Guardians of the Digital Galaxy

Digitization

As the bulk of banks and financial services continue to embrace digital-first strategies, ensuring the technology underpinning innovation remains robust and compliant will be key. 

Eric Meijer speaks to Vice President of Sales Sojung Lee and Director of Sales, Engineering Aravind Kurapati from SolarWinds APJ.

“Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?” asked the ancient Romans. “Who will guard the guards?” In this digital age, we might ask, “What’s the best IT to monitor our IT?” 

This is where SolarWinds, an NYSE-listed provider of IT monitoring and management solutions, comes in. 

SolarWinds was started in 1999 in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and it’s grown into a global company headquartered in the U.S. tech hub of Austin, Texas. With a worldwide presence, SolarWinds now employs roughly 3,200 people.

“Our founders were two IT geeks,” says Lee. “For the last 21 years, our business model has been B2G, G meaning ‘geek.’ We pride ourselves on speaking the language of the IT professional, knowing their daily challenges, and developing products and solutions to help solve their problems.

“We have customers across every major industry as well as of all sizes, from small and medium enterprises to most of the Fortune 500. In fact, we’re incredibly proud to service 499 of those 500 major companies,” she said. 

“At SolarWinds, we provide IT operations management (ITOM) solutions. We identify early symptoms of failure and enable quick troubleshooting so our customers can make sure their business always runs smoothly,” Lee added. 

“SolarWinds delivers everything you need to monitor, manage, and secure your hybrid and multi-cloud IT environment. For most of the customers or Partners we engage with, business continuity is the key concern—they want to ensure their operations are up and running 24/7. When you work in IT, your role is business-critical.” 

Two decades down the road, SolarWinds® solutions have been gaining increasing popularity among IT professionals. “We’re proud to be recognized by industry analysts for IT operations management market share leadership. Our network software1 market share was ranked number one for the third year in a row. We’re grateful to our users for their trust, and we’ll continue to support their growth,” she added. 

Navigating the increasingly complex world of banking IT management

Today, IT management in banking has become a complex and vast landscape. Enterprises operate across hybrid and multi-cloud environments. 

On top of this, various IT stacks run across these different platforms. Enterprises often deploy multiple monitoring systems to ensure each of these platforms runs at optimum levels and to manage operations seamlessly across each platform. Consolidating monitoring and reporting across these various systems could go a long way to help banks become more efficient.

This challenge is also coupled with the pressure for any proposed digital change to have a robust plan in place capable of ticking the box for risk, reliability, and—most importantly—cost. In the wake of the pandemic, IT teams are further faced with reduced budgets and increased decision-making 

Consumers now increasingly embrace digital channels rather than in-branch service, and COVID-19 has accelerated this shift. 

This has also raised customer expectations for banking and financial enterprises, which are judged significantly on their trustworthiness and ability to deliver at speed while protecting customer data.

“Keeping IT infrastructure up and running, performing at an optimal speed, and ensuring everything is secure and compliant is key for digitally transformed banking, financial services, and insurance (BFSI) organizations to deliver the best experience to their customers,” said Lee. 

How can BFSI teams cope with these challenges?

With this increasing pressure on CIOs and IT teams to deliver strategic value with the same or fewer resources, Kurapati said SolarWinds plays a critical role with its banking and financial services customers to help them remain competitive. 

“You can’t ignore any part of your IT operations management world, whether it’s your applications, servers, data, infrastructure, or networks—it all matters to your business success.”

One of the most important responsibilities for IT teams is data protection and compliance. This responsibility is especially crucial, as locally, banks can face billion-dollar fines for failing to comply with regulations such as anti-money laundering laws. 

“You’ve got to protect the data—or what I call the ‘crown jewels’ of a bank. It’s important to ensure access to this data is restricted to only the necessary users and at the least privilege level possible. 

“This is an area where we help provide visibility, and we help manage access rights to protect these crown jewels. Insider threats continue to be of the biggest factors for data breaches, whether the intent is malicious or not,” said Kurapati. 

With the pandemic shifting significant parts of operations towards remote working and increased digital interaction with services from customers, a robust and comprehensive IT monitoring system has been vital in ensuring banks and financial institutions are able to reduce the visibility gaps of their networks and systems—whether they’re in a cloud, on-premises or hybrid environment—to ensure there’s no downtime in their services. 

Kurapati recognises banks are transforming amid the challenges. “We work with some of the Big Four banks in Australia, and they’re leveraging our solutions to gain full-stack visibility for hybrid IT infrastructures,” said Kurapati. 

As advanced users of SolarWinds software, these banks are well-placed to ensure their networks respond and perform in an evolving market.

“Banks are delivering on providing digital services to their customers, but what’s equally important is the need to look at initiatives such as automation to improve the efficiency of how their infrastructure is run. With the help of their IT experts, Australia’s banks can certainly modernise legacy foundations, implement deeper and more effective monitoring, and focus on growing their business,” continued Kurapati.

How can SolarWinds help?

With a full suite of IT management software across hybrid and multi-cloud environments, SolarWinds has an array of services to help BFSI organizations do more with less through a scalable, comprehensive solution

“One thing that’s fairly common with BFSI organisations is the large, distributed nature of the networks—it could be a bank with thousands of branches, for example. 

“With our broad portfolio of many different solutions, the beauty of it is you can start from whatever challenge you’re trying to solve today and expand to gain full visibility, as our solutions are modular, integrated, and connected,” said Kurapati.

“This full visibility and ability to automate tasks will be imperative in a climate of finite resources. BFSI IT teams can prioritise tasks, optimise environments, and reduce the time spent on monotonous tasks, leaving them time to focus on more strategic and innovative work,” added Kurapati.

It’s clear BFSI IT teams have a challenging role within a challenging industry as they grapple with changing consumer expectations, evolving industry regulations, and continually stretched resources. Yet with more than 20 years working with institutions across the globe to help modernise and digitise their operations, SolarWinds continues to support IT professionals in monitoring, managing, and securing their operations, helping to ensure banking and financial institutions are prepared to navigate today’s challenges and embrace the future.
 

1. IDC-defined Network Management Software functional market, IDC’s Worldwide Semiannual Software Tracker®, 20H1, International Data Corporation (IDC®)