DevOps is sometimes viewed as a passing trend within the financial industry, which may be attributed to a limited understanding of its fundamental principles. To effectively incorporate DevOps, it is essential to comprehend its underlying philosophy and customize it to meet the unique requirements of your organization.
The concept of DevOps has gained significant traction within the IT industry and continues to grow in popularity. While DevOps has been in practice for several years, its recent surge in adoption can be attributed to various reasons, including its demonstrated ability to enhance productivity and reduce expenses. Additionally, DevOps facilitates the swift integration of new technological trends and encourages seamless collaboration between diverse teams within an organization.
Despite the numerous advantages that DevOps offers, certain individuals remain skeptical of its potential to provide a competitive edge over rivals who have not yet adopted the methodology or may not do so in the future. In this article, we will explore some common misconceptions surrounding the implementation of DevOps in financial services organizations and try to uncover the reality behind them.
Myth #1: DevOps Is All About IT, While Project Management Is Unimportant
It’s a common misconception that DevOps has nothing to do with project management, i.e., getting things done on time and within budget. On the contrary, the key to understanding DevOps is about bringing the business and IT together to make changes. The importance of managing projects with a DevOps approach lies in having a master plan but not sticking to it rigidly and accommodating need-based changes as you proceed. In fact, it would be a good idea for FinServs to have a plan that adapts to the changes in the trending technologies and market needs.
DevOps aims to fundamentally tweak IT operations by making all stakeholders responsible for the product life cycle such that there’s no discrepancy in the continuous delivery/deployment process. This not only reduces TTM but also embeds the principles of continuous integration/improvement in the organizational ethics. Agility in software development when combined with a holistic approach to run a show with tools such as Kanban can bring true benefits of high velocity development at scale.
Scrum methodology has been a defining feature for software development as it can see through individual components for their progress, that helps keep up the sprint and avoids lapses. Effective project management can then be viewed as an essential inclusion in the DevOps culture to encash incremental value from procedural bottlenecks.
Myth #2: Automation Is Just a Step
Automation is crucial, but it’s not a magic wand. It’s not a single milestone in the DevOps journey. With automation, you can improve quality and deployment efficiency by eliminating manual tasks prone to human error. Infrastructure automation with Kubernetes or Terraform ensures that your team of developers has all the information they need before making changes, so they can focus more on code than configuration management (CM). However, there are still some things that cannot be automated —for example:
- You need people who know how to configure their infrastructure so they can change it when needed without having access only through scripts;
- You may want an automated test suite which can verify if everything works as expected before releasing something into production;
- You might want an automated deployment process;
Without these prerequisites, it can be counterproductive to embark upon automation. The scare around automating FinServs stems from the thought of probable financial loss to the industry participants, but that’s a false pretense. When the goals are quantified beforehand for ROI analysis with a properly tested system, the chances of loss reduce in-effect with automation. Per IDC, FinOps has become popular lately to optimize business costs, with 80% of the organizations predicted to have dedicated functions for it by the end of 2023.
Myth #3: The Software and Hardware Environments of FinServ Companies Are Not Compatible With DevOps
You might not care about the software and hardware environments of FinServ companies and instead just want DevOps to help improve the application delivery process. But changing the processes developers use will not automatically lead them towards better customer outcomes. This is because sometimes there’s no clear correlation between how well something works on paper versus how well it performs in practice (and vice versa).
Yet another misconception roots from the thought that new technologies like Docker containers could replace existing infrastructure systems entirely without any changes whatsoever. Unfortunately, this is far from the truth since most organizations still rely heavily on legacy systems that require significant upgrades before successfully integrating these cloud tools into their existing infrastructures.
Summing it up, the problem is not in the infrastructural compatibility of FinServ and DevOps but in the fact that the transformation is often rash and misguided. The security of FinServ infrastructure is not impeded by cloud-native development. Instead, Gartner predicts it will help in product-oriented development for 95% of the digital workloads by 2025.
Myth #4: Compliance Becomes Troublesome With DevOps
Compliance is not a hindrance to DevOps. It should be a part of the DevOps process. Compliance is more than just following rules; it’s about establishing customer trust and securing data. Adopting DevOps helps bring InfoSec into the loop from its very inception, simplifying compliance later on. Once you’ve adopted this mindset across your organization, information security becomes easier to manage because everyone knows what needs to be done and when they need to do it—and why!
Now, automation is not a blanket solution, but the continuous delivery feature of the DevOps culture does depend on automation for seamless compliance. Entire pipelines can be made compliant with tools such as Jenkins, instead of individual releases to ensure thorough security. The core principle of DevSecOps that ideates on incorporating security from the inception of SDLC has proven advantageous for 96% of the respondents. In fact, DevOps adoption has been helping FinTech and even traditional banking players to provide secure, uninterrupted service.
Myth #5: DevOps Is Plug and Play
The term DevOps has become a buzzword. It’s been around for years, but the recent popularity of Linux and open source has brought it to the forefront of our consciousness. While there are many similarities between traditional IT operations and DevOps, there are also differences that make them different from one another in their approach and methodology.
For example, traditional IT teams often focus only on application development without considering other factors, such as security or availability, which can lead to problems when implementing new systems or planning upgrades.
On the other hand, DevOps is a custom-built solution that aims to achieve business efficiency by making the best use of tools at hand and ensuring they align with your company’s goals. The importance of collaboration, risk and innovation cannot be exaggerated to build a productive DevOps culture.
DevOps aims for robustness with scalability through cross-functional collaboration and clear communication that brings in the advantage of transparency.
Rise Above the Myths
In conclusion, adopting DevOps in Financial Services should be intuitive rather than compulsive. It should be noted that the need for well-structured end-to-end processes is most heightened in the financial sector due to high stakes. In a bid to adopt a fad, centralized controls tend to stifle innovation, which in turn ends up hampering growth.
If you would like to receive practical guidance on overcoming these challenges and ensuring that your organization remains on track with its DevOps journey, reach out to us.