First steps to adopting AIOps

Gartner placed AIOps (artificial intelligence for IT Ops) platforms ‘on the rise’ on their Hype Cycle for I&O Automation in 2019. It is only a matter of time that it moves to the ‘at the peak’ stage. As artificial intelligence and machine learning practices evolve, AIOps as a practice is also expected to grow. We anticipate that AI will mature rapidly over the next decade becoming a transformational force for any enterprise. And AIOps will play a significant role in that transformation.

But, AI isn’t there yet. To completely leverage the opportunities and returns that AIOps can deliver — some of which we outline in this earlier blog post — enterprises need to look beyond the hype. AIOps adoption needs to be far more than jumping on the latest bandwagon. It needs to be a strategic initiative, built for the long-term.

In this blog post, we’ll outline key considerations you must keep in mind while adopting AIOps.

Pick your strategy: Take a holistic view of your organization

True success of AIOps is in its ability to deliver at scale. Therefore, the long-term goal of any AIOps initiative should be to bring the entire enterprise on to a single platform, and automate as many processes as possible. A bottom-up approach of taking one process at a time and automating it will leave you with multiple inefficiencies. AI adoption will remain piecemeal, crippled by the very siloes you wished to eliminate. Moreover, you will be automating processes that were designed for humans, which might not be best suited for machine learning.

Therefore, to make the most of AIOps, you need a top-down approach. Begin by performing a thorough assessment of all assets, applications, processes and structures. Identify which of these can be re-wired for AIOps. Pick use cases that will have maximum impact, and begin your pilot there.

Prepare your data and build your team

Once you’ve identified the right use case for your pilot, prepare your data. Get an organization-wide process to gather data across application, infrastructure, business and user information. Also get as much historical data as possible for the AI engine to learn from. At this point, the quality of your data might be lower than ideal. Identify areas where you have quality issues and find ways to address them effectively.

In parallel, put together a team that can work will power your AIOps initiative — process engineers, data scientists, application leaders etc. who will come together to set the vision and business-level goals for the success of your endeavour.

Choose a platform

This is perhaps the biggest and most important step in your AIOps adoption journey. There are several platforms in the market that allow you to bring AI for specific processes such as helpdesk automation or DevOps automation. There are also general-purpose platforms that can apply to any part of your IT organization.

Considering the maturity of AI tools today, we encourage enterprises to choose a platform that will be adaptable and expansive enough to accommodate the future needs of your organization. An enterprise-grade AIOps platform should be able to do the following:

While shortlisting platforms and comparing them, keep the following in mind.

Data adaptability

Identify possible data types and file formats available in your enterprise and ensure your AIOps platform can process that. Depending on the kind of data you generate — code, logs, text etc., to IVR, emails and spreadsheets — how often you generate data and how dynamic it is, choose a tool that can handle that variance.

Interoperability

Ensure that your AIOps platform can integrate seamlessly with your existing tools such as those for trouble ticketing, IT service management (ITSM), DevOps, cloud management, project management etc.

Suitability

Outline your long-term goals and choose the platform accordingly. If data quality is a matter of concern for you, you might need a platform that has data cleansing and harmonization capabilities. If C-suite decision-making is your primary goal, you will need a platform that has engaging data visualization capabilities.

Scalability

It also goes without saying that an AIOps platform should also be able to dynamically scale, and adapt to the organization’s needs.

Take a phased approach

Just because we recommend a top-down approach with a holistic view, you don’t have to adopt AIOps all at once. Take it one step at a time. The first step would be induction — feed historical data to the AI engine, for it to learn about your business, environment and current state. Here, you will define metrics, build dashboards and build reports. Then, get the AIOps engine to build machine learning models for pattern discovery, anomaly detection etc. with the historical data. Post this phase, connect your AI engine to real-time data sources for predictive analytics, root-cause analysis etc.

Remember the AI engine is only as good as the volume, variety and velocity of the data it gets. Ensuring that there is enough accurate and good quality data is an important part of making the most of your AIOps platform. By rushing to the last phase, without ensuing the efficacy of the historical data, you might be setting your AIOps initiative — and yourself — up for failure.

If you’re unsure of whether to adopt AIOps, read our whitepaper to know about the transformative outcomes it can bring. If you’re considering AIOps adoption, speak to our consultants now.

