Moving quickly in today's age is critical to a financial institution's success as technologies and practices continue to rapidly evolve. To keep up with the ever-changing needs of customers, banks and credit unions must stay agile.
Part of staying agile and improving means constantly updating products to keep them at optimal performance. But updates can cause lags, downtime, and frustration for both institutions and their customers. Knowing this, Narmi has adopted a process for rolling out updates that’s smooth, fast, and stress-free for institutions and their digital banking end-users.
Narmi’s new release cycle for updates prioritizes stability while also prioritizing continual improvement – something achievable thanks to the principles of continuous delivery and continuous deployment. This practice ensures Narmi’s innovations stay reliable, with minimal impact on dependable access and user experience. This results in fewer outages, fewer bugs, and greater control for our customers.
Outage and interruption-free updates
With the new release cycle, Narmi’s software products will see a reliable, dependable, and regular cadence of updates every six weeks. The high frequency of updates means smaller batches of fixes that won’t overwhelm our products, end-users, and customers. And a regular schedule means institutions get advanced notice of feature changes that may impact them and their end-users, giving them time to test, validate, and respond with feedback.
If for any reason a new feature is not needed, institutions can opt-out of individual releases. Finally, continuous deployment means that bugs are fixed as they’re found, resulting in fewer interruptions for users.
A reliable, dependable schedule of roll-outs
On the first Monday of each month, updates, fixes, and anything else to be released is deployed to a testing or “canary” environment. There, it undergoes a round of tests where any potential bugs are detected, prioritized, and mitigated. As the bugs are squashed, these fixes are automatically deployed.
Once this early version passes all its tests, a stable version is created and automatically deployed to further user acceptance testing (UAT) environments to be validated and approved. Every Narmi customer receives a dedicated UAT environment assuming they have a test core banking system. Finally, non-engineering implementation and/or development teams move to production and monitor the roll-out. In non-technical terms, every release is rigorously tested to make sure the new code and functionality is performing optimally.
Narmi uses Continuous Deployment and Delivery to streamline the update process.
Continuous Delivery automatically deploys code changes to a testing and/or production environment after the build stage. This allows for an automated release process. While development teams can release whenever and however frequently they want, the best practice is to deploy to production as early as possible. Our new release cycle is frequent, regular, and automated, meaning consistent fixes and updates. And, small release batches are typically easier to troubleshoot and support.
Continuous Deployment ensures that all stages of the production pipeline pass automated validation before being released to customers. Being entirely automatic, any failed test will simply not be deployed. This protection inherent to Continuous Deployment accelerates feedback from customers while also taking the pressure of “Release Day” off development teams – giving them more time to develop new product features and functionality.
Developers can focus on innovation, not repairs
When new features aren’t functioning as they should, developers must spend time and energy fixing the issues, often creating a large backlog and long wait times for those fixes. Energy is spent repairing when it could be spent making something new. Continuous deployment provides limitless “hot fixes'' that are made on an as-need basis and automatically deployed as the issues are solved.
For development teams, this makes things incredibly easy. Not only are these a breeze to release internally, but since it’s automated, they don’t have to spend time and energy doing things manually. Unlike other processes, there’s no internal shepherding that can lead to unnecessary bottlenecks and roadblocks. With fixes done as needed, developer teams have the freedom to write code versus spending time implementing and fixing it. This approach results in less worry about the current release and more excitement about the next one. For end-users, it means a smooth transition free of delays and interruptions.
Easier updates for institutions means easier banking for customers & members
Narmi’s release process ensures the products customers use will be as up-to-date and functional as possible at all times. Constant reassessments mean institutions get the products they need and want and the functionality and user experience they deserve. Some recent examples of features that have recently rolled out include our Support Hub, a resource for users that provides answers to their most common questions, and Offline Verification, a fast and secure way to authenticate users.
The choice to opt-out of certain features allows for personalization that reflects the individual needs of institutions and end-users. The release process also gives institutions a competitive edge thanks to consistent user experiences and functionality as your customers have a continuously smooth experience with our platform. And because financial institutions can count on Narmi for stable innovations like these, they’ll always know that any new products will come with the same dedication to continued excellence.