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Cloud Sandboxes for Financial Services

Posted by Maya Ber Lerner July 25, 2016
Cloud Sandboxes for Financial Services

Recently I had an opportunity to participate in the QA financial forum conference in London.  I spoke about the topic of “Cloud Sandboxing for Financial Services” and it was well received by the audience. At the same time, it was very interesting for me to hear from UBS, ABN Amro, Credit Suisse and several others talk about their testing transformations and CI/CD journeys.

A couple of topics kept coming up and caught my attention:

  • First of all, seems like there’s finally a significant move in the industry separating the responsibility for infrastructure and automation from testing. Not everyone calls it DevOps yet, but the direction is clear. The understanding that a different team needs to provide infrastructure and automation as a service to various stakeholders is becoming more common. It’s great to see that and is consistent with what we’re seeing with several customers that are trying to automate and accelerate their DevOps lifecycle. I do hope the days of convincing people not to approach infrastructure automation with test automation tools are over.
  • Second, seems that the ecosystems trend is hitting financial services too. I enjoyed the talk by Shalini Chaudhari from Accenture, who mentioned VISA’s self-driving car ecosystem. That’s only one example. No doubt that everyone wants to play with everyone’s APIs. It’s a very exciting time for automation guys, just think of all the environments you need to setup for ecosystems partners in order to make it possible to work together. Can’t do it without automation. Got to love it!

The Aesthetic Integration team gave a good talk about mathematically analyzing code to prove the existence of bugs. This starts to tread into areas of leveraging artificial intelligence and even machine leanring. How elegant. An inspiring topic for those of us that are used to finding issues empirically with the brute force of automation.

It is clear that automation efforts cannot be silo’d and some organizations like UBS and Credit Suisse are looking to centralize application delivery across their firm worldwide, standardizing toolsets and leveraging economies of scale.

My own presentation focused on the changes and challenges sweeping the financial services industry as it embraces the forces of mobility, IoT and increasing customer expectations. Today all financial transactions are expected to be conducted securely with a click or a swipe – very different from the counter based transactions in the traditional brick and mortar establishments. The IT backend is bringing in cloud-based delivery, tighter mobility integration and application modernization with containers and micro-services in a bid to provide a real-time, secure and reliable experiences to customers. Environments are becoming diverse and complicated.  This has put the spotlight on DevOps and BizOps processes to accelerate application launch in a reliable manner with smooth CI/CD automation frameworks for agile application delivery. Quali helps financial services customers take these challenges head-on with our cloud sandboxes that helps both de-risk and accelerate the move towards digitization while ensuring all the compliance norms are fully met.

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We’ve seen financial services customers that embrace cloud sandboxes cut down their time-to-market by at least 20-30% at a fraction of the cost vs. traditional processes and potentially more when full-stack environments are involved with a combination of physical and virtual infrastructure with diverse applications Moving forward, my team and I will be sharing some of these use-cases as we bring some of these learnings and best practices to the fore.

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