Artificial Intelligence – here for good

What comes to mind when you hear Artificial Intelligence? Perhaps one of those slick videos of robots making an omelette or an android (a humanoid robot – as it used to mean before the operating system came about). In reality, Artificial Intelligence (AI) has crept into a lot of things we don’t typically see – from contextual advertisements on the web, to customer support systems.

As banking goes digital, AI has begun to play an interesting role in the evolution of the digital bank. From intelligent automation systems that simplify payments reconciliation, general ledger management and OCR enabled document validation to First-Responder roles in customer support, AI has taken bold steps forward. Another extremely important trend in banking – one where market segments are of one customer has relied on AI to delivery hyper-personalized experiences based on customer profile, buying behavior and choice of products and services. In a day and age where customers demand simplicity, speed, and superlative experiences, Artificial Intelligence has come of age, so to speak.

This said, AI gets a resounding aye, when it comes to thrust areas for banks today, and come 2020. As AI maturity increases, banks have discovered newer and significantly more efficient means to reduce costs, improve regulatory compliance, and most importantly, consistently improve customer confidence in the bank’s ability to serve their needs, secure their information, and simplify their transactions with banks.

With use cases showing tremendous promise already, the trend for 2020 and beyond will pivot around AI, machine learning and deep learning platforms. These new entrants are poised to take customer experience management, Identity verification, fraud prevention and security by storm.

How will banks develop on the existing use cases and innovate their digital offerings with AI at the core? Learn about this and all the trends for banks to scale digital from our report.

This piece gives you a glimpse into one of the 10 trends that I believe will reshape banking in 2020. Click here to read our full report “Scale Digital: 10 Trends Reshaping Banking in 2020”.

Agile: 2020 – Making Davids out of Goliath banks

A millennium ago, kingdoms were few and the lands were large. Hence the armies were big, and the battles were few but horrific – such were banks in the decades that have gone by. Today, however, kingdoms of the yesteryear have become small street gangs. Likewise, banks no longer can settle to be rulers of large swaths of banking customer bases – They have to squeeze through the streets and rule the bustling cities from the ground-up.

The foundations of this shift in approach began with the adoption of agile in banks. 2020 however will mark the beginning of a new evolution bordering a Darwinian war for survival. Banks will relook at Agile as an approach and more as a way of life. Tall organizations will break down and realign as groups of small, flat, nimble, and empowered teams that take the fight to the streets.

No longer will market segments be sized in millions. The market segment of today is ONE. Such personalization and customization in offerings require a previously unimaginable degree of decentralization and collaboration. From empowering decision-making at every strata of the organization, to open invitations to third parties to collaborate in symbiosis, the transformation of the Goliath banks will be so drastic.

Going beyond its application in product development, 2020 will see banks adopting an ‘Enterprise-wide Agile’ across technology, operations, talent practices, business strategies, leadership and management, and ecosystems. In 2020, greater adoption of cloud, continuous integration and continuous development (CICD), and Dev-ops will accelerate the agility to assimilate changing market expectations and quickly translate them into action. The year will also see executive management team leading by example and evangelize Agile right at the helm. In the new year, hedging themselves and their ecosystem partners against the risk of potential roadblocks in the ease and speed of doing ecosystem-driven business, leading banks will take it upon themselves to accelerate ecosystem innovation through greater integration and exposure of sandbox environments to third-party developers, FinTechs, partners and regulators.

2020 will define a new face of Agile in Banking. Self-Learning, Self-Healing, and Self-Evolving parts focused on flexibility, collaboration, and immediate exploitation of every available market opportunity will sum up the bank that was and be the bank that will be.

This piece gives you a glimpse into one of the 10 trends that I believe will reshape banking in 2020. Click here to read our full report “Scale Digital: 10 Trends Reshaping Banking in 2020”.

Automation – Alive and Everywhere in 2020

Whether as a favorite pet project, or a true reflection of the maturity of a Bank’s infrastructure, Automation has been a tune that everyone has been moving to. This trend isn’t fading, come 2020, as timeliness and cost-efficiency will be the driving force.

To take a step back, with business models evolving, and disruption being the name of the game, banks’ ability to get the right information at the right time and the right place has become paramount. Competition has also resulted in customers spoilt for choice and more than willing to shift loyalties for expedited transactions and improved customer experience.

