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Time to move your payments testing to the cloud

By Steve Gilde, Paragon Director of Market Engagement



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paragon mar 21

In a recent two part posting to the Paragon Edge Blog, the focus returns to cloud computing and its ubiquitous presence in almost all discussions about resourcing, be that for a new application or for data storage. This is of particular interest to those members of the NonStop community who today rely on NonStop for their payments solutions and who continue to be subject to ongoing suggestions that they should be looking more closely at products and services available today on the cloud.

The concept of cloud computing has been around for more than 50 years. Furthermore, according to MIT Technology Review, the first documented use of the actual term “cloud computing” occurred in 1996, with those now famous two words being used internally within Compaq Computers – remember them? Surprised? But of course, it wasn’t until a decade later when in August of 2006, Amazon Web Services launched their Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) offering and the rest, as they say, is history.

In Paragon’s first post on the topic of cloud services, we noted that we have been cognizant of this major sea change in the way we think about where best to run a workload. We released the initial cloud enabled version of our Web FASTest solution back in 2011 and followed that up with VirtualATM in 2016. And while we had a few clients deploy in their private clouds, neither product was actually deployed in the public cloud until 2020.

And yet, according to Retail Banker International, “The banking industry has been relatively slow to adopt cloud computing compared with other industries. This comes out of a fear regarding potential cybersecurity failings of cloud, and cloud service providers’ (CSP) compliance with the complex regulatory framework that stringently governs the industry.” However, this is not to say that there is no movement towards deploying products that are cloud based but rather, a more judicial approach to what best suits the needs of an enterprise and nowhere is this more evident than across the banking community.

Suggesting banks are fearful of technology of any kind overlooks the fact that since the 1960s banks have been at the forefront of technology innovation and have been prepared to try products the moment they proved viable – just think about where ATMs began and where they are today. During 2020, Paragon assisted clients to deploy testing assets in AWS, Azure and GCP. Indeed, virtually all of our client and prospect engagements in 2021 have included discussions about virtualization and testing in the cloud.

A recent article in Forbes further promoted the suggestion that cloud is now a hot trend for financial institutions:

“While there are still holdouts to cloud computing, the general sentiment in the industry has shifted over the past few years to the point where many (if not most) banks and credit unions believe they are on an inevitable journey to the cloud.”

In the second post on the same topic of clouds, we dive deeper into the challenges that lie ahead for the banking community even as we acknowledge that COVID-19 is changing the way it looks at the cloud. One pre-requisite that still challenges many banks and financial services organizations is the lack of automation in their testing processes. While moving to the cloud is one of the reasons why automation has become a business imperative, many organizations still have a long way to go in this regard.

Using a modern, web-enabled application to move your payment testing assets into the cloud will provide and number of benefits:

  1. Cost savings through shared resources, streamlined deployment, and reduced maintenance of your testing assets.
  2. Secure access – anytime, anywhere, on any device – for your development, testing and QA resources.
  3. Improved collaboration between technical and business users during the testing process via shared data and artifacts.
  4. Flexible deployment options with rapid scale up and scale down capabilities.
  5. API level integration with other enterprise systems to promote speed and agility.

Banks and indeed all financial services organizations can no ignore the fact that testing has become a mission critical component to their survival in the very dynamic and competitive payments landscape that we work in today.  While COVID-19 really helped to drive this realization home (no pun intended), the reality is that  rapid change is underway all across the industry. The evolution of consumer behavior, the continued emergence of fintechs, the increasing popularity of alternative payment methods, including cryptocurrencies, and the inevitable legal and regulatory changes that will ensue, require a testing approach that is automated, integrated and always available from any workspace on the planet.

Payments remain a critical thread in the fabric of our everyday lives. In order to stay relevant and competitive, financial services organizations need to continually innovate, while at the same time speeding time to market for new products and services, increasing efficiency, and reducing costs.

To read these two posts in full and to learn why the impact of the cloud on testing is important, follow the hyperlinks (above) or simply cut and paste the following URLs into your browser –

To read additional posts on automated testing and continuous delivery, turn to the Paragon Edge Blog at –