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Redefining Financial Services with Modern Data Tools

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When it comes to tech acceleration and innovation, in India, the Financial Services sector typically takes the digital charge. This is primarily due to the constantly evolving industry needs that are enforcing leading banks to quickly adapt to the ongoing innovations. As an example, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has recently announced  the establishment of an internal fintech department, to increase their focus on innovation in the sector and help keep pace with the dynamic digital landscape.

There is a fast-paced momentum in technology adoption within the sector and it is expected to grow further in the future. For instance, the adoption of Business Process Management (BPM) is expected to grow from 44.7 lakh to 48.5 lakh by March 2022. Open banking is emerging to transform banking operations across the globe as 25% of banks and credit unions plan to invest in or develop APIs this year. These tech adoption will only reveal the urgent need for Financial services to invest in their data strategy as data will pave the way to understanding customers’ financial journey, purchase patterns, individual customer profiles and preferences.

Here are some best practices Financial Services organisations can lean into to address evolving customer demands and to redefine customer experiences.

Shifting from isolated touch points to unified journeys

Digital market shifts are propelling organisations in every industry to adopt cloud. However, siloed approaches in the hybrid, multi-cloud world may result in more complexity, slower innovation and higher costs than traditional on-premise solutions.The unification of observability allows teams to understand the interdependencies of cloud services and components. While there may be a variety of technologies that offer the capabilities of deploying applications in the cloud, organisations should understand and plan for how to address the four key workflows: provisioning, security, networking and observability. To unlock the fastest path to value in the cloud, it is important for these organisations to have a unified platform and automate Observability across the cloud stack.

Enabling serverless cloud services with observability 

While serverless cloud is relatively a new concept, it is expected to flourish with the current surge in cloud adoption. Majority of financial organisations are rethinking their strategies and accelerating changes to their technology stacks to best confront the new future—primarily through the cloud. With the right observability tools, BFSI organisations will be able to have complete visibility of the performance of their complicated cloud services, diagnose and fix problems that affect customer experience, whether it’s in the application code, the user interface or the infrastructure performance.

 Staying ahead of data residency laws 

Security of data has been the biggest focus area for organisations, which has led to the emergence of data residency laws. These laws are set to govern organisations to handle data that originates locally and ensure the privacy and the protection of critical data. It is mostly impacting organisations that are doing business across borders. While businesses in Australia, Germany and China are already governed by these laws, companies operating in India, Russia, Indonesia, Vietnam and Nigeria are also expected to be impacted soon. Banks and financial organisations in India, should therefore be prepared with an action plan that provides end-to-end visibility across the business regardless of where the data resides. Correlating  data across electronic banking, investments, and insurance services, as well as backend payment and transaction processes should still remain seamless even when the law kicks in. Businesses, especially those with international operations, will not be disrupted and suddenly faced with a data divide.

Future-proofing with DevSecOps

DevSecOps is about integrating security, tools and practices, to reduce friction between the siloed operations and increase a business’ speed to market. This includes providing an opportunity to introduce and automate security at the earlier stages of a development process. The increasing prevalence of cloud-first organisations and Digital Native businesses tend to gravitate towards implementing DevSecOps as there is a need to streamline and align between security requirements, IT operations and developer needs. As a result, traditional processes and roles must be realigned, and new skill sets like security analytics, automation and machine learning will be necessary. DevSecOps can help firms in the BFSI sector enhance their business agility by tracking all related security changes or vulnerabilities across the stages of a software development.

While every organisation deals with their respective industry-specific challenges, the broad challenge for financial services organisations will be to embrace the complex hybrid multi-cloud infrastructure by implementing these best practices and leverage on modern data tools like Observability. Once businesses successfully overcome the cloud’s complexity and achieve consistency, the optimum performance and ability to redefine customer experience with data promised by the current level of cloud transformation can be achieved.

(The author Jyoti Prakash is Regional Sales Director, India & SAARC Countries at Splunk)

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