In 2009, the average time spent on smartphone browsing was 45 minutes. Today, that’s up to 3 hours 45 minutes. In the last 10 years, technology and applications have transformed our lives. This notion of digital transformation has left no industry untouched.

The last decade has been one of disruption for consumers. From a technology perspective, it’s been a decade of opportunity.

Innovations in banking

In 2009, only 32% of the European population banked online. Today, that’s up to 70% across Europe. Over the last 10 years, we’ve seen a decline in the traditional bank branch. With the rise in always-on consumer expectations, traditional banks have had to keep pace with challenger brands, implementing seamless online banking solutions and services, as part of a digital transformation strategy.

Software developments have allowed banks to personalise experiences more than ever, taking advantage of machine learning algorithms.

From a customer perspective, the ease-of-use has increased dramatically too. 10 years ago, to log on to an online bank account you’d need to remember a complex password, a string of numbers provided to you by security key fob. But now, in 2019, many banks are using facial recognition software to make accessing your account as easy as glancing at your smartphone.

Going back 10 years, it was far less practical to ask questions regarding your finances. You’d have to book an appointment during your lunch hour or take the time during your weekend to visit your local bank branch.

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Now, whenever it suits, you can go online and speak to digital agents such as a chatbot. You can ask questions about your finances and get instantaneous, intelligent replies – in real time. When it comes to giving advice, it’s no longer just about accessing your finances for a spending overview. Now many banks are using advancements in machine learning to personalise the services that they provide, sharing tangible advice, with regards to your spending history, and also your saving strategies.

Even an age-old industry, such as retail banking, has been thoroughly transformed in the last decade. So, what next?

Behind the scenes of digital transformation

No matter the industry, technology has changed the way enterprises operate over the last 10 years. The focal point of these transformations has been applications that have been the catalyst for change.

Applications are ever-more elegant, less intrusive, and more intuitive. In the near future, it’s highly likely that consumers won’t even know they are interacting with an app. This means performance has become paramount. A minor slowdown in the applications that we’re using can have a major impact on our overall experience. Though daunting to some, to technologists leading these innovations and assuring application performance, this presents an exciting opportunity to innovate and transform the way their organisation does business.

The development of DevOps

2009 introduced a number of new concepts to the world. One important concept was that of DevOps, a term first mentioned at a Velocity conference back in June 2009. Flickr talked about doing 10 or more deployments a day, with this perfect combination of Dev and IT Operations collaboration. In this time, our approach to the way we architect applications has also changed.

For all enterprise technologies, we’re blending these new approaches and technologies, alongside traditional architectures and business-critical technologies such as the mainframe, which continues to be a key part of any digital service a business provides.

The importance of APM

As the technology stack continues to grow, the backend code and infrastructure becomes more complex. This is going to continue, as the front end of applications and digital services becomes ever-more intuitive and elegant. This, of course, poses potential issues when performance problems start to arise, because there are a variety of reasons why these may occur. It could be a simple server configuration change, or it could be a problem with the microservices architecture. It could be an API related issue, or it could be that age-old culprit of a network policy change which causes these issues.

Consistent, high performance has become critical to maintain, whilst stopping any issues before they arise is becoming increasingly difficult. And not just from a solution perspective, but from a people and process perspective. World-class digital services have become of paramount strategic importance.

Digital transformation and AIOps

Within the application performance management (APM) industry, we’ve seen further development in the last year or so, with new innovations and mindsets, such as machine learning, artificial intelligence and AIOps becoming more and more intuitive. Put simply, AIOps is all about understanding what’s happening across your technology to drive intelligent, meaningful action from the visibility and insight now available, in turn embracing a culture of automation.

According to Carl Martin, head of technology travel experiences at Collinson Group: “If you think about transformation, one of the first things you need to really get nailed down is to put into metrics or numbers, what you are trying to change. Historically, the environments we were operating were more static, perhaps comprising of a couple of servers with network bridges and routers in between. It was all very observable hardware, and therefore easy to track logs, look at performance and network data because it was so well defined.

“As the environments become more complex, it is critical that we have access to these new ways of monitoring and visualising that same information.”

The technologist’s role

Our roles as technologists have had to change over the last decade. Today, it’s not about keeping the lights on when it comes to software and systems. We’ve had to alter our approach, as we’ve become focused on driving positive technology innovation within our organisations, to improve how the best teams work, and to improve the way the business serves its customers and internal users. It’s about transforming the way our businesses run and leaving a lasting legacy.

Aspiring technologists and agents of transformation must continue to positively disrupt the status quo in order to innovate. Businesses must continue to nurture talent and create an environment where emerging technologies are embraced.

We’re in an age of continued disruption and digital transformation. Businesses must recognise this – or risk falling behind.

Read more: Six digital transformation tips to avoid a “digital veneer”