It is estimated that during the next three weeks leading up to the NCAA Championship game on April 3rd, that more than 70 million Americans will fill out a tournament bracket. According to estimates released by the American Gaming Association, nearly $10.4 billion will exchange hands due to overwhelming confidence that they picked the right team to win it all. $10.4 Billion, you read that correctly. And you know what? That’s a drop in the bucket compared to the total amount of money exchanging hands in the form ticket sales, merchandise, food and beverage sales, ad revenue, and the list goes on and on…

It wasn’t long ago that the $20 you owed a friend because North Carolina folded in the closing seconds and cost you the game had to be paid with cash in hand (or by check because North Carolina never folds). Truthfully you didn’t think to go the ATM and your buddy refuses to believe that you’ll pay him later…but I digress. Or that once in a lifetime trip you planned to Houston to watch the game in person; had to be paid by wire transfer.

Digital Disruption isn’t just a phrase being thrown around by tech marketing firms, it’s real and it’s happening every day whether you’re prepared or not. In fact, it happens so fast, it’s now common place to pay that ex-friend his $20 by opening your bank’s app on your smartphone and sending the money via text. That amazing Houston trip; forget about standing in line at your bank. Now that travel app you booked it through simply asks for your thumb print to verify your payment. Financial Services has embraced enterprise application adoption and can be found at the forefront, revolutionizing the way millions of customers manage their money.

A large financial services firm CIO recently shared with me they manage over 37,000 applications in their environment and this figure doesn’t take into account the countless apps being used that integrate some form of mobile payment.  An example is that app you’ll use in the stadium that allows you to order yet another drink after your team decided to take in the local night life on the eve of the tournament and only put up 43 points in a one and done tournament, I’m looking at you Pittsburgh.

Maybe you need to take a look at your investment portfolio to make sure you can cover your ill-advised wager, there’s an app for that too. We are undergoing profound changes in the way we perceive and deal with our finances. With a focus on faster and more convenient transactions, financial services firms must tackle the regulatory compliance needs, the increase in traffic demanding automation, and a network that supports the optimization of this new operating model.

Financial service firms will no longer wait weeks or months for new services and change requests. They want to join the on-demand world that we’re all used to, but these things require a high level of automation. Networks are becoming more software-driven; DevOps can be a powerful tool for managing them. It improves the relationship between network service designers and the engineers who need to make the actual operational changes to the service. To completely automate your network, you’ll need to set up a hybrid form of DevOps. That means bringing the automation capabilities of service orchestration tools into the DevOps mix.

With the right strategy, you can bring the advantages of DevOps to your organization. And with it, the power, the agility and the cost savings you need to stay ahead of your competitors. The right strategy, not like the one you used to leave the always a Cinderella story Gonzaga off your bracket, but similar to the one you used deciding to read this blog!

For more information on how Cisco is enabling the financial services industry: cisco.com/go/fsi



Danny Vicente

Global Lead - Sports, Media, and Entertainment

Global Private Sector Industries