This blog is part 8 of a series of 8 on the results of our inaugural research report The State of DevOps in Financial Services.

Earlier this year Contino reached out to IT professionals in financial services to gain a greater understanding of innovation and DevOps in the industry.

We received responses from 165 professionals, ranging from engineers to CTOs working at a range of financial services organizations from FinTech startups and investment funds to insurance firms and the biggest global banks.

This culminated in our research report The State of DevOps in Financial Services.

For an introduction to our findings, check out an earlier article here. This blog series will take a closer at each chapter of the report in turn.

In this blog, we analyse the difference in DevOps maturity between respondents in enterprises (organisations with only 10,000 employees) and those in SMES (those with under 500 employees). The results are intriguing! 

Here's a summary of the most interesting findings: 

The statistics above demonstrate clear trends that divide enterprises from SMEs.

Across the board, enterprises find innovation less important, have less mature DevOps practices, release software more slowly and are more suspicious of DevOps and the cloud than SMEs. They are also less bothered about the threat that FinTechs pose. Dismissive
attitudes to DevOps and innovation seem to be reflected in the lack of skills and maturity that respondents report.

SMEs on the other hand, are much more focused on innovation – 88% find it to be “very” or “extremely” important to their business model. This is reflected in superior reported maturity and skills. They also deem modern ways of working to be less risky than their
enterprise peers. They are more open to transformation and motivated to become part of the rising wave of disruption. As a result a majority of enterprises (52%) need 12-18 months to release new software, while a majority of SMEs (67%) need 6 months or less.

A possible reason for the above is the impact of compliance and regulation. While for enterprises this remains a significant barrier (security and compliance/regulation were the two most-cited barriers to rapid software release), only 13% of SMEs cited compliance
as a major barrier. This suggests that they either are subject to far less regulation and/or that they are far more capable of embedding these compliance requirements in their business processes.

Want to get the whole story on the state of DevOps in financial services?

Click below to get the whole 42-page report for data-driven insights into the key challenges and opportunities within financial services!

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There appear to be vicious and virtuous circles at work here regarding talent. The responses suggest that enterprises – who are more sceptical of and less interested in DevOps – generally don’t have all the skills required to fully carry out their own innovation strategies. Nor do they find it easy to attract said talent. No doubt the scepticism towards DevOps (and not even knowing if they are using DevSecOps!) doesn’t make such organizations particularly appealing to the top tech talent who want to be working on cutting-edge projects.

By contrast, SMEs are more favourable to DevOps (and more mature in their practice) and possess more of the skills required (although far from all). Only 38% (compared to 61%) find it “very difficult” to attract talent.

Most interesting is the split on opinion regarding the threat to incumbents that born-in-the-cloud FinTech companies pose. A majority (57%) of enterprises report that competitors will only take “a little” market share. With low DevOps maturity, few innovation-centric skills and difficulty attracting talent, they better hope they are right! SMEs on the other hand, predict a very different outcome: 66% think that “some” or “significant” market share will be transferred from the enterprise incumbents to their innovative competition.


Overall, enterprises are slow and sceptical...but not particularly worried about being disrupted by more digitally-agile competition. Smaller SMEs are more nimble and open and are predicting a much greater shift in power from incumbents to neophytes. 

Enterprises, in particular, should be paying more attention to the disruption that’s taking place in every industry to ensure that their
transformation efforts deliver meaningful change.



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Ben Saunders

VP, Consulting EMEA

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