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Enterprise Monitoring Solution - Need of the Hour for Banks

Banking is no longer restricted to a few hundred branches, corporates offices and head office. Last decade and a half saw an increase in channels like ATMs, EDC Machines, Online Banking, CRM systems integrated with traditional branch and core banking systems. The banking industry is seeing a wave of digital disruption that will explode over the next few years. As a retail customer, my savings accounts get affected by an online fund transfer over IMPS, NEFT, selling of few stocks on my broker's site, ECS instructions, digital payments from Wallet, cash reward from Google Pay, SWIFT instruction and many more.

Our life is sometimes disturbed by natural phenomenon’s like rains, cyclones or some unforeseen calamities, but never must have we imagined that we would be held hostage by a mini-microscopic life of a virus COVID-19. The pandemic, has changed our functioning and impacted trade and commerce, digitally-enabled consumers have switched to heavy use of e-payments and e-commerce thus, burdening the IT infrastructure of banks in India.

The vast expanse of a bank’s IT systems comprises of the hardware, networks, servers, storage, web components, applications with various databases, cross-functional intersection points and interconnections. It becomes difficult for the IT team to pinpoint the root cause of a technical problem causing delays/backlogs and thus having a domino effect on the performance, reporting, customer satisfaction. Monitoring one's infrastructure in totality can be challenging to the IT leaders with the growing digital footprints.

So to summarize the major challenges that banks face are:-

  • No end-to-end monitoring and performance tracking of their IT components

  • Lack of real-time operational and performance tracking

  • Missing pro-active monitoring

  • Inconsistent update on metrics

  • Weak altering mechanism

To stay ahead in the race, a bank needs to adopt “A modern Enterprise monitoring Solution” to overcome the challenges posed by the increased digital transactions in post COVID-19 world across a variety of technology platforms on in-premises or cloud based data centres.

Centralized or a single point of collating data, analysing, monitoring the performance of applications/devices, and reporting of incidents/ issues with set processes is the main objective of the enterprise monitoring solution. The monitoring solution market place is flooded with software offering solace to the plights of highly digital IT infra in banks. But “Elastic Observability” products which are synonymous with Enterprise Monitoring Solutions, outperform the rest as they provide unified visibility across a bank’s ecosystem.

“Gartner estimates the market of IT Operations Management represents a $37Billion opportunity by 2023 and the number of applications that are monitored will quadruple from 5% in 2018 to 20% by 2021.”

Basic benefits of enterprise monitoring solutions with Elastic on-board are:-

  • Reduced risk and cost of downtime

  • Improved application and IT infra performance, ensuring a good customer experience

  • Increased visibility of all IT components

  • Pro-active monitoring of all services and applications

  • High availability of applications to maximise ROI on investments

Observability with the Elastic Stack

High SLA's with the customer and stringent requirement of uptime, give banks a competitive advantage making it a necessity that applications and services are monitored along with it’s underlying infrastructure. So the Elastic Stack and Observability brings together the application developers team, IT infrastructure team monitoring metrics, and log monitoring team to provide co-ordination and cohesiveness to troubleshoot and arrive at a solution.

Observability revolves around the solutions of uptime monitoring, APM, metrics, and logging in a single interface that is easy to evaluate and use.

Deep diving into the individual components of enterprise monitoring solution:-

Logs Monitoring: Enables us to view logs servers, containers, services and from other infrastructure to help identify problems in real-time. Individual entry log can be drilled down to get detailed information also corresponding metrics be viewed seamlessly. Additionally, it has machine learning to detect specific log anomalies automatically.

Logs monitoring comprises of Elasticsearch which is a real-time, distributed storage & search/analytics engine. Beats, the lightweight data shippers installed as agents on servers to send data to Elasticsearch. Kibana, the analytics & visualization platform.

Metrics Monitoring: Enables us to monitor metrics for database, storage, network and host metrics. Advanced data analysis and visualization of data in a variety of charts, tables, and maps can be accomplished on the Elastic stacks component of Kibana.

Metrics monitoring components

APM Monitoring: The APM agent installed in the application collects and streams application performance metrics to the APM server, where they are processed and stored in Elasticsearch. The performance data APM app can be viewed within minutes on APM app or prebuilt dashboards.

Elastic APM collects unhandled errors and exceptions automatically. Errors are grouped based and can identify new errors as they appear and keep monitoring the frequency of occurrence of specific errors.

Uptime Monitoring: Service uptime is an important attribute of service delivery and a crucial metric to track and monitor as user experience is impacted by downtime. The operations team have to monitor various critical endpoints in a scenario of interconnected applications and services, which cannot all be controlled by them. Hence measuring, reporting, alerting on services uptime is a unique feature of Elastic Stack's Observability solution.

Uptime in COVID-19 and otherwise…

The impact of the pandemic is expected to last longer that than the existence of the virus and industry leader would factor its effect in their growth strategies. IT infrastructure and its health is the backbone of the banks to expand its reach beyond geographies and calamities. Luckily, the technology market gets a regular supply of tools that’s makes the life of IT operation teams easy. Early adoption of such technologies and envisioning its long term benefits make service delivery a cost and experience differentiator. Realising that it’s not about heavy investments and cost savings but having a strong infrastructure and flawless remote operations capable of meeting any changes in the business environment is the game-changer.

The efficiency of the business service line in any enterprise is heavily dependent on the infrastructure that supports it, and banking is no exception. With the new age Elastic monitoring solution capabilities, the IT operation’s team need not have expertise in the administration of the monitoring solution or need to be concerned about its scalability or speed of giving results.

For banks with retail & corporate clientele, rich customer experience, retention and satisfaction is critical for business. And all of this is possible with flawless functioning of the robust IT infrastructure & applications that are well equipped to meet the growing demands and regulatory changes. Banking operations see peak times and the bank's IT operations must scale as per the fluctuating demands, and irrespective of the demands the networks and application require minimum downtime.

Elastic’s Observability solution not only anticipate glitches/ failures but prepares the IT infrastructure for successful operations. But adopting solutions such as this the bank’s give confidence to their customers that their business will be functioning smoothly because the banking services are running optimally.

Do write to us or connect on social media to know more on our Elastic Stack service capabilities and our experience in helping our customers leverage the power of their data! You can also check out our previous blog on "Using Elastic Stack for Data Analytics".

NSEIT has been provisioning its customers with quick resolutions to modernize their IT application development and management strategy and enabling them to focus on their core business areas by addressing custom business requirements in highly aggressive timelines.

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