In 2020, banks will continue to mature how they leverage automation to achieve outcomes beyond operational efficiency, to pervading every process, journey and function in banking, lowering costs, improving experience, curtailing risk and improving operations in myriad other ways. This will mean that we will see further innovation and automation in customer journeys. Automation and artificial intelligence technologies are underpinning a digital workforce that is dramatically changing the cost structure and organizational dynamics of banks. Banks will also look to leverage technologies like artificial intelligence identifying and preventing fraud more effectively than a traditional rule-based system.

Banking automation is already fairly mature, with a landscape dotted with technologies from different generations, from rule-based and BPM-led automation, to API-driven straight through processing, to robotic process automation. The latest to emerge is cognitive automation with machine learning, which is still in a nascent stage of adoption. Blockchain networks will expand inter-organization automation in areas such as payments & trade finance (which has seen several announcements) and also syndicated lending.

Will 2020 mark the turning point of customer-centric banking where human and machine work together without missing a beat? Read all about it, and more.

This piece gives you a glimpse into one of the 10 trends that I believe will reshape banking in 2020. Click here to read our full report “Scale Digital: 10 Trends Reshaping Banking in 2020”.

2020: The bank of the millennial workforce

Throughout banking history, regulatory understanding, legal implications of actions, compliance, and aspects like these were woven into the very fabric of banking sector employees. Today, banking has taken a paradigm shift where millennials form the biggest customer base, and differentiation is derived solely through personalization, automation, social-media integration, and gadgetry.

This shift has left banks with a need to fill the gap in their talent pools. A gap addressed by resources that are not easy to come by. They are the new-age workforce of the millennial generation who have grown up with Information, Media, and Technology literacy forming a basis of not just their education but their very lives. They are hard to come by because they don’t typically think like the previous generations. They are highly skilled and prefer an explorative career journey to one defined by permanent employment. And they prefer to take an object-oriented approach even to jobs.

In 2020, the most progressive banks should focus on building four vital capabilities in their millennial workforce

In the years to come, the goal of training will be to keep the banking workforce relevant. Programs will change to suit the digital native learners and their environment, targeting three kinds of literacy

The millennial workforce also brings with it, a distinct set of challenges. For starters, embracing the culture of millennials calls for an overhaul of corporate values that were different and to a fault, to use the C-Word, conservative. Another bigger and more challenge is personalization – including IT infrastructure, which increases diversity in a traditionally uniform landscape favored by banks. This personalization also extends to workspaces, where millennials prefer collaboration to be hardwired into workspaces, tangential to the traditional cubicle and desk system. Banks will have some serious reimagining to do, in order to bring the millennials into the fold.

Find out what are the other questions that bankers are asking as 2020 dawns. Read about how banks plan to address the challenges of the future.

This piece gives you a glimpse into one of the 10 trends that I believe will reshape banking in 2020. Click here to read our full report “Scale Digital: 10 Trends Reshaping Banking in 2020”.

Security 2020 – Fixing the link that risks breaking the chain

In 2015, two hackers, albeit in a controlled environment, hacked into a Jeep Cherokee through the entertainment system and disabled the transmission. This led to a recall of over 1.4 million vehicles to fix the vulnerabilities that made this attack possible.

Today, many such devices, connected directly to the internet are used to pay tolls and also send confidential and personally identifiable information through this internet to points of sale devices in drive through restaurants. The connected car isn’t the only connected device. Watches, Refrigerators, TVs, Home Automation systems – all connect to the internet and make transactions on behalf of the person. And they all transmit infinitely sensitive information.

The whole digital revolution has had everyone progressively move their data and applications to the cloud. And this opens an entirely different can of worms from a security standpoint. While public cloud providers have improved infra security, banks have to configure their applications safely on the cloud. They will need to build resilience through employee education, mature cloud competence and acquire new tools for managing cloud security.

And it doesn’t stop there. We have bragged about using big data, machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI ) to detect and prevent attacks – hackers are now using ML and AI to refine their attacks to an unprecedented degree of sophistication.

The biggest challenge for Cybersecurity experts is the fact that there is no longer a “Safe Zone” – no longer routers, switches, or firewalls to enclose sensitive information from the prying hands of hackers. 5G, and the Internet of Things (IOT) have brought an end to what we imagined as privacy.

