Last time, we addressed the pressing question ‘What Problem Is Digital Transformation Trying to Solve?’. We concluded that it is the challenge today’s organisations face to remain competitive in the rapidly evolving digital landscape, where internet-driven consumers and new-entry disruptors are transforming industry demands on a massive scale.
You can read the full blog here – but today we’re going to be looking at where DevOps fits into the Digital Transformation journey.
The key differentiator between a successful organisation and one that falls short of modern demands is found in customer experience, convenience and communication – and that means web and mobile applications. Speedy development, efficient deployment, high reliability and regular updates are what separate winning apps from poor ones. Winning apps need a winning strategy, and, in modern development terms, that means DevOps.
The Need for Speed: What is DevOps?
DevOps is a working culture that breaks down the traditional siloes between software development, quality assurance and operations teams, enabling all stakeholders in the application life-cycle to work together – from concept through to design, development, production and support.
Meaningful Digital Transformation requires organisations to be agile in their software delivery. They need to be able to innovate quicker and bring new products to market sooner. This calls for new, more productive ways of working. Software applications are today’s true sources of differentiation, and, put simply, DevOps is the process that accelerates delivery of high-quality software – and that is why the adoption of DevOps techniques are being used by 74% of technology professionals working today (a figure that rises to 81% at enterprise level).
Ultimately, however, DevOps should be viewed in terms of delivering improved business outcomes. Responsiveness is at the heart of DevOps – as it is of Digital Transformation – and this is where the true value lies. The ability to deliver new software at break-neck speeds enables the timely delivery of value-added services to customers, which aids both retention and acquisition, ultimately improving reputation and revenue.
Let’s take the financial services sector as an example.
FinTech Is Forcing Banks to Digitally Transform
Traditional banks are currently facing massive competition from FinTech (financial technology) disruptors. Whereas just a few short years ago, the big banks pretty much monopolised the whole of the financial industry, today they face market threats from all angles – be it alternative lenders, digital wallets, or even cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin that remove payments from their grasp altogether.
The Millennials Disruption Index provides insight into how consumers currently view the banking sector. Out of 10,000 respondents to the survey conducted:
- 53% don’t think their bank offers anything different than other banks.
- 71% would rather go to the dentist than listen to what banks are saying.
- 68% say that in five years, the way we access our money will be totally different.
- 70% say that in five years, the way we pay for things will be totally different.
- 73% would be more excited about a new offering in financial services from Google, Amazon, Apple, PayPal, or Square than from their own bank.
- 33% believe that in five years they won’t need a bank at all.
In order to remain competitive, banks are now tasked with replacing their legacy systems with an IT infrastructure that is capable of meeting the 24-hour online and mobile demands of the modern consumer.
Small Doesn’t Mean it’s Easy to Deploy
HSBC has made efforts to address some of these issues as highlighted in a marketing campaign launched in August this year. The campaign centred around a feature on the global bank’s mobile app – “Fast Balance” – that enables users to quickly check their bank balance with a swipe of the finger.
Fast Balance is just one, small feature of the HSBC mobile banking app – but it’s being used as the bank’s main differentiator to attract and retain customers.
But the fact that it’s a small feature doesn’t render it a simple one to deploy. New mobile and web apps are Digital Transformation essentials for legacy players to keep pace in the financial services industry. But they need to be up to scratch and fully functional 24/7/365, for any downtime at all can result in lost customers.
And this is where DevOps comes in.
Banking apps are now used as the primary means of communication for many consumers with their bank, and so it is vital that these apps are constantly furnished with bug fixes, upgrades and new features. DevOps practices enable banks – and indeed other players in the financial services industry – to identify any issues with their software, address them, and roll out the releases more quickly and with greater safety.
Indeed, security is of course a high priority for all in this sector, as is governance and regulatory control. And the very nature of DevOps, with its continued testing and frequent release updates that enforce security and compliance on all levels.
In short, DevOps is the driver of successful Digital Transformation initiatives – in financial services and elsewhere – and facilitates a high velocity of digital enhancements to an organisation’s offering that earns new customers and increases loyalty.
Bringing DevOps to Your Organisation
DevOps means collaboration. It is the practice of cross-functional teams participating together to build and deploy new, efficient and resilient software products rapidly and at scale – and then following through with continuous support for the products, including updates in quick-reaction to end-user feedback and demands.
In our white paper – DevOps: Unlocking the Value from Digital Transformation – we explore the details of what makes DevOps the key to success of any Digital Transformation initiative across a wide range of industries…