Application Development

3 Lessons Learned From Delphix FSI

The success of Delphix’s DevOps Test Data Management in Finance Event shows that there’s a lot of demand for best practices and solutions for DevOps test data management within the finance sector.

Steve Barrett

Apr 19, 2023


It’s been a few weeks since Delphix’s DevOps Test Data Management in Finance Event at London’s South Place Hotel, and I’m still proud of its accomplishments. With over 20 financial organisations being represented at the event it was one of the most engaging events we’ve held in London, showing the importance of the topic. Clearly, there’s a lot of demand for best practices and solutions for DevOps test data management within the finance sector.

Experts from across the financial services industry (FSI) spoke at the event, including Lloyds Banking Group Quality Engineering Chapter Lead Moronke Fajobi, London Stock Exchange Group Senior Manager of Database Solutions Sridhar Kondru, FWD View Chief Technology Officer Carl Ferrer, and Delphix Field CTO Ugo Pollio. All underscored the challenges facing FSI organisations undertaking major application re-platforming and modernisation efforts. Confronted with legacy test data management (TDM) processes as well as evolving data privacy regulations, organisations are finding that more secure data automation is needed to efficiently comply with evolving data privacy regulations, de-risk projects and standardise to accelerate innovation.

A lot of useful information was shared at Delphix’s DevOps Test Data Management in Finance Event. Below, I’ve listed my three biggest takeaways from the day.

1) Maintaining data compliance is key— but it can clash with development acceleration

In keeping data private, enterprises are accountable to both their customers as well as to an ever-increasing list of data privacy regulations across the world. In addition to complying with jurisdiction-based data privacy regulations such as the European Union (EU)’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), financial institutions are also bound by finance-specific privacy regulations such as the United States’ Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA) and the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS).

Data compliance carries major implications for a few reasons. First, compliance can be difficult to maintain, as each law defines personal data differently and regulates data processing differently. But secondly, non-compliance tends to carry high-stakes penalties, such as significant fines, jail time, and collateral reputational damage. For instance, PCI-DSS non-compliance can cost companies up to $500,000 per non-compliance incident. Meanwhile, GLBA carries steep individual penalties for indicted directors within infringing companies, such as fines of up to $10,000 and up to 10 years of jail time. Additionally, data privacy litigation (as well as a data breach) often produce news storeys that can mangle an organization’s reputation with the public as well as with potential clients and customers.

As essential as maintaining compliance is, it can be a time-consuming process. This tacks on time that many organisations spend on development by using manual, high-touch processes and the coordination of multiple teams to provision data and handle test data management (TDM) for their software development. These manual TDM processes and methodical compliance maintenance meanwhile, often function in tandem with streamlined and automated software development processes that have come about from businesses adopting Agile and DevOps to accelerate their development. This can cause bottlenecks of data that further inhibit time-to-market and adaptability, as well as testing ability.

2) DevOps TDM helps businesses achieve comprehensive compliance while accelerating development

Employing DevOps test data management (DevOps TDM) allows FSI firms to efficiently maintain compliance without sacrificing productivity— in fact, it helps them increase productivity.

DevOps TDM leverages three technologies to supercharge businesses’ development processes: data masking, virtual data, and API-driven automation. First, data masking irreversibly replaces original, real data values with fictitious but realistic equivalents that maintain referential integrity. This allows FSI firms to comply with virtually any data privacy regulations worldwide, while gaining additional data security.

Second, virtual data circulates ephemeral copies of data across an enterprise rather than physical copies. Not only are virtual datasets nimbler and more lightweight– they also decrease an organization’s security risk because they can be spun down or refreshed in seconds. And lastly, APIs work together to automate data provisioning, refreshing, masking, and more TDM processes. This allows databases to be masked and provisioned in minutes.

3) Adoption of DevOps Test Data Management Processes and Tools Is Accelerating

We heard from many finance IT leaders from the London area who are aggressively adopting DevOps TDM solutions and maturing the way they provision and mask data for their non-production environments. In general, they are integrating their tools — such as Delphix — with their DevOps toolchains to make TDM as seamless and efficient as possible. They are also consistently masking sensitive data fields so they reduce the surface area for protection and risk. More advanced shops are using snapshots and more advanced features of Delphix to support complex and often parallel testing routines and for tasks such as troubleshooting and recovery.

Business leaders are finding that DevOps TDM solutions are an effective addition to their operations because DevOps TDM’s return on investment (ROI) has been directly demonstrated. IDC surveyed 10 businesses that implemented DevOps TDM via the Delphix DevOps Data Platform and found that Delphix yielded them a 39% cost reduction in data operations and a 76% reduction in business risk. The businesses that implemented Delphix also broke even on their investments in a nine-month timeframe, and they achieved a five-year ROI of 560%. 

With the continued evolution of data privacy laws, staying ahead of the curve with compliant data management processes is critical for FSI firms to maximise productivity and competitive edge while also protecting their customers’ data. DevOps TDM solutions have established themselves as a pragmatic solution for these issues given their ability to accelerate development and compliance alike. With growing demand for DevOps TDM within the finance sector, it’s safe to say that Delphix will be hosting many more exciting events for financial services firms promoting best practices and solutions for DevOps TDM. The future is bright.