20 Apr 2023
by Martin Bradbury

Banking on AI to enable multicloud environments (Guest blog by Dynatrace)

Guest blog by Martin Bradbury, Regional Director, Financial Services UK&I at Dynatrace #AIWeek2023

Over the past decade, organizations have increasingly adopted cloud-native and multicloud architectures to keep up with ever changing customer expectations and rapidly moving market demands. However, for highly-regulated financial services organisations, it has only been in more recent years that the benefits of the cloud have began to outweigh the argument for keeping many workloads on-premises. This has driven an accelerating shift to the cloud for banks and insurers.

Given the wide range of cloud services on the market, most organisations are using more than one platform and have workloads distributed across multiple environments. These multicloud strategies provide the agility and scalability that financial services organisations need to stay ahead, innovate faster and continually optimise digital services.

Managing cloud complexity

While adopting a multicloud strategy offers financial services organisations greater flexibility, each cloud in the environment increases complexity and adds a new source of data to monitor. This creates more work for already overstretched IT teams, and means they have less time to focus on innovation. Indeed, our research found that IT teams in financial organisations spend 40% of their time on manual, routine work just to ‘keep the lights on’ within IT infrastructure.

These teams clearly need a more sustainable approach to managing cloud environments, which then frees up time that can be reinvested into driving digital transformation and delivering the high-quality financial services experiences customers expect.

Staying ahead of the competition

At a basic level, financial services organisations are expected to keep our money safe and accessible. But in today’s market, they must also provide a constant stream of new digital services. Whether customers are opening a new account, requesting sensitive information, or applying for a loan, they demand a seamless digital experience. If financial organisations don’t deliver on this, customers will simply switch to a competitor that can.

Behind these digital experiences, IT teams need to be able to manage infrastructure performance effectively. To do so, they need clear, end-to-end observability in their multicloud environment. Unfortunately, this visibility is not easy to achieve, and operational blind spots continue to cause challenges.

Each new cloud platform comes with its own native monitoring solution, such as Amazon CloudWatch or Azure Monitor, which adds another source of data IT teams have to manage. These teams have gradually found themselves grappling with a growing range of tools that they must layer on top of traditional monitoring solutions to track activity throughout their IT infrastructure.

Our research indicates that, on average, financial institutions rely on ten different monitoring solutions to manage their technology stacks. This leaves teams drowning in data as they are forced to spend more time manually gathering insights from different dashboards to keep their multicloud infrastructure running effectively, and identify issues in their digital services. The strain of that task undercuts the time they have to drive innovation and create value for the business.

A modern approach to monitoring

Clearly, traditional monitoring approaches are no longer effective.

Financial services institutions need to empower IT teams with a more intelligent approach to infrastructure monitoring. By harnessing AIOps (artificial intelligence for IT operations), IT teams can automate as many manual infrastructure management tasks as possible. This eliminates blind spots by continuously discovering and instrumenting multicloud infrastructure as the environment changes. As a result, teams can maintain end-to-end observability without needing to invest time and effort in manual monitoring processes.

AIOps can also enable IT teams to automatically triage alerts that indicate a potential disruption to the digital experience, and surface the precise answers needed to resolve issues before they affect users and customers.

With an AIOps approach, IT teams can understand the cause of any issues within their multicloud infrastructure and prioritise them according to their predicted impact on the business. That enables IT teams to solve the most critical issues first and refocus their efforts on tasks that accelerate the delivery of high-quality, innovative, and reliable financial services experiences.

Creating a strategy for success

It’s no secret that financial institutions face fierce competition. Digitally native fintech companies can innovate quickly, as they don’t have the complexity of managing a legacy on-premises environment alongside modern cloud platforms. More established banks and insurers have embraced multicloud infrastructure to enable the agility they need to drive innovation. Those that don’t keep up will fall behind. However, as financial institutions continue their transition to multicloud architecture, it’s critical to utilise AI to ensure that infrastructure runs smoothly.

Creating seamless digital services and driving customer satisfaction are key strategic objectives for any organisation. Adopting infrastructure monitoring strategies that harness AI and automation can help organisations deliver on these goals. Reducing the burden of manual tasks on IT teams will also enable them to refocus their time and effort on projects that accelerate digital transformation, drive better outcomes for the business, and provide world-class financial services experiences.

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Martin Bradbury

Martin Bradbury

Regional Director, Financial Services UK&I, Dynatrace