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Banking on automation to manage a multicloud financial services infrastructure

Banking on automation to manage a multicloud financial services infrastructure 1

By Greg Adams, Regional VP, UK&I, Dynatrace

In most industries, the early concerns about moving to the cloud were alleviated years ago. This has seen a widespread move to multicloud architectures over the past decade, as organisations seek the agility to keep up with rising customer expectations and rapidly changing market demands. However, for highly-regulated financial services firms, it was only more recently that the benefits of the cloud began to more seriously outweigh the argument for keeping many workloads on-premises. This has driven an accelerating shift to the cloud for banks and insurers.

Given the range of cloud services on the market, most of them are using more than one platform, and have workloads distributed across multiple environments. These multicloud strategies provide the agility and scalability that banks and insurers need to stay ahead, innovate faster and continually optimise digital services.

Keeping up with the cloud

While having multiple platforms to choose from offers financial organisations greater flexibility, each cloud in a multicloud environment increases complexity and adds a new source of data to monitor. This creates more work for overstretched IT teams, with manual infrastructure management preventing them from focusing on innovation. Indeed, our research found that IT teams in financial organisations spend nearly half (42%) of their time on manual, routine work just to ‘keep the lights on’ within IT infrastructure.

These teams clearly need a more sustainable approach to managing cloud environments, which then frees up time that can be reinvested into driving digital transformation and delivering the high-quality financial services experiences customers want.

Keeping up with the competition

Having more time available for innovation is critical. Financial institutions are expected to keep our money safe and accessible, in today’s market, they must also provide a constant stream of new digital services. Whether customers are making an insurance claim, opening a mortgage, or transferring money between accounts, they expect a seamless digital experience. If financial organisations don’t deliver on this, customers will switch to a competitor that can.

To achieve these world-class digital experiences, financial institutions’ IT teams need to manage infrastructure performance effectively. To do so, they need clear, end-to-end observability in their multicloud environment. Unfortunately, this visibility is not easy to achieve, as blind spots continue to creep in as infrastructure becomes more complex.

Each new cloud platform comes with its own native monitoring solution, such as Amazon CloudWatch or Azure Monitor, which adds another source of data IT teams must keep up with. These teams have gradually found themselves grappling with a growing range of tools that they must layer on top of traditional monitoring solutions to track activity throughout their IT infrastructure.

Our research indicates that, on average, financial institutions rely on seven different monitoring solutions to manage multicloud environments. This leaves teams inundated by data; they are forced to spend more and more time manually piecing together insights from different dashboards to keep their multicloud infrastructure running effectively, and identify issues in their digital services. The strain of that task undercuts the time they have to drive innovation and create value for the business.

Keeping up with the times

Clearly, traditional monitoring approaches are no longer effective.

Financial services institutions need to empower IT teams with a more intelligent approach to infrastructure monitoring. By harnessing AIOps (artificial intelligence for IT operations), IT teams can automate as many manual infrastructure management tasks as possible. This eliminates blind spots by continuously discovering and instrumenting multicloud infrastructure as the environment changes. As a result, teams can maintain end-to-end observability without needing to invest time and effort in manual monitoring processes.

AIOps can also enable IT teams to automatically triage alerts that indicate a potential disruption to the digital experience, and surface the precise insights needed to resolve issues before they affect users and customers.

With an AIOps approach, IT teams can understand the cause of any issues within their multicloud infrastructure and prioritise them according to their predicted impact on the business. That enables IT teams to solve the most critical issues first and refocus their efforts on tasks that accelerate the delivery of high-quality, innovative, and reliable financial services experiences.

Arm teams with a strategy for success

Financial institutions face fierce competition. Fintech companies that were born digital can innovate quickly, as they don’t have the complexity of managing a legacy on-premises environment alongside modern cloud platforms. More established banks and insurers have embraced multicloud infrastructure to secure the agility they need to drive innovation. Those that don’t keep up will fall by the wayside. However, as financial institutions continue their transition to multicloud architecture, it’s critical to ensure that infrastructure runs smoothly.

Creating seamless digital services and driving customer satisfaction are key strategic objectives for any organisation. Adopting infrastructure monitoring strategies that harness AI and automation can help organisations deliver on these goals. Reducing the burden of manual tasks on IT teams will also enable them to refocus their time and effort on projects that accelerate digital transformation, drive better outcomes for the business, and provide world-class financial services experiences.

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