Technology is changing the way business is done in virtually every industry. One industry we particularly see this in is the financial sector. Technological advances like digital check cashing, mobile apps, and biometric security are rapidly driving business change. As a result, financial organizations are adapting to this change by reassessing their IT strategy and increasing spending in areas like mobile banking and data analytics. According to a recent study by research firm Ovum, US banks will spend 4.3% more on IT than they did in 2014.
Despite this increase in spending, organizations still have to worry about the basic costs of keeping the lights on and running the IT infrastructure behind the scenes. This is getting harder to do as the gap between the number of technologies IT has to manage and IT staffing levels grows wider. Workload automation serves as the key component in the middle, helping business adapt to technological change while reducing operational costs and enabling more agile, reliable operations.
Here are 3 Ways Financial Orgnizations Can Reduce Costs with IT Automation:
1. Faster and More Maintainable Workflow Creation
With the multitude of regulations in the financial sector, the ability to quickly adapt to change is critical to ensuring your processes are compliant. Most organizations without a modern automation solution rely on custom scripting tasks and workflows to manage common IT and business processes.
The problem with this is that institutions often have to change processes depending on regulations or corporate policies, and scripting is not designed to easily accommodate change. Over time as new technologies are introduced or processes change, scripts become brittle and break. Updating and maintaining them is error-prone, time-consuming, and costly.
Workload automation is helping organizations accommodate technological and regulatory changes with pre-built job steps that you can drag and drop into workflows, enabling faster workflow creation and simpler maintenance. Pre-built job steps eliminate the time and effort developers would otherwise have to spend on researching, designing, coding, and testing their scripts. In addition to this, automation also provides capabilities like script vaulting to protect existing scripts, and audit and revision control so that you can track when changes are made and ensure unauthorized changes aren’t made to production workflows.
For example, Bluebay Asset Management, one of Europe’s leading banking institutions, uses workload automation software to provide a central point of auditing and monitoring organization-wide. John Carlisle, Bluebay’s IT Manager, uses ActiveBatch’s audit and revision history capabilities to do spot checks on workflow alterations to track changes and prevent unauthorized changes from being made. Read more here about how Bluebay is using workload automation here.
2. Delivering Results with Big Data
The power of data for creating investments and mitigating risk has a long history. For modern companies, apps and systems are carrying the data, and it falls on IT to be sure this movement happens quickly and accurately. Timeliness and efficiency in the delivery of relevant data translates into increased revenues and reduced risks for all financial firms.
As businesses begin to introduce big data processes into their IT environments, orchestration is needed to ensure the process works from top to bottom. Big Data requires unstructured and structured data to be transferred through a file transfer application, stored in a data platform like Hadoop, and then extracted, transformed, and loaded until it is finally presented in user dashboards via a business intelligence platform. Since automation software already has built-in integrations to ETL tools, BI tools, file transfer applications, and more, it acts as the central hub for big data processing, allowing for reliable end-to-end workflow execution across multiple applications and technologies. Automation facilitates the movement of data across various systems and with the capabilities like alerting, it can eliminate the latency between jobs and ensure jobs are run as scheduled.
3. Optimizing Resource Utilization
According to research by Gartner, nearly half of large enterprises will have hybrid cloud deployments by the end of 2017. Organizations in every industry are embracing cloud computing as a way to reduce costs and gain the flexibility and scalability to be able to handle the peaks and valleys of resource needs.
However, despite the benefits of virtual/cloud computing, managing and monitoring virtual and cloud resources poses a significant challenge to most organizations. Even with virtual and cloud resources, IT still needs to manage what resources are allocated to which users/departments and ensure that idle systems are turned off and not left running unused.
Automation saves organizations money by providing improved resource utilization with automatic provisioning and de-provisioning of virtual/cloud systems. Tools like Smart Queue minimize the waste of idle systems running in the background by setting parameters to automatically spin down idle systems as well as automatically spin up additional resources when needed to ensure the successful execution of workflows. With effective cloud resource management, financial organizations can achieve a more flexible IT infrastructure that is better able to respond to dynamic business needs while minimizing the risk of resource waste.
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