By Dharmendra Kapadia, Senior Director, Head of Financial Services and Insurance at Grid Dynamics
Digital transformation has become increasingly important for banks and other financial institutions. As consumers have become more willing to adopt digital technologies, many organizations have taken note, introducing new products that enable better, more transparent experiences. However, successfully developing and deploying the platforms that will enable these products requires a significant investment in both time and money, e.g., enabling technologies, employee development, etc. And in today’s uncertain times, it can be daunting.
To successfully manage this type of digital transformation in today’s challenging economy, businesses need to ensure they include DevOps in their journey to make the most of their software investments. By focusing on the people, technologies and processes that bring development and operations teams together, organizations can shorten their development cycles, create and improve products at a faster pace, and ensure the continuous delivery of high-quality software.
All Roads Go Through DevOps
While the foundation of digital transformation is technology, it isn’t a solution on its own. In fact, many digital transformations fail because the end result – the technology – is the only consideration from a business perspective. Development Operations (aka DevOps) is typically the last thing people think about. However, it’s the one thing that every new platform needs to succeed.
DevOps is the combination of practices and tools that are designed to increase an organization’s ability to deliver applications and services, faster and more efficiently than traditional software development processes. Once new code is developed by the software team, it still needs to be tested and deployed. By building a strong bond between Software Development, IT Operations, and other business stakeholders, DevOps allows for shorter, more controllable software iterations that are enabled via the adoption of new tools, best practices, and automation.
Automation plays a key role in DevOps. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is another piece that can augment DevOps success. DevOps and AI are interdependent: DevOps provides a business-driven approach to delivering software, and AI is the technology that drives the hands-off, real-time functionality.
When combined with machine learning, anomaly detection, automated root cause analysis (RCA) and predictive insights, AI can accelerate routine operational tasks. These emerging technologies can transform how DevOps teams manage and resolve development issues, making them a crucial component for the successful deployment of new financial services applications.
Unlike traditional software development practices, an Agile development methodology provides the framework for an iterative approach to software development. This framework focuses on collaboration between cross-functional teams to find solutions, feedback from customers to improve quality, and quick releases to meet deadlines.
An Agile technology infrastructure is a prerequisite for rapid software development and deployments, as well as continuous, non-disruptive upgrades to the product. This can include cloud and data virtualization technologies, which enable organizations to easily and cost-efficiently store the increasing amounts of data being generated every day.
Adopting Agile processes that focus on end-to-end software delivery (instead of just code completion) make both the software development and development cycles more efficient.
Scaling Engineering to Go Digital
The principles of DevOps go beyond just improving software development processes. They also help foster stronger, more productive teams. However, many organizations stumble when they attempt to scale their engineering teams to support their digital transformation plans.
While internal teams will be familiar with an organization’s existing codebase, toolstack, and development process, they may not have the specialized skills necessary to develop the innovative applications and modern experiences using new technologies that customers have come to expect with their digital interactions. In situations like this, it’s often helpful to work with a 3rd party engineering partner that can provide the necessary skills. These partner firms build innovative teams that are continually trained, practice Agile development, and deliver high-performance engineering expertise that isn’t always readily available in-house.
For banks and other financial institutions to successfully manage their digital transformations end-to-end, it is imperative they focus on DevOps to make the most of their software investments. By automating their software development and delivery processes, adopting an Agile methodology, and ensuring their teams have the right skill sets, they will be able to shorten their development cycles, create and improve products at a faster pace, and ensure the continuous delivery of high-quality software.