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Being part of a highly regulated industry, with rigid organizational hierarchies and strict reporting lines, banks have been known to be risk-averse. Although today, most Indian banks provide a multitude of new-age services using modern technology, it is a result of several years of comprehensive assessment and evaluation. 

Being responsive to the changing needs of the market and the modern, empowered customer isn’t their forte. And that’s precisely why the time has come for them to adopt DevOps, so they can break down the silos between different departments, collaborate more effectively on a person-to-person basis and keep pace with the changing times. 

Why banks are adopting DevOps

With the consequences of any failure being extremely high, Indian banks need to possess a degree of ownership. They need to understand how code is deployed, how various systems perform and interact with each other, and more. And that’s why banks are turning towards DevOps, so they can improve how banking products are developed and provide customers with error-free transactions and seamless banking experience. 

Although the industry has been slow to embrace DevOps, in 2020, adoption will be picking up immense steam. There are several reasons why banks are adopting DevOps: 

• To meet the anytime, anywhere banking demands of the tech-savvy customer and provide innovative services across multiple channels.  

• To keep up with the disruption that is happening in the Indian banking sector.

• To stay a step ahead of new-age banks that are driving innovation like never before. 

• To personalize customer experiences and continuously deliver value through the products and services that are offered. 

• To build new, reliable systems and features quickly and provide stable and engaging customer experiences for long-term trust and loyalty. 

• To drive collaborative relationships and transparent workflows across the development lifecycle and boost operational efficiency and innovation.  

• To identify and rectify development bugs quickly and improve the security of banking transactions. 

• Integrate security early in the development lifecycle, ensure transparency, and eliminate compliance bottlenecks. 

How banks can adopt DevOps

Indian banks looking to embrace DevOps need to set foot on the right note. Understanding the need for DevOps, educating the team about the benefits, and making changes in organizational culture are all part of the game. 

Here are some tips to get you started: 

•  Understand the overall business goals and priorities: DevOps adoption isn’t just about integrating the development and operations teams or leveraging a handful of tools. It’s about understanding the rationale behind DevOps implementation and looking at the bigger picture. Focusing on overall business goals and priorities and determining how and where DevOps can drive maximum value is essential. 

• Focus on customer experience: Although there’s a lot DevOps brings to the table, for mid-sized Indian banks, DevOps implementation needs to be a lot more about customer experience. This means DevOps activities should be focused on aspects that are important for the modern tech-savvy customer – including things like enabling seamless mobile banking, personalizing experiences based on past behavior, and providing engaging interactions in an omnichannel landscape. 

• Focus on enterprise agility: Mid-sized Indian banks that have been operating for decades have tons of legacy systems that have evolved in this time. Integrating new-age apps with these archaic systems is challenging and results in substantial tech sprawl. When adopting DevOps, banks need to re-architect (or retire) their legacy systems that restrict their ability to move quickly and with agility. They need to have processes in place that enable build, test, and deployment automation, so they can support faster release cycles. 

• Stakeholder buy-in and involvement: For banks that have been opposed to sudden, significant technology advancements, DevOps success might not come so quickly. For DevOps adoption to triumph, banks will need to ensure stakeholder buy-in and involvement – from beginning to end. This means DevOps implementation teams will have to build a strong business case and make sure stakeholders understand the need for adoption. 

• Define clear KPI and put together a framework for continuous measurement and refinement: A DevOps implementation project, although critical, also brings along its share of challenges and bottlenecks. If banks want to ensure they achieve outcomes as intended, they need to have a robust reporting mechanism in place. This means putting together a framework for continuous measurement and refinement and defining clear KPIs, so teams can track their progress and make changes as required. 

• Cautiously automate: Given how cautious banks are in adopting new technology, it also makes sense for them to embrace automation carefully. Make sure to carefully study the enterprise architecture and embrace tools in a way that drives consistency and future sustainability. While automating processes, start with just a handful of core processes that stand to benefit the most and then move towards bringing more tasks under the realm of automation. 

• Don’t ignore compliance and security: While implementing DevOps with the aim of improving collaboration, reducing manual work and improving the speed of bug identification and rectification can be beneficial, banks also need to make sure to drive continuous attention to compliance and security. Since even the slightest iota of non-compliance can result in significant repercussions, banks need to focus on safety, stability, and resilience. Make security your top priority; if required, embrace DevSecOps to integrate security aspects from the start of the development cycle. 

As new waves of technology innovation sweep the banking sector, it is time for Indian banks to embrace the world of DevOps and open up a world of opportunities to improve product quality, drive agility, and meet the growing demands of the modern banking customer. 

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