A lot has been said about the impact of the pandemic and continuous lockdowns on the digital transformation in the financial sector. But the cause for an increased need for digital transformation lies, maybe more importantly, in a growing, more general, preference to access financial services in a more convenient way: from anywhere in the world, at any time.   

Also, growing risk management requirements and regulatory changes urge the necessity to integrate new technologies, especially the cloud, with legacy systems.  

This rising demand for more complex fintech solutions prompts the need for making the process more efficient, less complicated and more adaptive to changes. In other words: more agile.  

Why is agile deployment and process-driven speed important in the fintech sector? 

A traditional approach to software development is based on a linear process. A team working on a software solution has to work on one phase of a project at a time. Before moving on to the next phase, they must complete the first one. This sequential model is also called a waterfall methodology.  

It may seem very organised and methodical at first, but unfortunately, the waterfall approach to software development has a couple of downsides: 

There’s no MVP to validate the product idea 

A product is released to production once the full development cycle is completed, which gives no chance to validate the idea with end users before the full work is done. If some features turn out to be a miss, then a part of the effort goes to waste.  

No space for feedback throughout the development cycle 

Since the waterfall model doesn’t include client-team collaboration throughout the development cycle, the end product may not agree with your idea. What is more, implementing changes at the final stage is more expansive than early on in the process. 

No flexibility  

In the waterfall model, there’s a lot of planning and scheduling going on upfront. Once the course of action is taken, it’s very hard to make any corrections, let alone a sharp turn if your needs suddenly become different.  

Agile deployment and process-driven speed model are the response to what the waterfall approach fails at. It’s a more lightweight and nimble alternative.  

What are the elements of agile deployment and process-driven speed in fintech software development? 

Regular follow-ups and a feedback loop 

While initial interviews and workshops are still very important, a regular process is what really drives the speed of project development as it allows aligning your vision and needs with what’s delivered on the go. 

The agile approach to software deployment means that the project is developed and tested in small parts. The code is deployed to a testing environment that is very close to the production environment. That way, users who have access to it can test the application and provide instant feedback. 

The development lifecycle is usually divided into two-week sprints as per the Scrum methodology that is often used by agile teams. In the traditional waterfall approach, the cycle can be stretched into months before deploying a feature to production, when you can access it and give feedback. 

Shorter cycles mean that you can exchange feedback with the development team as follow-ups will be more regular. This way you become much more involved in the process and can control whether what’s delivered matches your idea and requirements you had in mind. Changes can be delivered early on in the process, which also minimises the costs. As a result, projects can be delivered at a shorter time and with higher quality.  

Iterative development & testing 

In iterative development, new features are added one by one increasing an overall functionality of a product. This approach has three major advantages over the waterfall process: 

  • functionality problems are detected immediately and can be fixed early on; 
  • the end users can give instant feedback regarding a new feature, so you can get proof that the idea is working, or in case it’s not – an argument to modify it 
  • it’s easier, and also less costly, to adjust the solution if the requirements or business needs change suddenly 

Build/deploy in sprints 

Short cycles drive the speed of development. Most agile development teams work in two-week sprints, according to Scrum methodology. This allows staying focused on the priorities determined for a sprint, thus increasing the productivity and quality of work. After each sprint, you can have a feedback session with a development team to discuss your comments. 

Now the question is: how does the agile deployment approach translate to business value?  

What are the benefits of agile deployment and process-driven speed for fintech companies?  

Delivering value to end users faster 

We’ve already brought up this point. Thanks to iterative releases users get access to anticipated features faster and you can validate the ideas almost immediately.  

Competitiveness on the market 

Higher flexibility of the agile deployment model allows you to react to market changes faster. New solutions can be released in a shorter time, so you can outrun your competitors and be the first one in the industry to offer certain digital services.  

Better user experience 

Agile deployment methodology is very customer-focused. With each released iteration, you get feedback from end users, that should be taken into consideration in future iterations. This way, with each iteration, your product becomes better and better tailored to the end users’ needs.  

High adaptability 

Adapting to changing requirements is at the foundation of the agile methodology. Thanks to an iterative approach to scheduling work, if the requirements suddenly change, for example, due to regulatory compliance issues, the effort and time invested in the rework are minimal.   

Are you looking for an agile software development partner? 

The agile model proved to be successful for fintech companies in times of pandemic when there was a sudden shift in business needs. It allowed for a quick adaptation of existing solutions to the new reality, in which social distancing and lockdowns increased the need for online financial and banking services. But the agile deployment will surely become a go-to model in the long run as it turned out to be very customer-friendly as well as cost-efficient. 

At Spyrosoft, the agile approach to building software lets us avoid bottlenecks and deliver fully functional solutions at the shortest time possible while working on complex projects for clients from the fintech sector. Thanks to the agile approach and regular feedback loops we could bring our client’s vision to life as they saw it.  

About the author

Małgorzata Kruszyńska

Małgorzata Kruszynska

Business Researcher