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Managing the big data sprawl in finance

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Managing Data Sprawl: How financial services can embrace a data-led future to enhance productivity and security

Today’s technology-savvy companies are evolving beyond being technology companies and becoming data companies, including in the Financial Services Industry (FSI). IT leaders are realising more and more that data is key to building robust applications and software – innovating at scale, and unlocking competitive advantage within a business environment that’s becoming increasingly dependent on technology.

Capturing more and more information across every part of the organisation has led to a sprawl of data. On the surface, this is great news for IT teams: new data means fresh insights to fuel innovation and create more competitive product offerings. But it’s difficult to innovate with massive amounts of data on hand yet no strategy to determine its use.

As technology teams evolve through Agile, DevOps and CI/ CD development methodologies, demand times for release cycles are getting faster and faster. At the same time, those teams are being given massive volumes of new data from all other parts of the business. Decisions on how that data gets used – and how resulting products should look – are being driven from within technical teams.

Financial firms must streamline their test data management processes to triumph over the challenges that data sprawl will only continue to present.

Data sprawl’s biggest challenges

Today’s increasing data sprawl creates a management headache both for technical teams and enterprises as a whole for three reasons.

First, each new source of data creates a management overhead – someone must be responsible for it, wherever it’s stored. With the adoption of cloud, large amounts of data are located in data warehouses and data lakes where employees from across the organisation can conveniently access it.

Second, many organisations don’t have good data governance in place. Developers, security, and compliance teams are often unsure of each other’s data security responsibilities. Research also suggests that businesses typically create more than ten copies of each data set – which multiplies the overall surface area of risk for every copy of production data, and thus increases compliance overheads and the risk of a security breach.

Lastly, the cost of implementing platforms to securely stand-up data testing environments – and deliver data, on demand, to developers’ applications – are also typically high. Those expenses are exacerbated by the fact that the standing environments will most likely only be used intermittently. And these platforms take time to set up and can be inflexible.

Realise the promise of test data automation

Unsurprisingly, the inability to access the right data quickly and easily has, for many organisations, become the main bottleneck to agile application delivery.

Fortunately, there is a far better alternative. The Delphix DevOps Data Platform automates data delivery and access while also optimising data privacy and data security— whether on premises, or in a hybrid or multi-cloud environment.

Delphix provides access to APIs that can be leveraged to create data-ready test environments throughout your development process. Your technical teams can focus on discovering and fixing software glitches, without having to waste time and energy on creating test data sources.

By employing full data masking, Delphix’s platform transforms sensitive data into anonymised, test-only data – guaranteeing security while also maintaining the integrity and usefulness of your data. So, rather than worrying about the security and compliance issues associated with production data, FSI firms can use the Delphix DevOps Data Platform to automate the creation and delivery of test data. That enables them to provide secure, self-service access to tech teams to accelerate the delivery of new applications and products.

Additionally, your developers can use the Delphix platform to spin up data testing environments in the cloud, on demand, in just a few minutes. They can gain access to your test data via multiple cloud environments, enabling them to use whatever tools they choose. Your developers will be able to break through the bottleneck of accessing test data and bring development times back up to their rightful speed.

Collectively, solving all of these issues will allow your business to better manage data sprawl and deliver innovation more effectively. Ultimately, that will enable you to deliver applications rapidly, remain competitive and enhance the chances of success. You’ll be able to realise the promise of test data automation to become an agile, data-driven winner in financial services.

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