By Carlo Giovano, CPQi CTO.

The financial services industry has been rocked by technological advancements, causing all businesses within the sector to find ways to adapt and evolve. In fact, digital banking is on the rise like never before, with more and more banking institutions taking the steps to adopt digitally-based and virtual services.

Leveraging Agile deliveries has become a necessary component for any business looking to facilitate their own digital banking services. Financial institutions who wish to further their success and overcome technological challenges must embrace Agile methods of business in order to maintain their competitive edge.

Agile methodologies have a huge role in the success of digital banking and the financial industry as a whole. In this article, I will discuss how financial and banking professionals can leverage Agile deliveries, as well as why Agile has come to be so important.

The Role of Agile in Digital Banking

The Agile methodology was born out of collaboration between a collective of software developers seeking to improve the process of software development. A primary goal of Agile has always been to refocus the objectives of any software development project to be centered on customer satisfaction and quick response to changes delivering value as soon as possible.

In order to achieve strong digital banking technology and services, embracing Agile is a necessity for financial institutions. Agile ultimately helps in opening up clearer lines of communication and enabling greater collaboration within a business or organization.

Additionally, Agile provides the ability to deliver software, products, and updates with much greater speed compared to traditional methods.

Utilizing DevOps to Enable Greater Agility

By pairing the Agile methodology with a strong DevOps strategy, financial institutions are able to focus much more of their energy on the needs of their customers.

By combining DevOps with Agile, banks are given greater opportunity to create a solid framework that covers all of the necessary bases. A DevOps framework will help to ensure that not only are a business’ technological needs being met, but also that the business’ values and primary objectives are being upheld as well.

There are several key aspects to a strong DevOps framework, including:

  • Implementing strong organizational tactics for the management of crucial processes
  • Enabling continuous integration and development by employing specific engineering practices such as automation
  • Creating a workplace culture that is open to experimentation and innovation

The 5 Core Items in DevOps

DevOps covers many aspects of digital transformation, and is thus comprised of many different working parts. However, any effective DevOps strategy will be comprised of 5 core components:

  • Business Agility: A focus on business values and always doing the right the thing for both the business and its customers.
  • Flexible Architectures: Flexible architectures are enabled through a decoupling of evolution and innovation of software products.
  • Automation: Automation greatly impacts an institution’s scalability of operations, and DevOps focuses on the automation of deliveries, infrastructure processes, operational tasks, and security measures.
  • Cloud Infrastructure: The cloud is essential for DevOps, as it can drastically increase scalability while simultaneously lowering operational costs.
  • Intelligent Operations: Artificial intelligence, intuitive designs, and responsive operations are all key aspects that enable the innovations achieved through DevOps.

Three Layers for DevOps Transformations

When preparing to implement a DevOps transformation to better leverage Agile, it is important to understand the layers that make up a successful DevOps strategy.

Here at CPQi, we have identified and defined the following three layers as essential for DevOps transformations:

1. Strategy

As the first layer in DevOps, the strategy phase should involve business leaders and their teams taking the time to identify and outline a strategy and tactics that align closely with the business’ values. This can include a number of tasks, including:

  • Assessing current capabilities
  • Identifying quick wins
  • Defining practices and delivery models
  • Creating adoption and scale strategies

Governance

In the governance layer of DevOps is where business professionals will work to enable practices and platforms by establishing the proper governance and metrics.

This layer can include the following activities:

  • Coordinating adoption of new practices, systems, etc.
  • Providing technical coaching to ensure each team member has the proper knowledge and resources
  • Coordinating community initiatives to better enable collaborative efforts

Teams

The third layer of DevOps involves the business teams themselves, known as Squads. The Squads work in collaboration with one another to ensure the proper and continuous delivery of software and products.

Activities within the Teams phase includes:

  • Delivering essential products and software
  • Collaborating to identify issues and provide feedback for the DevOps model
  • Facilitating governance and strategy improvements.

The Importance of Cross-Functionality

A major advantage that is born out of adopting Agile methodologies and leveraging them for digital banking is the ability to improve a business’ cross-functionality.

For digital banking to be success, there must be a synchronization and cadence of all business teams under shared goals and roadmaps. Though these teams may be working on different activities and value streams, having this shared vision helps to clear the lines of communication and enable the highly-necessary ability for cross-functionality.

Rather than allowing the business structure to be organized into siloed departments, financial institutions must work to assess and re-organize the workflows of the professional environment to be more supportive of one another.

Enabling Professional Sustainability with Agile Deliveries

Leveraging Agile within a financial institution for the purpose of improving digital banking services ultimately helps to create a more sustainable business model.

As the world continues to become more digitally-oriented, having the technical structures and strategies in place to provide continuous development and delivery has become more important than ever for the survival of financial institutions.

By embracing Agile deliveries, banks can massively impact their own strength and ability for growth on an all-encompassing organizational level.

Final Thoughts

Digital banking is the future of the financial industry – and financial institutions will have to either find the proper ways to keep up or step aside and let their competition rise above.

Enabling Agile through a strong DevOps strategy is the key for banking professionals to maintain their professional edge by providing Agile deliveries that offer vastly-increased value to customers. Plus, as customer expectations continue to shift, Agile can help financial institutions to stay well-ahead of the curve.

This article was written by Carlo Giovano, Chief Technology Officer of CPQi, book a consultation or drop us an email at info@cpqi.com to speak further with him on this.