Understandably, across the world, nations are enacting stricter laws and regulatory requirements to define and protect the privacy of citizens. At the same time, these very lawmakers are also forcing banks to share customer and transaction data with third parties in the name of anti-protectionism and free markets.

What will be the security of the future? How will banks of tomorrow protect customer information and yet collaborate with the global ecosystem of authorized stakeholders? This is the challenge for 2020.

As the digital age evolves, so will cybersecurity devices. Artificial Intelligence, machine learning and cognitive automation will form the basis for analyzing, understanding, identifying, and preventing cyber-attacks. Read in the Infosys Finacle report on top 10 trends for banks to scale digital in 2020 to explores the different strategies that banks are adopting to build a flexible, yet robust, fluid, yet firm security system that both protects data and prevents its breach.

This piece gives you a glimpse into one of the 10 trends that I believe will reshape banking in 2020. Click here to read our full report “Scale Digital: 10 Trends Reshaping Banking in 2020”.

2020 – A Technology Experience Odyssey

There was a time in the past when the city slept for a couple of hours a day. Today, there is never a moment that is free of financial transactions or devoid of opportunities for banks and financial institutions to deliver another superlative customer experience. This is the digital age. An age where banks need to be everywhere and available all the time.

The statement, “Banks of the future will be omnipresent” is as much a cliché as “Change is the only constant”. Having said that, even this omnipresence is a journey that begins with yet another cliché – digital transformation. Having said this as well, 2020 will mark the turning point of this transformation into a carefully planned and well-laid-out journey that banks will begin to undertake.

A recent research by Infosys Finacle and Efma found a positive correlation between digital transformation and customer experience outcomes. More importantly, there is a clear distinction between how leaders and laggards are approaching transformation. In order to stay relevant and profitable in the digital age, banks will have to reimagine their engagements, operations, business models and culture – because the digital evolution isn’t merely at the customer-facing end or layer of the banking infrastructure. Our survey found that leaders are adopting a process of digital evolution to make their technology architecture a powerful enabler of their products, processes and organization to meet the demands of a rapidly changing marketplace while laggards are hesitant to make bold technology moves relegating their transformation efforts to elimination of paper-based processes.

While most leading banks have begun their core modernization, in 2020, all banks, large and small, will evaluate and modernize their technology and application architecture. The baby steps that will light the path for banks will ideally be analyzing the applications for proprietary or COTS products, or custom-built applications. A clear analysis of the application architecture in this way provides greater ease-of-execution-and-replacement in an agile fashion and flexibility to retain customization as desired.

Likewise, modernizing the system architecture will require banks to adopt the cloud docker container service at scale so the conventional architectural layers – OS, database, application, presentation – and their notional functionalities do not stymie an agile and digital way of working in the future.

Banks recognize security as one of the top risks facing financial services. However, they also understand that risk and security are evolving constructs and processes. In 2020, they will strive to design and implement an adaptive security architecture that anticipates and mitigates the evolving cyber threats without compromising the convenience of the end-user or the customer.

Finally, an extremely crucial part of technology modernization for the customer-first digital age will be about going mobile-first in all a bank does, thinking cloud-first for operational efficiencies and time-to-market gains, and being API-first for effective ecosystem collaboration with partner banks and cross-industry participants.

What are the strategies that banks could use in this behemoth transformation? What are the security constraints and considerations of such a journey? Read about it in the Infosys-Efma retail banking report on Technology Modernization in 2020.

This piece gives you a glimpse into one of the 10 trends that I believe will reshape banking in 2020. Click here to read our full report “Scale Digital: 10 Trends Reshaping Banking in 2020”.

2020 – the year of fight or fall for banks

The writing is on the wall – with returns of nearly 60 percent of banks being lower than their cost of equity – growth and margins of banks globally will continue to be under pressure, with a cold winter approaching. As 2020 dawns, new players will continue to make inroads into the banking industry. These include the knights – leading consumer technology companies with deep pockets and a large market presence, as well as ninjas – new and nimble FinTechs armed with disruptive technologies. With regulators across the world summarily favouring more players in the industry – it is an open battle with no clear favourites.

