Financial services organisations at forefront of global digital transformation push
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Financial services organisations at forefront of global digital transformation push

Financial services organisations at forefront of global digital transformation push

F5’s 7th SOAS report sheds new light on sector’s progress and ambitions

Divsha Bhat
Financial services

Financial services firms are the most optimistic of all industries when it comes to digital transformation, according to a recent study from F5 networks. The 2021 state of application strategy report, 100 per cent of the surveyed financial firms are engaged on digital transformation activities, up from 84 per cent last year. Furthermore, nearly 75 per cent are also deeply into the automation of operational processes, and most are looking towards AI-assisted business. At the same time, telemetry is growing in importance, as decision-makers seek increasingly rich, actionable data insights.

“Covid-19 has vastly accelerated a global digital transformation toward a more data-driven future,” said Lori MacVittie, principal technical evangelist, office of the CTO at F5.
“Today, we’re seeing many more decision-makers from the financial services realm embracing the public cloud and SaaS, rapidly ramping up AI operations (AIOps), and seeking application security and delivery technologies that are easy to deploy and provide data for decision-making.”

API technology is also being used by over three-quarters of respondents to update apps, which is a greater percentage than in other industries. As a result, financial services firms are more likely to have adopted API security measures. More than two-thirds of respondents said they either had a solution in place or expect to do so within the year. In addition, financial services organizations handling more than 10 million API calls per month are more than twice as likely to have deployed an API security solution as those handling fewer than 1 million API calls per month. Deployment momentum is expected to accelerate as modernization proceeds.

Approximately two-thirds of financial services respondents apply response time, uptime, and service reliability SLAs to the components that modernize applications. Service reliability, in particular, aligns with business outcomes, and 95 per cent of financial services organizations believe data from their application delivery and security solutions is “important” to keep IT aligned with business outcomes.

Three-quarters of financial services organizations now view protecting customer data as a primary benefit of application security and delivery solutions, which explains a relative reluctance to host those technologies in the cloud. Only 57 per cent currently do so, compared to 70 per cent of all other respondents.

Read: How Open Banking can foster innovation in the financial landscape

The multi-cloud availability of application security and delivery solutions is clearly a top priority in the financial services industry, as 92 per cent report that application security solutions are equally important to deploy in the cloud and in on-premises data centers.

“The greater importance financial services places on multi-cloud availability probably reflects both the growing percentage of organizations managing multiple architectures and the desire to simplify management of critical applications across environments,” MacVittie explained.

“Financial services organizations have greatly accelerated their digital transformations in the past year,” added MacVittie. “To make further progress toward AI-enabled business, they need an application strategy that includes application security and delivery technology solutions that follow the apps across multiple environments, including the edge. Expect to see the management of multiple architectures continue as the norm, even as modernization proceeds, which makes multi-cloud availability ever more critical. Only easy-to-use, multi-cloud solutions can deliver the telemetry needed to uncover insights and enable the AIOps that will deliver on the promise of digital transformation with improved customer experiences and stronger bottom-line performances.”

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