Three Benefits of Using DevOps to Accelerate Your Digital Strategy in Financial Services
Pop quiz: name a single organizational initiative that can increase collaboration between departments, reduce the effort spent on maintaining applications, and help increase revenue.
If you said “DevOps,” you get a check-plus. Congratulations!
Not too many business leaders have heard of DevOps, and among those that have, not too many have thought of it as anything other than something geeky that the IT guys and gals get excited about.
In order for business leaders like you to see DevOps as a real boon to your digital strategy, you have to see the benefits to implementing DevOps into your own organization. Fortunately, these benefits are very easy to identify.
Firms with DevOps spend some 60% less time handling support cases, and 33% more time on infrastructure improvements.
DevOps (and its big brother, Application Lifecycle Management initiative) simplifies your IT challenges by creating a common goal for the Dev and Ops team focusing on a single automated chain of software processes that contains everything from product conceptualization to design to build automation to test and release automation, performance management and support thereafter, all the way until app retirement.
It cuts through the clutter of manual processes, divergent goals, and the vicious cycle of constant firefighting by an overworked IT team delaying major strategic releases with critical new business functionality, and resulting in irate customers and unhappy investors.
By simplifying accountability and processes, DevOps is an effort saver for any firm. For a digital firm, where a huge amount of data, products and services need to be pushed to a vast number of stakeholders – clients, prospective clients, regulators, employees, advisors – through a bewildering array of channel options – smart-phone, laptop, voice, fax, email, PDF reports, xml feed, webchat - simplification goes beyond efficiencies, and is a survival tactic.
If correctly implemented, DevOps brings different people across a range of skills and duties together to achieve business results. This isn’t just for IT people to collaborate with other IT people; it’s for everyone to collaborate with everyone.
In the brave new digital world, a business process typically starts with a prospective customer accessing your firm’s app on her iPhone, sifting through the updated information on your products, services and locations, chatting with a representative about options, opening an account, perhaps making and paying for a transaction, all while sipping her non-fat no-whipped cappuccino. In order for your digital systems to be designed to seamlessly support this front-to-back business process, you need front office salespeople, traders, compliance, legal, back office operations, and IT to come together. An automated Application Lifecycle Management process is not fancy IT jargon, but a practical necessity for the iterative, agile software design and development that digital organizations cannot do without.
Innovation is now a social construct. True innovation happens when people have a common goal and an automated platform for collaboration across functions. For instance, a salesperson wonders aloud about a great new way to solve a customer pain-point (“Sometimes our clients see a product they love at the supermarket, and wonder if the manufacturer’s stock is a good option for their equities portfolio”), an IT designer responds to say that she knows how to implement it (“they can just snap a photo of the product and upload it on our app, we can match the logo and tell them if it is a public company, what it is trading at, and whether it would be a good fit for them”), an Ops manager gets in the action to set up the necessary processes, and someone from Marketing contributes ideas for the front-end interface design. If DevOps and ALM are implemented right at your firm, they can provide the backbone for true innovation in client management, which is ultimately measured in increased revenue and client satisfaction.
It isn’t often that the same initiative can be used to generate efficiency, collaboration and innovation. Conventional wisdom about IT projects speaks about having to choose any two between budgets, quality and time-to-market. With DevOps, you can have them all.