Blog Feed Post

3 Tips for Transitioning to DevOps in Financial Services

Anyone who works in IT for financial services understands the pressure to keep up with a competitive market, where customers expect all their services to be online and where regulations shift rapidly. It’s this pressure to continually deliver improved services at a fast rate that moved Freedom Mortgage, a top U.S. mortgage provider, towards adopting DevOps.

https://blog.xebialabs.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/House-Keychain-e15... 300w, https://blog.xebialabs.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/House-Keychain-e15... 768w" sizes="(max-width: 641px) 100vw, 641px" />

As the point person for driving the organization’s DevOps initiative, Ting Cosper, Director, Enterprise IT Change Management and DevOps, understood that adopting DevOps was not a luxury—their ability to respond quickly depended on it. But change does not come easy, and it was up to Ting to lay the groundwork for the transition. Ting talked about his experiences a few weeks ago at the XebiaLabs DevOps Leadership Summit. Below are 3 tips he shared for transitioning to DevOps.

1. Start with People and Processes

Ting’s team manages change management. Any changes to tools, systems and processes go through them. Their job is to make sure things are as solid as possible before sending software to production.

Inconsistency across groups in managing revisions and storing them to secure repositories was a key problem for them. On top of that, the team was using manual processes to deploy changes, which took a toll on their small staff because someone had to be on call nights and weekends to make them. It might have been tempting to immediately look for tools to address these problems. However, tools were not the main issue. Rather, it was the lack of standardization that was creating conflicts and burning people out.

So, if you’re considering doing DevOps and plan to dive into tools as your first order of business, Ting’s advice is to stop. Tools are important, but you can’t buy a tool that will “do DevOps.” Instead, Ting’s top priority was improving how people interact with each other and with technology to drive performance. He wanted to standardize their processes and reduce manual work that was hurting their efficiency and the quality of life for their employees. In addition, he needed to show management how the organization was losing money by continuing to follow the status quo.

Rabobank webinar imagehttps://blog.xebialabs.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/Rabobank-webinar-i... 150w, https://blog.xebialabs.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/Rabobank-webinar-i... 300w" sizes="(max-width: 219px) 100vw, 219px" />

How One of the 15 Safest Banks in the World Outcompetes the Tech Disruptors

Hear from Sander Ettema, Manager, Linux Infrastructure Services at Rabobank and Andrew Phillips, VP, Products for XebiaLabs about how Rabobank transformed its software delivery by implementing Agile development, Continuous Integration, and Continuous Delivery.


2. Reflect and Document

Before he could convince anyone else to accept change, some reflection was necessary. Ting suggests that, before jumping into a DevOps initiative, think about what your organization is doing right and wrong. Maybe your developers are good but you fall short when it’s time to deliver, or maybe QA needs extra resources. Taking a hard look in this way helps you understand your processes: what you’re doing, where the waste is, and where you can improve. For Freedom Mortgage, their delivery team was very efficient with execution but fell short on documentation, which is crucial for communicating your intentions.

An important part of documentation is calculating the cost of your processes. After gathering metrics on their change system, Ting and his team were able show that, while there was a drastic drop in failed changes over the course of several months, the financial and human costs of doing so were too large. Their staff was consistently working weekends, and overtime costs were upwards of $200K in one year alone—excluding follow up on Monday to put out fires and have development do fixes. Show people, especially management, the ROI of hard and soft saves that will result from your plan and you’ll get their attention.

3. Find the Right Tools

Once you’ve figured out where to improve your processes, it’s time to look at DevOps tools. Ting’s team wanted to start by getting a better handle on their deployments, so they researched leading DevOps solutions companies. While product quality was a high priority, they also wanted a vendor who would share practical knowledge about getting their initiative going and scaling it in a controlled way.

They chose XebiaLabs because they preferred the interface and modeling feature of XL Deploy and believed that XebiaLabs would be their partner throughout the transition. Bringing in XL Deploy and XL Release is giving them a better handle on how to do their deployments and release software. XebiaLabs products also enabled them to show the larger community that there’s a better way to manage the pipeline and get software into production.

The Results So Far

Ting and his team began putting their new processes in place in January. Although it’s still early, they’ve already implemented controls that enable consistency across teams. And people are starting to see the benefits: there’s less conflict between groups, individuals don’t feel blocked from getting their work done, there are fewer budgeting issues, and it’s much easier to train new people or to cover if someone is sick or on vacation. It’s also simpler to expand or contract a team as needed for a project.

Do’s and Don’ts

Based on Ting’s experience, he offers some do’s and don’ts for successfully transitioning to DevOps:


  • prepare to be successful. Focus on the end-result and how the investment will pay off in the long run. Spread that message to all your stakeholders.
  • your homework and document everything. You are going to have to explain yourself every step of the way.
  • communicate and celebrate each milestone. If you make it a big deal, so will everyone else. Celebrate even small achievements, and highlight why they matter.
  • financial analysis. He or she who gathers the information decides how to tell the story. People will find ways to make it financially difficult to move forward, so make sure you have the data to justify your plan.


  • be discouraged by setbacks. Not everything is going to go smoothly. Setbacks will happen, but don’t let them deter you.
  • expect overnight results. Change comes with some frustration and pain, so be patient but consistent. Set an agenda and stay the course.
  • bite off more than you can chew. Don’t overpromise. Set realistic expectations right from the start and live up to them.

