Ops would be the source of significant insecurities, but on the contrary, it eliminates the security risks before they become substantial problems.

Furthermore, in this era of even faster technology such as 5G, which hackers can utilize to deploy more sophisticated attacks even at a higher velocity, DevOps will assist in dealing with such issues.

DevOps services will continue to play a vital role in continuous testing and integration, release and deployment, and application monitoring.

Incorporate security in your DevOps cycle to have DevSecOps to ensure you reap the full benefit of secured processes.

Remember, the financial service industry is sensitive. This then calls for organizations to strike a balance between high-speed delivery and high-security standards and compliance.

They cannot be separated if you want to comply with the regulations while simultaneously maintaining your customer’s trust.

To enjoy DevOps benefits, organizations should take a holistic approach that will only unleash its full potential if its underlying mindset changes, ideas, and principles are understood and applied daily.