Real-time Observability in Finance

How live data improves customer experience for fintech, financial service providers, and banks

July 9th, 2020

Hear how financial service providers Deutsche Bank and Stash use Humio log management
to gain system-wide observability at our Financial Services Roundtable co-hosted by IBM.


Customers demand more from their banks and financial institutions

In the financial services industry, the only thing changing faster than the technology is customer expectations.

As digital technology provides 24/7 access to banking services, users have begun to expect immediate answers to their questions and errors in their transactions. The phenomenon is not only found in Fintech, all application developers are experiencing it.


Financial organizations have the opportunity to address the rapid response demanded by customers by adopting technology that facilitates real-time observability - the ability to see what is happening at any point in a system by using live data. Instant-response observability tools such as log management decrease the mean time to resolution (MTTR) for disruptive incidents affecting user experiences, keep up with the expectations of modern customers, and prepare for the needs of the future.

No just any log management solution will do though. As customers get less patient, financial service providers are also getting less patient about how quickly they see returns on the tools they use for observability.

This trend of impatience has even begun to infiltrate boardrooms. In Gartner Identifies 10 Trends CFOs Must Understand to Prepare for the Future of Finance, Gartner says “stakeholders will demand real-time access to finance data and advanced analytics.”¹


Growth in technology applies pressure

Meeting growing customer demands by keeping the entire system observable continuously increases in difficulty as systems move to cloud hosting architecture and become more complex.

Data is growing at an exponential speed both at the endpoints and in the core infrastructure of financial services architecture. As network hosting moves to cloud or edge points, the amount of data generated multiplies by 4-5x and becomes more complex as microservices components each create their own data. A proliferation of devices and technology involved with customers accessing their financial services stretches systems at their endpoints.

As phones become banking terminals and financial automation expands in the growing IoT climate, existing technologies are stretched to the point at which they no longer can provide instant speed response. Without an adequate monitoring system in place, incidents go undetected and unresolved for longer periods of time, leading to more dissatisfied customers who are more likely to seek their services elsewhere.


The demands of mobile banking

Mobile banking apps have made instant speed response the new normal. If financial institutions cannot provide access to services around the clock while also protecting security, they risk damaging their reputation and losing customers. As so much has come to weigh on the performance of their applications, the need to have constant monitoring and improvement of their applications becomes central.

Humio log management answers the present and future needs of finance

Of all log management tools capable of meeting observability requirements of finance, Humio stands out for it’s speed, scale, efficiency and cost.

Powered by a unique index-free design Humio can capture log data of the largest financial systems - hundreds of terabytes of data a day - and search that live data in fractions of a second. The processing power savings from not indexing enables Humio users to reduce their hardware, leading to thousands of dollars of savings every year. Inspired by the principles of mechanical sympathy that drive high frequency stock market trading software, Humio has efficiency built into and reflected in every step of the log management process. Humio is ready to continue to provide instant observability as data volumes increase in the future.


Meeting application needs


Humio accelerates application development by providing real-time flow of data. Not only does it shrink the feedback loop, but real-time log management supports a culture that leads to a better finished product. By providing an interface which gives sub-second responses to searches, streaming log management enables developers to seek out bugs without stopping, without having to wait for their software to give them results. Real-time data feedback loops enable developers to find and correct more bugs before going into production, ultimately leading to a better application and a better customer experience.

We took Humio and made it into a decision-making tool. That means we can look and slice and dice to the point at which we have something that gives us a broad view that we can zoom into


Providing decision-ready data

One of the trends in Gartner Identifies 10 Trends CFOs Must Understand to Prepare for the Future of Finance is "Demand for decision-ready data".¹

Humio provides decision-ready data by translating log data into real-time searchable access to live log data and historical data unified in one tool. Through saved searches and alerts, users can curate their data to answer underlying questions about the security and operations of their systems.


Observability has lasting, translatable benefits

We use Humio in all departments I can think of — from security to developers, to user support, network — everything I can think of.
Roman Kovalenko

SpareBank 1

Once it’s collected, access to data can be shared in customizable visualizations that give users from different teams an overview of the performance of the entire system. Access can be as controlled or as detailed as necessary and all usage can be audited.

Initially designed to produce split-second search results for systems ingesting dozens of terabytes of data, Humio is ready to meet the needs of finance systems that are experiencing the dual strain of increasing customer expectations and growing volumes of data.

Get the perspective of fintech services and banks using Humio for observability at our Financial Services Roundtable.

Read about how Humio’s cost-saving, flexible features makes it the preferred log management financial institutions in one of our case studies: M1 Finance, SpareBank 1, and Lunar.

Hear the story of how M1 Finance found Humio to be an indispensable tool before their free trial was up in our podcast: Humio at M1 Finance with Steven Gall.


¹Gartner Press Release, “Gartner Identifies 10 Trends CFOs Must Understand to Prepare for the Future of Finance,” February 27, 2020. https://www.gartner.com/en/newsroom/press-releases/2020-02-27-gartner-identifies-ten-trends-cfos-must-understand-to-prepare-for-the-future-of-finance