The role of IT has changed. Earlier stability and security were at the forefront, today, flexibility and speed are becoming more important. This also applies to the banking sector.
The rapid deployment of new products and Services in a highly competitive market characterized for the success of a financial institution, in the meantime indispensable. In a often traditional IT models of the environment, new development methods, platforms, and solutions required in support of an IT modernization. Of particular importance technologies and procedures, such as containers and micro-services, Cloud, or DevOps.
The classic banks IT infrastructure with the core banking system the focus is designed for safety and stability and less on the quick implementation of new functions and Services. Such, however, is in a period of the wave of Digitalisation with the dynamically changing market and customer requirements is essential. Especially also because of the growing industry to enter foreign Non-Banks in the competition and IT-based business models: from payment transactions through loans to investment counseling.
In addition to traditional IT must, therefore an infrastructure that supports a fast and flexible development and deployment of applications. This also means that it goes in the direction of a “IT the two worlds, or two speeds”. This is the opinion of many market researchers (1) share. They assume that most companies use soon, an IT-architecture based on a combination of traditional and agile process models. It includes the conventional and secure operational base, as well as the non-linear and agile IT. In the operational IT-based traditional Scale-Up are operated in applications with strategically important data. The agile IT uses Scale-Out-application of the models to new business requirements or conditions to quickly respond. Key words that emerge in this context are “bimodal IT”, or “Systems of Record versus Systems of Engagement”. Such an IT-model it is possible to use for different Workloads and operational requirements in each case the most suitable IT environment and platform. The question is whether the establishment of a “parallel world” inevitably brings a number of dangers. Here is the first to note that, of course, any change in opportunities and risks. Points fall into the weight such as start-up financing or an initial higher workload. The risks, however, limited. This is also a result of the new development methodologies, which include a minimisation of risk. Rapid development in small steps, means that possible errors are detected faster.
However, as an agility-optimized infrastructure can be realized? From a technical point of view, especially the Linux Container technology is gaining in importance here, as it provides a convenient and efficient way to develop new applications quickly and provide. In principle, containers for the encapsulation and isolation of applications with all the required components and configuration information in one or more packages. Therefore, applications can quickly, easily, and fully configured. IT processes are greatly accelerated.
The spectrum of use of Container technologies is due to the numerous advantages such as high agility, low resource requirements and simple Management far-reaching: the Container to provide, for example, for applications where frequent Updates and functional extensions are required, such as in the case of applications in the fields of Mobile and Online Banking. In connection with the Container technology and micro services. In simplified terms, containers are the technical vehicle from the point of view of the infrastructure and micro-services lightweight applications from the point of view of development, which are quick to deploy and to change. The key benefits of micro-services, in contrast to monolithic architectures is that they are coupled from lots of independent Services with a completed, professional functionality. This can be excluded in the rule that Changes to one of the Services have influence on the function or features of the Services. In addition, Updates, extensions or improvements can be targeted and more frequently, without the need for the entire application update. In the case of a monolithic-structured applications, however, developers must also test with only small Changes to the application as a whole, usually at great expense.
In General, the micro-services approach facilitates the development and testing of individual Services, as well as the rapid and iterative deployment of Releases. This, in turn, enables the implementation of DevOps, a concept based on processes and Tools for the close integration of IT development and operation. Since DevOps enables the fast and the step of providing high quality Services, applications can be faster and brought to market maturity. In this way, Container, micro services and DevOps complement each other.
The advantage of technologies and processes such as containers and micro-services, or DevOps, is that IT departments can react quickly to new Business requirements. An example is provided by Blockchain applications that are currently all the rage, and according to Deutsche Bank, “one of the first truly disruptive ideas from the FinTech sector”.
The Blockchain technology is not just an issue of FinTechs. Traditional financial institutions are free of hardly the to: field, almost all of the major banks deal with the decentralized, digital booking system. To FinTechs, you should not be without a chance, but, on the contrary, even have an advantage. The trust of customers is of crucial importance in the Blockchain environment, and here established banks can points to FinTechs with start-up character clearly.
Also for the rapid development and deployment of Blockchain applications, the Container technology, constitutes the technical Basis; many companies in this environment, for example, IBM. Also Red hat has Recently launched a OpenShift-Blockchain-Initiative, in which companies from the financial services industry in the development of a hosted Blockchain solutions. Banks can evaluate the use of Blockchain-based applications on OpenShift Dedicated, a Cloud-based Service on the Basis of Red Hat’s Container-application platform for OpenShift.
Only if a financial institution fast, flexible and reliable brings innovative products and Services on the market, it will retain its competitiveness. In addition to tighter regulation and the continued extremely low level of interest rates with the associated cost pressure this is the biggest challenge for the financial services industry. An adaptation and extension of traditional IT strategy and infrastructure is a prerequisite. And in a bimodal process model, at least in the short term the past is hardly an institution.