Industry Advice: How DevOps Can Drive Technological Success

Thought Leadership· 6min

July 11, 2022

Large financial institutions can often be resistant to change; they may be limited by legacy infrastructure and high levels of internal bureaucracy. However, one of the biggest obstacles they have is their mindset when it comes to technological innovation. 

A key tool to support this cultural change can be found in DevOps. This is a term used to describe a set of best practices concerning the combination of software development and IT operations.

DevOps focuses on small incremental changes introduced on a rolling, regular basis. Typically, you would start with a minimum viable product in a live environment, then gradually introduce features and upgrades as they become ready.

This minimises potential disruption — there’s very little system downtime and anything that doesn’t work can be quickly rolled back. Fixes can be applied before the feature is re-released, without compromising the organisation’s ultimate strategic goals. 

How banks can shift their cultural approach

The best way banks can set themselves up for future technology success is to focus on their cultural approach to technology development.

It’s important to ensure that key players within the organisation understand the benefits that DevOps principles can bring - and have them act as advocates for change. It’s vital to consider how your technological partnerships play into making this cultural shift too.

Another consideration is how the organisational structure can be adapted to give ownership and responsibility for the impact assessment of changes to the people that have actually created them.

Measuring the success of DevOp culture

At its heart, embracing DevOps is about recognising the importance of deploying change as it's ready. There is significant value in getting updates, whether security features or additional functions, live and into a product as soon as possible. Updates aren’t hidden in bundles of change. This is fundamentally empowering for all involved and creates a virtuous circle of ownership and quality.

It’s also an approach that ensures high availability. In the world of payments in particular, being always-on is very important in terms of customer experience. The growth of SecDevOps to the ways of working only embeds this further, ensuring that security principles are ‘coded’ in at inception and are not a secondary consideration later in the process.

In summary: Embracing change will lead to success

In my view, taking a much more granular outlook to change is the best way forward for banks. By using the principles of DevOps and SecDevOps they can make change more manageable, empower their teams to deliver and put themselves in the best position to compete in the long term.  

Written by

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Eimear O'Connor Chief Operating Officer

Eimear joined Form3 as Chief Operating Officer in 2017. She is responsible for all aspects of business and service operations.  

Eimear has worked and consulted within financial services organisations on strategy, product and operations for over 20 years. She joined from Barclays where she was Retail and Commercial Director for Pingit, responsible for the global development and commercial management of the retail customer base for this award-winning open market payments platform. 

Prior to this, Eimear led the Corporate Mobile Payments Team at Barclays where she was responsible for the product design, development and launch of the Barclays Pingit for corporates product set. She has also held positions including Vice President of Strategy at Visa Europe and Business Consultant at both BearingPoint and Capco, working on multiple assignments in the UK and globally. 

Eimear holds a BSc. Finance from University College Cork and an MBS in Strategic Management and Planning from the Smurfit Graduate School of Business, University College Dublin.