Supercharge your developers with agile and a DevOps platform

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Staying competitive in the modern financial services landscape requires that organisations deliver products and services at pace and at scale. It’s the focus of many digital transformation initiatives, which have only accelerated over the past year as the
demand for improved digital capabilities has increased. As cloud adoption continues across financial services, effective delivery is increasingly measured by frequency, i.e., how often new features, upgrades, changes, and entirely new services are delivered.

This growing pressure for the continuous delivery (CI/CD) of services, is driving the adoption of DevOps tools and practices, as well as agile methodologies, to enable this model. But rather than adopt piecemeal DevOps across teams or lines of business,
organisations should look to adopt or build DevOps platforms to quickly gain an advantage over their less agile competitors.

A quick break from legacy

Customers today no longer accept long lead times for new features or upgrades to core functions, such as reliability and security, which are usually delivered via infrequent product releases. This is fast becoming an outdated and frustrating method of delivery,
for both customers and developers.  

DevOps and agile offers a way out of this model that enables products to be broken down into smaller value streams, or microservices, which can be delivered and iterated on a continuous basis.

At its core, DevOps is a means of freeing up developers to focus on what they do best by automating processes that are essential but time consuming. While bespoke DevOps tools and practices exist for every part of the application development lifecycle, platforms
are a more efficient means of scaling this across an organisation.

Free your developers with a platform

Gartner states the benefits of the platform more starkly, predicting that 90% of enterprises “will fail to scale DevOps initiatives
if they do not create a shared self-service platform.” The reason for this is that DevOps is costly to implement piecemeal, as bespoke tooling, technology and talent is required for different services, which naturally increases technology ownership and overheads.

In financial services, we must ensure that applications are compliant and secure, as well as reliable. Ensuring the right tools, technology and quality checks are in place for each application is a time-consuming task that requires intervention and monitoring
from domain specialists along the application development lifecycle. The regulatory concerns around a payments application, for example, will likely be different to that of a loans application, as will the technologies used to build them.

With a platform model, quality gates and regulatory frameworks can be built in, providing service teams with the confidence that applications will be compliant and meet the required quality standards. Standardised tools and technologies, consumable via APIs,
eliminate the need for specialist engineers to manage and maintain their own technologies and tools, as well as the need for developers to fully understand them, as the platform’s in-built guardrails will prevent non-compliant apps from reaching the customer
environment.

 

By following these prescribed processes built into a DevOps platform, developers are free to focus more on ideation and innovation, which is the lifeblood of enterprise. Reducing the cognitive load on developers allows them to experiment and try out new
features while giving themselves the space to fail. Yet, true to CI/CD, they can fail fast and iterate accordingly with the next release, building learnings into the next sprint.

Improve the developer experience

DevOps improves delivery, but an agile framework for organizing features is also essential. The increased focus on microservices is driving the need for a more targeted approach to how we deliver software today. Ensuring team structure reflects this is just
as important as adopting the technologies that enable services to be delivered in this manner.

DevOps is cross-functional by definition. It enables automation of processes that would otherwise lead to hand-offs and increase work in progress. Agile is a means of eliminating hand-offs by bringing teams together and giving them collective ownership of
the entire application development lifecycle. Under an agile model, monitoring, security, QA, testing, and performance are the shared responsibility of the agile service team, a DevOps platform offers a prescribed method of taking care of them, which improves
the developer experience and increases the speed with which new features and services can be delivered.  

In short, paired with a DevOps platform, agile provides the continuous feedback needed for robust and frequent delivery, which is fast becoming the new ideal model for software delivery. Financial services firms yet to begin their DevOps journey should implement
a platform model to avoid becoming one of the 90% of enterprises Gartner predicts will fail to scale their DevOps initiatives. They should also go further and implement agile as their orchestration framework to maximise the potential agility dividends.

 

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