How advanced is database DevOps in financial services?

Whether you’re exploring the advantages of DevOps or already fully immersed in the journey, including the database brings additional advantages. But how are you performing compared to the competition? What could you do better? What’s the benchmark you should be aiming for?

To help companies answer these questions, Redgate has created a Database DevOps Maturity Assessment tool which evaluates where you are now, shows how you compare with your peers, and makes recommendations for how to move forward.

The tool divides the database DevOps process into its three main stages: Environment & Development, Continuous Integration & Deployment, and Protecting & Preserving Data.

Environment & Development

The first stage covers the broad development environment, and its aim is to discover how much collaboration exists, what practices are already in place, and if any bottlenecks exist.

The ultimate aim should be to encourage good collaboration between teams, and introduce effective management of environments and the use of best practices like version control or automated provisioning. In this way, development practices can be optimized, leaving teams free to focus on process improvements.

Continuous Integration & Deployment

The second stage of the assessment tool is concerned with how you validate and test code changes, what processes are in place to deploy those changes, and how changes are deployed.

Here, the objective is to automate the database deployment pipeline and test potential changes with realistic data and server environments, thereby minimizing the risk of introducing bugs and defects further downstream. This gives teams the ability to focus on iterative improvements that enable a higher frequency of deployments.

Protecting & Preserving Data

The final stage is probably the most important for financial services companies. It covers how performance is monitored, what backup and recovery strategies are in place, and how data access is controlled and audited.

With a solid data management strategy in place, for example, effective monitoring across environments can enable performance to be correlated with changes so that the cause of any issues or errors can be pinpointed and acted upon immediately. Crucially, compliance can also be readily demonstrated, which will become increasingly relevant when the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) enters the picture in May 2017.

Find out where you are on the database DevOps journey

Redgate conducted a State of Database DevOps survey in early 2017 which showed that 42% of companies do not yet have their database under version control, the first step in optimizing the development environment. This despite the fact that it lets companies spend more time on improving code quality, prompts earlier feedback on potential errors, and minimizes potential performance problems in production.

Similarly, the survey also revealed that only 17% of respondents deploy database changes daily, with a further 20% deploying changes more than once a week. So 63% of companies are missing the advantages of a test-driven development process which makes it possible to deploy changes at will, and reduce errors at deployment to almost zero.

You can find out how you compare to your peers by benchmarking your current practices with the Database DevOps Maturity Assessment tool online. Do so and you’ll receive a tailored report with practical advice and insights into the next steps to take.

You can also see a snapshot of DevOps adoption rates in financial services with an online infographic which extracts all of the relevant data from the State of Database DevOps report.

This is the third post in a series about database DevOps in the financial services sector. You might also be interested in the first and second posts:

What are the leading DevOps drivers in financial services?

Can the database be included in DevOps in financial services?