Finally, believe that what you’re doing will deliver value for the organization. Document your journey, practice patience, and press forward with confidence.

Learn More

To hear for yourself Ting’s story about the Freedom Mortgage transition to DevOps, go to: The Business Case for DevOps – Justifying the Journey.

To see how XebiaLabs helps financial services organizations deliver better software faster while staying compliant, go here.

The post 3 Tips for Transitioning to DevOps in Financial Services appeared first on XebiaLabs Blog.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By XebiaLabs Blog

XebiaLabs is the technology leader for automation software for DevOps and Continuous Delivery. It focuses on helping companies accelerate the delivery of new software in the most efficient manner. Its products are simple to use, quick to implement, and provide robust enterprise technology.

Latest Stories
Charles Araujo is an industry analyst, internationally recognized authority on the Digital Enterprise and author of The Quantum Age of IT: Why Everything You Know About IT is About to Change. As Principal Analyst with Intellyx, he writes, speaks and advises organizations on how to navigate through this time of disruption. He is also the founder of The Institute for Digital Transformation and a sought after keynote speaker. He has been a regular contributor to both InformationWeek and CIO Insight...
Michael Maximilien, better known as max or Dr. Max, is a computer scientist with IBM. At IBM Research Triangle Park, he was a principal engineer for the worldwide industry point-of-sale standard: JavaPOS. At IBM Research, some highlights include pioneering research on semantic Web services, mashups, and cloud computing, and platform-as-a-service. He joined the IBM Cloud Labs in 2014 and works closely with Pivotal Inc., to help make the Cloud Found the best PaaS.
It is of utmost importance for the future success of WebRTC to ensure that interoperability is operational between web browsers and any WebRTC-compliant client. To be guaranteed as operational and effective, interoperability must be tested extensively by establishing WebRTC data and media connections between different web browsers running on different devices and operating systems. In his session at WebRTC Summit at @ThingsExpo, Dr. Alex Gouaillard, CEO and Founder of CoSMo Software, presented ...
@DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo, taking place November 12-13 in New York City, NY, is co-located with 22nd international CloudEXPO | first international DXWorldEXPO and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world.
In a world where the internet rules all, where 94% of business buyers conduct online research, and where e-commerce sales are poised to fall between $427 billion and $443 billion by the end of this year, we think it's safe to say that your website is a vital part of your business strategy. Whether you're a B2B company, a local business, or an e-commerce site, digital presence is key to maintain in your drive towards success. Digital Performance will take priority in 2018 for the following reason...
One of the biggest challenges with adopting a DevOps mentality is: new applications are easily adapted to cloud-native, microservice-based, or containerized architectures - they can be built for them - but old applications need complex refactoring. On the other hand, these new technologies can require relearning or adapting new, oftentimes more complex, methodologies and tools to be ready for production. In his general session at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, Chris Brown, Solutions Marketi...
At the keynote this morning we spoke about the value proposition of Nutanix, of having a DevOps culture and a mindset, and the business outcomes of achieving agility and scale, which everybody here is trying to accomplish," noted Mark Lavi, DevOps Solution Architect at Nutanix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
I think DevOps is now a rambunctious teenager - it's starting to get a mind of its own, wanting to get its own things but it still needs some adult supervision," explained Thomas Hooker, VP of marketing at CollabNet, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps Summit at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
What's the role of an IT self-service portal when you get to continuous delivery and Infrastructure as Code? This general session showed how to create the continuous delivery culture and eight accelerators for leading the change. Don Demcsak is a DevOps and Cloud Native Modernization Principal for Dell EMC based out of New Jersey. He is a former, long time, Microsoft Most Valuable Professional, specializing in building and architecting Application Delivery Pipelines for hybrid legacy, and cloud ...
In this presentation, you will learn first hand what works and what doesn't while architecting and deploying OpenStack. Some of the topics will include:- best practices for creating repeatable deployments of OpenStack- multi-site considerations- how to customize OpenStack to integrate with your existing systems and security best practices.
The “Digital Era” is forcing us to engage with new methods to build, operate and maintain applications. This transformation also implies an evolution to more and more intelligent applications to better engage with the customers, while creating significant market differentiators. In both cases, the cloud has become a key enabler to embrace this digital revolution. So, moving to the cloud is no longer the question; the new questions are HOW and WHEN. To make this equation even more complex, most ...
@DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo, taking place November 12-13 in New York City, NY, is co-located with 22nd international CloudEXPO | first international DXWorldEXPO and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time t...
CloudEXPO New York 2018, colocated with DXWorldEXPO New York 2018 will be held November 11-13, 2018, in New York City and will bring together Cloud Computing, FinTech and Blockchain, Digital Transformation, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, AI, Machine Learning and WebRTC to one location.
22nd International Cloud Expo, taking place June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and co-located with the 1st DXWorld Expo will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud ...
DevOpsSummit New York 2018, colocated with CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO New York 2018 will be held November 11-13, 2018, in New York City. Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with the introduction of DXWorldEXPO within the program. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive over the long term. A total of 88% of Fortune 500 companies from a generation ago are now out of bus...