In this blog series we’ll tackle some of the key elements that IT leaders at financial services firms should keep in mind when rethinking and revamping IT environments so that it enables your business to deliver on its goals for digital transformation.
Industry-leading institutions recognize that retaining their market leadership these days depends on their ability to innovate and meet increasing consumer expectations for a digital, dynamic, but safe experience. And no industry feels that pressure more than financial services.
There was already a growing adoption of digital banking and insurance applications but now, due to Covid 19, that adoption is accelerating, as the pandemic reinforces the critical need for fast, secure, easy access to funds, protection, assurance, and financial information. Many of the big financial services firms had already prepared new levels of business resilience in case of a crisis situation, and 2020 has certainly put those preparations to the test.
If financial institutions plan to keep up with—or better yet, outperform—the competition, they need to get their IT infrastructure in order and prepare to adapt to the digital age. And today, infrastructure includes everything from traditional on-premises physical servers to virtual networks that support applications and workloads across pools of physical infrastructure and into a multi-cloud, hybrid environment.
So how can financial services companies successfully ride the wave of digital business transformation?
Number one on our list: Applications are the future of IT modernization.
Today IT must transform to ensure that the technology that business runs on is more flexible, secure, stable, resilient and agile than ever before — and more productive for the entire business. Applications make up the foundation of a company’s ability to carry out day-to-day operations and deliver innovative solutions for engaging experiences. And IT organizations must ensure uptime for all apps, whether internal or external business-facing tools and resources – and the number of applications is growing at an exponential rate.
For a successful migration, you need to get a good handle on all the details of your data centers. You need to assess and visualize each data center across your ecosystem for its network, server, and operating system requirements. Then you need to evaluate the applications supported by each data center. Teams must have a solid understanding of how applications, servers, data centers work across technology stacks and hosting sites.
At TDS, we built our TransitionManager software platform to support an application-centric approach to managing transformation. This enables teams to identify conflicts during data validation and mitigate risk in planning and execution. It drives better decision making, and helps teams deliver all of the benefits that today’s businesses demand: increased efficiencies, better productivity, and added profitability.
Because TransitionManager provides a single, centralized view of the IT enterprise, it doesn’t require working with spreadsheets and disparate sources of data, runbooks can be regenerated at any time, repeatedly, and easily incorporate even last minute changes to reflect lessons learned, current business needs and environment.
Ensuring the protection of data in accordance with compliance regulations should be a first priority for any security team but particularly in the heavily regulated financial sector. With TransitionManager, the team can visualize all the assets that are associated during an app outage – “blast radius” (all the assets affected by an incident) and then dynamically generate runbooks to ensure the proper steps to restore service.
For assets with compliance requirements, tasks—or even separate runbooks—can be generated to ensure adherence to policy and steps for remediation are taken, in the proper sequence, such as notifying customers or agencies per policy or regulation. TransitionManager’s sophisticated analytic features also enable an audit trail, making it possible to trace the actions of a specific employee, contractor, or remote vendor that is involved in collecting, storing, or transacting sensitive data.
Today, IT environments are highly complex, especially in financial institutions, where multiple divisions leverage multiple technologies across multiple geographic regions – and could create disparate operational silos. At TDS, we believe that in order to realize the full potential of their IT infrastructure, it’s critical to have an understanding of the IT landscape from the perspective of the application and that means the ability to view and understand all app dependencies, across technology stacks and hosting sites.
IT should be able to easily aggregate, normalize, and consolidate data from disparate systems, and then visualize it all in one place. This holistic view can then be used so that IT and business can collaboratively validate data and fill in any gaps or correct inaccuracies. Analysis should also incorporate factors such as business processes; service, security and regulatory requirements; investment horizons and schedules; asset age and fitness.
Next time, we’ll address another key tenet of IT transformation, how do you ensure an accurate, point-in-time snapshot of the application, server and infrastructure landscape to ensure complete data integrity throughout the transformation project.
Watch this webinar replay, Knowing Your App Portfolio Inside and Out, to learn how to implement a comprehensive and effective Application Portfolio Management (APM) process using TransitionManager.