In the actual scenario, the biggest banks, the financial companies and all other enterprises, have to face the digital transformation in an innovative way to stay competitive and to satisfy the customers’ needs. DevOps and agile methodology adoption and its corresponding infrastructural adjustment through containers and process development automation practices, are fundamental to ensure success and quality to the application development process, in a fast and flexible way. In the following article we would like to analyse how a bank must exploit these innovative drivers to implement a successful strategy.
The Digital Bank is DevOps
The financial sector is growing and transforming very fast and there is the necessity to meet the market's needs and expectations in the shortest possible time, for example concerning the “mobility” and the real-time information delivery; everything is moving towards the Digital Bank model.
IT sectors are facing a really big effort towards an application development methodology change, to reduce the time to market and to increase the released software quality. From this perspective, issues like:
- Legacy systems usage
- “silo” company culture
represent huge barriers to this software development methodology changes.
A good starter point adopted by our financial customers is represented by the comprehension of what the processes automation really means, and the consequent implementation of the DevOps methodology, which support the theory that a lot of little changes are easier to manage than the less but bigger ones.
As we said in some previews articles, the main steps to implement DevOps methodology for banks are an initial cultural change and the switch from a classic model to a development one, based on:
- Automated Testing and Continuous integration & delivery
The solution is the Platform as a Service, or PaaS
What is it?
A solution that helps the Enterprises to make everything in an easier and more integrated way, is the Platform as a Service, a cloud development environment through which the provider delivers the hardware staff, the operative system, the application platforms and the required stack for development, everything from the DevOps perspective: web server, database management system, support and development tools and the resources needed for the application realization and development. PaaS allows to manage and support a large number of different tools together, through one application only.
The OpenShift PaaS
The best PaaS software is Red Hat OpenShift Enterprise. In the DevOps field, this solution can be integrated with some technologies like:
- Container Software
- Container Packaging
- Container Orchestration
- Continuous Integration
- Cloud Management
- Languages/frameworks out-of-the-box
Software development using Containers
Container technology is a great DevOps methodology enabler because it gets the adoption of fundamentals practices easier: more specifically, it makes the release and test processes automatic, similar to the production one because each environment, from development to production, shall be placed on a container-based platform. As said before, the container platform becomes a Platform as a Service (PaaS), providing a uniform environment on which the software’s applications will be released.
Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform is, in our opinion, the best PaaS platform, that allows big companies, as the financial ones, to make a qualitative leap towards a faster and more flexible application development.
It helps to implement distributed, advanced and scalable services based on Docker containers, about which we have already explained the advantages, and which can be orchestrated by Kubernetes, combining the applications with all the files they depend to, making the production and development environments uniform and making the application distribution easier.
Every application written using OpenShift can be quickly and easily developed also outside this environment, from the developer’s pc for example, from the datacentre or from the cloud, giving developers the opportunity to move easily, removing the vendor lock-in, allowing possible future migrations from the development environment and reducing the infrastructure costs.
The Red Hat OpenShift benefits for Banks
OpenShift is a platform that allows dynamic enterprises like Banks to offer innovative solutions before the competitors, satisfying the customers’ needs.
Additionally, RedHat OpenShift is the right platform that helps to:
- use the Hybrid Cloud
- implement the DevOps methodology
- adopt innovations and optimize the existent IT resources and tools
Using this platform, together with the DevOps model adoption, you will be able to:
- develop applications and deliver updates faster to improve the services quality;
- implement a digital environment for the application development in few minutes;
- application delivery work flow standardization;
- shift the developers focus to innovation and to the new delivery assets;
- increase the developers’ productivity.
Let’s talk about few examples from companies belonging to Banking sector, that have already implemented this technology, analysing the advantages they obtained.
BBVA is using the Red Hat Container Platform technology to manage the financial transactions on digital devices and to offer online bank services to their customers. More specifically, BBVA implemented a IaaS and PaaS based platform that allows developers to focus on the applications creation able to support the growing number of digital services requests and to provide customers with on-demand services and information.
Raquel Martín, Global Head of Business Process Architecture and Artificial Intelligence Technology at Bbva, said:
“Our Red Hat technology will help facilitate innovation at BBVA and accelerate
the transformation of processes to be more digital, more automatic, more
convenient for customers, and definitely more efficient.”
Even Barclays uses the Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform. Thanks to this solution, this financial services global provider based in London, updated its IT infrastructure and adopted the DevOps and Agile application approach, to innovate faster and remain competitive.
Thanks to PaaS and to containerization, Barclays found a 70% reduction of time spent to release a new application and the 80% increase of the underneath infrastructure’ use.
Stephen Fletcher, DevOps Lead Engineer for Channels Engineering at Barclays, declared:
“I think there’s an intrinsic attitude among tech people to make things better,
to see actual results. Particularly with automation, when you show a colleague how they
can stand up a test environment in just a few steps, you don’t need metrics—you can
see on their face how happy they are with what the technology can do.”
Containers and PaaS are only a part of the whole DevOps methodology’s practices that make the software development process faster and higher quality, allowing companies to be more competitive in an increasingly dynamic market.
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