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DevOps POCs Boost Confidence

In an exclusive chat Vivek Vitthal Dhavale, Chief Technology Officer at Equitas Small Finance Bank shares the DevOps initiatives adopted by the bank:

DevOps POCs Boost Confidence

Ravi Lalwani: Have you adopted DevOps for internal development? What percentage of the work/team is now on DevOps? What DevOps tools are you using?

Vivek Vitthal Dhavale: Equitas Bank has embarked on the DevOps journey, in the current environment where constant changes to software applications are imperative to maintain the competitive edge. These changes invariably need constant deployment in the test environments or the production environment. Though the percentage of work has just begun, we are exploring the possibilities around it, as the concepts and POCs have given us good confidence in its implementation. The DevOps tools being used at Equitas are Git for code repository, Maven for dependencies, SonarQube for code quality, Jenkins for deployment automation and Locust for continuous load testing.

Briefly explain how you managed the cultural transformation associated with migrating to DevOps. Did you engage any external experts for this?

Cultural transformation for developers and stakeholders had to be managed separately. At Equitas Bank, deployment / DevOps is not just the release team’s responsibility, but it is joint ownership of the end-to-end development to deployment cycle. Stakeholders had to be educated on the aspects of automated testing and the importance of test case documentation, more than the manual testing methodologies.

Please quantify (approximately if accurately is not possible) the benefits of DevOps in terms of speed, cost, user satisfaction, and any other important parameter.

At this stage, exact quantifying may not be possible, however, we are poised to see the benefits as and when the work in the line of DevOps would amplify in the organization and we shall derive relevant case studies around DevOps. We believe that deployments that need multiple resources at odd hours, will be minimized drastically, thereby improving their work-life balance. All these will improve user (external and internal) satisfaction.

What has been your experience with low-code and no-code tools in the DevOps environment? What kinds of applications are they best suited for? What are your plans to expand DevOps and to further improve DevOps?

The low-code and no-code tools are picking up fast. A lot of product companies have moved to low-code and no-code platforms, thereby applications being deployed are based on such platforms. The deployment of such platforms requires relatively lesser downtime to the applications and is more inline/amenable for usage with the DevOps tools. All the applications which require workflow and parameterizable fields on the screen are using / building low-code and no-code platforms.

Equitas has further plans to expand DevOps usage for applications procured from OEMs (other than in-house developed applications).

Briefly describe technology initiatives to drive CX.

Equitas Small Finance Bank is working on several digital initiatives on top of its current infrastructure including merchant current accounts, an insurance-tech platform, and digital personal loans. We have introduced a digital product ‘Selfe’, through which customers can open an account remotely. The bank has done tie-ups with fintech start-ups such as NiyoX and Freo Save, through which the bank receives deposits from investment-centric and first-time borrowers. Further, the SFB is planning to increase the current account deposit base, which is at a lower side as of now. The bank aims to ramp up its current account deposits through the new addition, where any merchant can open a digital current account.

The bank is focusing on building its digital capabilities and is working to create a super app in the next 15 months as it doubles down on its customer acquisition growth plans across channels. The super app will be an app for the merchant ecosystem, where they can link their current accounts and use it for payments, it will also be an insurtech app, which will serve as a marketplace for the bank customers, and it will be for retail in-house customers. The bank is also stepping up the use of digital means to source new liabilities for customers, i.e., current accounts and savings accounts (CASA), and for loan origination starting with vehicle financing.

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