PagerDuty Blog

Fuelling Always-On Digital Services in the Financial Sector

The financial services sector in Australia has undergone seismic change recently with the rise of neo disruptors and a cashless society driven by the pandemic. Australia is quickly becoming one of the more mature markets to embrace digital transformation, with the federal government announcing it has committed $800 million to a digital infrastructure upgrade.

As we move closer to 2021, the financial services sector will continue to see accelerated change and a greater reliance on digital technology. As the reliance on technology grows, so does the pressure on digital services as community expectations rise. Being online with seamless reliability is more important than ever.

In my role as the Director of Solutions Consulting at PagerDuty, I am seeing a greater focus from our financial services customers on full-service ownership. Technology teams now view the service ownership model as a way to bring value to their business when every second of the customer experience counts. One example comes to mind: Recently, Bendigo and Adelaide Bank injected $52.4 million AUD into its ongoing transformation program to reduce complexity and build digital capability through streamlined service offerings. The accelerated transformation targets the bank’s cost base through automation initiatives and new capabilities to improve operational efficiency.

During the pandemic, organisations have found that in order to effectively reduce costly downtimes, they need to adopt the best in development and operations best practices, as well as adopting cloud technology. Additionally, in certain cases, the process and cultural changes are even more important than tools and have the biggest impact on the operational maturity of the organisation.

In a recent PagerDuty survey of 700 DevOps and IT practitioners across the globe, we found that more than 80% of organisations have experienced a significant increase in pressure on digital services since the start of COVID-19. These same companies cited a 47% increase in the number of daily incidents, resulting in responders spending more than 10 extra hours per week resolving incidents, compared to 9 months ago.

To minimise the chances of future incidents, financial businesses need to have visibility into their entire tech stack and the interdependencies within it. They also need the ability to act on the machine and human response data collected, while broadening observability for developers and responders so they can resolve issues more effectively.

Here are some opportunities for financial services to embrace:

  • Tooling. Adopting best-of-breed, decentralised cloud tools with API-first design methodologies that can easily integrate with users’ platform of choice so they can access automation, extensibility, flexibility, and auditability.
  • Talent. Empowering talent to “work where they want” while also ensuring centralised visibility of relevant information. By democratising uniform operational practices like on-call rotations, escalations, and incident triage, responder burnout and fatigue can be dramatically reduced. It also leads to better engineering productivity and higher talent retention.
  • Culture. The philosophy of real-time communication and collaboration that the DevOps model encourages can help foster a leaner system where bottlenecks are solved in a manner that not only fixes the problem, but also improves the process.
  • Process. Significantly improve processes for alert and incident through iterative efficiencies like dynamically executing runbooks, and implementing incident bridge automation, proactive and relevant stakeholder updates, and blameless postmortems. Apart from high team and service performance, process improvements can lead to rigor and accuracy in adherence to compliance and regulatory requirements.

Today, the unit of focus is not the bug but the incident. That’s because an incident typically not only impacts the technical responders responsible for maintaining systems, but also impacts the customer experience. And since incident response is an inherently people-centric activity, informing and mobilising the right people with the right tools and access to the right data is key. With customers today expecting instant gratification, moments like an app or a website not working have far-reaching consequences.

PagerDuty can help improve your service uptime and reliability to increase revenue, customer loyalty, and brand recognition. Our 13,000+ customers in 80 different countries are proof of that. To see for yourself, contact your account manager and try a 14-day free trial today.