InnerSource for financial services: A way to improve digital transformation?

One of the main points you think about when trying to implement digital transformation in financial services is software (Software is eating the labor market!). In fact, digital companies see their software as a crucial strategic asset for gaining competitive advantage and are constantly seeking new ways  and models to improve innovation, break out silos or be faster to the market. Indeed, these are some of the main benefits InnerSource offers

What is InnerSource?

Let’s focus on the fintech or financial technology phenomenon. They are companies born in the digital world that from the very beginning started to use agile methodologies and open source ecosystems within their software. And by using them, fintech companies tend to be more efficient, less complex, and faster to the market than traditional banks.

Many fintech companies know the advantages of applying open source for their IT infrastructure, but traditional financial institutions aren’t convinced or ready to offer their own internally-developed software as open source. Any delay or execution error could cause serious issues for its customers, and the idea of open sourcing is sometimes perceived as a risky decision.

In other words, financial companies care about two things above everything else: trust and security. That’s the reason why they still reluctant to apply new IT methods and why tend to modernize by just implementing small changes such as creating startup accelerators or acquiring fintech companies. At this point, InnerSource can be a way to boost digital transformation with less risk.

According to InnerSource Commons, InnerSource takes the lessons learned from developing open source software and applies them to the way companies develop software internally. This means developing open source software within the walls of a single organization, where the “openness” of a project extends across teams inside the company. Thus, InnerSource can be a step further to small changes, without taking the whole risk of open source.

Why applying InnerSource?

Innersource can be conceived as a process that companies follow to develop software internally and benefits the company in several ways:

  • Increase code quality
  • Reduce time to market
  • Boost innovation
  • Reduce maintenance costs
  • Increase engagement

These benefits listed above are some quick examples. If you want to have more detailed information, in a previous post we talked about how InnerSource benefits companies and what defines InnerSource

InnerSourcing your company means working in collaboration and produce reliable, secure and innovative software. The organization may still develop proprietary software, but internally opens up its development. With it, you can break silos of development, foster collaboration, increase development velocity, retain talent or attract new one.

Common mistakes

InnerSource can be a solution for different types of organizations, and might also have different meaning. That’s why we need customized goals, and the first step when starting an InnerSource initiative will be indeed, setting up your goals.

You always need to keep track of the evolution of your InnerSource initiative, by measuring those goals and take corrective actions if needed.

Bitergia is a software development analytics company specialized on InnerSource projects where we can help you to achieve your specific goals. Moreover, Bitergia offers a set of panels composed by different metrics related with activity, performance and community issues that will help you measure how is your inner source initiative evolving. If you are interested in InnerSource, feel free to contact us!

network graph
Contributors collaboration network analysis

And last but not least, just to remind we are active members of InnerSource Commons, a community of representatives from over sixty companies and institutions such as Capital one, Autodesk, Zalando or Bosh, which main purpose is to improve the practice of InnerSource through the sharing of experiences and the creation and review of InnerSource patterns. Here you can take a look to our InnerSource commons wiki and contribute to the community!

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