Introduction to DevOps
DevOps is a cultural shift that focuses on automation and boosts organizational capabilities to deliver & manage products/services in an accelerated manner. Simply put, DevOps the new way of working by linking two IT verticals: Software Development (Dev) and IT Operations (Ops.).
It has been one of the major cultural shifts seen in the last decade and impacted all sectors positively. Despite the Banking and Financial Services (BFSI) landscape complexity, DevOps practices have made partial product developments in traditional companies. With the emergence of digital and mobile native banks, fintech companies, and new financial models, there is an increasing need for speed, stability, and security. Hence, BFSI firms need to stay relevant and ahead in the market. DevOps helps address this fundamental shift in the processes of software development and operations. Though DevOps practices are widespread across BFSI companies, it is still developing due to complexities in the co-existence of legacy and digital systems and security & regulatory compliance requirements.
The Covid-19 onslaught created an imminent need to reinvent business models quickly to respond to this changing business landscape. Hence, enterprises had to implement automated frameworks ensuring limited physical contact with customers—for instance, video KYC, digital verification for account opening during lockdowns. From development to project live, the introduction of these features to customers only took a few weeks. Without mature agile and DevOps practices in place with leading banks, this would not have been possible.
Key aspects for success
- Organization change supporting end-to-end product/service ownership and accountability
- Collaboration across teams with shared responsibilities
- Automation of everything
- Simplification of processes
- Clearly defined measures with visibility and transparency
BFSI companies are upgrading existing infrastructures & moving to the cloud. Hence, DevOps adoption is an integral part of the digital transformation making the cloud journey lighter and more effective.
Essential DevOps practices followed by successful BFSI firms:
- Simplify internal processes and collaborate to enable continuous flow – continuous integration, testing, monitoring, and release management
- Full-fledged security integration throughout the application lifecycle using DevSecOps
- Continuous improvement process including rapid feedback cycles, effective monitoring, and reporting mechanisms
- Empowering teams, establishing accountability, and providing direct approvals and automation setup for continuous flow – Data-driven audit controls, risk mitigation, continuous testing.
- Rationalize tools across IT lifecycle, public cloud platforms and simplify with a ready-to-use DevOps integrated environment
- Establish cross-skilled teams with an open mindset to continuous learning and continuous change
Applications of DevOps in BFSI
As per the Claranet Study, 30% of financial services companies have transitioned entirely to the DevOps approach, while 61% of companies expect to shift to DevOps within the next two years.
Eminent banks that embraced DevOps have reaped significant business value; a few prominent use cases in the industry are enunciated here :
The Capital One DevOps case :
The US digital bank commenced its Agile and DevOps transformation by implementing the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe). As an early adopter of DevOps, they defined their pipeline with 16 gates enabling a continuous flow from ‘deployment’ to ‘commitment’ with relevant well-defined metrics (e.g., wait time, automated releases). Currently, 7000+ engineers work on 50000+ code deployments daily.
It is crucial to understand that DevOps is more about integrating teams than its systems. Despite the technological advancements undertaken, the vital factor in DevOps is people. The following case gives us insight into DevOps as a cultural transformation.
The ING case :
Despite the transformation, the company noticed that business results remained stagnant with its existing software delivery practices negating Agile software development efficiencies. Likewise, the shift from traditional software delivery to DevOps did not reap benefits as the business was not streamlined. Hence, ING decided to revamp its current organizational structure by creating 360 cross-functional teams. This reorganization exercise improved productivity, boosted time-to-market, and enhanced employee engagement.
DevOps is a continuously maturing practice and has garnered interest from stakeholders and employees alike. The ability to meet the ever-expanding user needs with quick solutions delivery has resulted in broader adoption in the BFSI industry, with varying maturity levels. The introduction of emerging technologies (such as big data analytics, machine learning, or blockchain) into BFSI companies’ digital transformation has brought about the need to embrace DevOps to streamline and transform their organizational processes. Ultimately, whether a company’s ultimate goal is profit linked or overall productivity, NSEIT’s DevOps offering is the path to generate real business value from digital transformation.