This will be a battle where new kings of hills will be crowned and the existing players will choose their hills. For banks, this means taking a conscious call between continuing between existing business models or evolving new ones. For those looking to continuing their incumbent models, it could mean a focus on –

For those looking to evolve new models, it means becoming a

The age of glorious epic wars among incumbent banks is over. The time of quick battles and brawls is here to stay – we will continue to see interesting allies emerging between incumbent banks, challenger banks, consumer technology companies and FinTechs.

Although banks have been historically slow to adopt new models, 2020 will show a marked acceleration in the adoption of new business models, new strategies and new revenue streams that will break down the behemoth bank into a nimble and agile army of ninjas.

Who will remain, who will fall? Who will create value and who will find themselves back to the wall?

Find out more from the Infosys Finacle report on ‘Scale Digital – 10 Trends Reshaping Banking in 2020, as we look at how banks around the world attempt to survive the long winter ahead.

This piece gives you a glimpse into one of the 10 trends that I believe will reshape banking in 2020. Click here to read our full report “Scale Digital: 10 Trends Reshaping Banking in 2020”.

Banks on the Public Cloud – The final frontier breached!

While historically, banks have been guilty of slacking when it comes to technological evolution, digital disruption has woken them to a harsh reality. If banks don’t get to where their customers are, new-age competition and those leading the way will do so, and in the process mop the marketplace with the erstwhile giants.

It is this race for survival that has had banks turn their heads to cloud, especially public cloud as a means to the end. But what end? Even in the recent past, most banks were content with moving non-critical and non-core workloads to the cloud. How did the resistance to cloud diminish?

A lot of what has changed in the past year or two can be attributed not just to the competition in the banking space, but also the fact that Cloud has itself evolved:


Here’s how we expect the banking-on-cloud trend to play out in 2020 and beyond:

All said and done, single tenant cloud systems are still the safest haven for confidential information. So how will banks reconcile with new environmental realities? How safe is the bet that Public Cloud IaaS and PaaS will grow multi-fold in the next two years? The biggest question is – will it really happen? Read about all this, and more in the Finacle Banking Trends to Scale Digital in 2020 Report to learn more about how Public Cloud will shape the future of banking.

This piece gives you a glimpse into one of the 10 trends that I believe will reshape banking in 2020. Click here to read our full report “Scale Digital: 10 Trends Reshaping Banking in 2020”.

Blockchain – Returning home of the prodigal

A while ago, there was this insurance advertisement. The father hears the baby say daddy for the first time, then comes mumma, even banana – the dad’s expectations rise, and he goads the baby to say Czechoslovakia.

The story of blockchain isn’t vastly different. After the initial hype, where some marketers saw, as John Oliver put it, their soft drink company stock prices rise because they put blockchain in their name. The higher it rose, the harder it fell and suddenly it was disillusionment everywhere. Luckily folks didn’t give up. Like in the ad which ends with the dad reassuring himself that the baby said banana – and that’s no mean feat!

The distributed ledger gained momentum with the two-fold experiment to demonstrate proofs of concept and value. With the launch of platforms such as R3 Corda, and Hyperledger Fabric, the arrival of 2020 marks the return of the prodigal blockchain. Faith and fanfare is back in the distributed ledger. Regulators aren’t far behind – promoting areas such as eKYC to have their basis in blockchain, there’s a bandwagon again – including Infosys’ own blockchain-based trade finance network.

The value of blockchain is finally real. And was demonstrated inescapably when its secure environment for digitization, automation, and approval in workflows. With a blockchain-based working capital finance system, banks are disbursing funds against invoices, albeit limited to certain types and value, in less than a day. This turnaround time used to be as long as 20. To mimic the dad in the insurance ad, 95% reduction in disbursal time isn’t a mean feat!

With the disillusionment in blockchain being unable to deliver on promises firmly in the past, there is a renewed focus and fervor in blockchain solutions. What will the future hold? How far will blockchain take us, as digital takes the world by storm? Read more in the Finacle’s report on top 10 banking trend to scale digital in 2020 as we look into the different strategies businesses are adopting in their blockchain initiatives, newer revenue streams, and diverse applications.

This piece gives you a glimpse into one of the 10 trends that I believe will reshape banking in 2020. Click here to read our full report “Scale Digital: 10 Trends Reshaping Banking in 2020”.