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How Remote Engineering Teams Navigate Technical Innovation in Financial Services

Jackie Lennon
By Jackie Lennon
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According to a recent report from The Business Research Company, the global Fintech market is expected to grow to $309.98 billion at an annual growth rate of 24.8% through 2022, signaling a wider trend around the increasing importance of technical investment in the financial services industry.  With that said, the industry still remains one of the most highly regulated in the world. How can remote engineering teams in this space develop technically innovative solutions while adhering to a complex suite of compliance requirements? In this article, we’ll discuss how engineers working in the financial services industry succeed at this balancing act.

Embracing the Public Cloud (and Internal Regulation) for Optimal Security

Financial services firms deal with massive amounts of sensitive data and a complex suite of regulatory environments. But a growing number of these same firms, enticed by the promise of lower costs, enhanced scalability, and increased elasticity, are leaving their physical data centers and moving to the cloud. How are they able to make the shift? According to Gartner Research Director Jason Malo: “Financial services firms have shown that it’s possible to leverage all of the benefits of a public cloud infrastructure while also remaining compliant and highly secure.”

Indeed, services like AWS’ Identity and Access Management (AWS IAM) make it easy for engineers working in the financial sector to manage access to AWS services and resources securely. Using the principle of least permission, stakeholders grant other team members only the permissions required to complete a task.

In addition to all of the privacy features and controls in place on public cloud platforms, remote engineers working at financial services firms also work closely with internal auditing teams. These internal teams function as additional safeguards, reviewing each phase of work and flagging any issues or problematic tools in order to ensure all software development work adheres to security and compliance best practices.

Pairing Technical Expertise with Regulatory Understanding

Technical agility is only valuable if paired with regulatory understanding. This is why remote engineers working at financial services firms are required to complete many hours of compliance and risk management training before beginning a project.

It is only with this foundation of regulatory understanding in place that engineers placed with Andela can effectively showcase their technical expertise. Whether it’s Java, Spring, React, Kubernetes, or AWS, our teams have a vast array of knowledge surrounding the coding languages, frameworks, tools and cloud platforms needed to drive innovation.

Technical Agility in a Shifting Regulatory Environment

Engineers must understand that the regulatory landscape in the financial services sector is constantly changing. That’s why we place such an emphasis on building modular, configurable, and easily automated applications that can evolve quickly and seamlessly.

Andela engineers will frequently leverage infrastructure as code (IaC) tools like Terraform to refactor code which makes it easier to create, update, and delete resources as needed. As with all of our projects, we build out this proposed work in phases and internal risk mitigation teams are looped in every step of the way. This approach is necessary in order to work in an automated and agile fashion: organizations that don’t modularize IaC are updating unique configurations with manual processes, which is a recipe for inefficiency and errors.

Effective Project Management and Processes

Critical to our clients’ successes is Andela’s “team within a team” model. Here, engineers are paired with Technical Delivery Partners (TDPs), who are embedded into each client account. They function as a team lead and act as a technical subject matter expert. The TDPs work with their team of engineers to leverage Scrum methodology, Confluence and other project management tools to ensure that initiatives are being prioritized accordingly. They also meet with the client frequently to ensure that our projects and our engineers are meeting expectations.

Our Global Community of Engineers

If you’re building a global product, you’ll benefit from global representation, and we’re proud to work with a network of talented engineers from all over the world. Andela’s mission is to connect brilliance with opportunity irrespective of race, gender, and geography. Our engineers advance through merit and we are in the constant pursuit of the democratization of opportunity. This ensures that our clients receive highly engaged, highly capable talent, with diverse global perspectives capable of meeting our clients’ innovation challenges.

Bottom Line: Agility Will Continue To Pave the Way

The financial sector will always have stringent regulations, but now, more than ever, firms in this space are recognizing that technical innovation is not only beneficial — it’s a necessity. For the brilliant software engineers working in this space, the possibilities for creative solutions are endless as they work within the constructs of the industry’s evolving regulatory frameworks.


For tips on how to effectively build a distributed engineering team, download our Ebook, “Engineering Hiring and Workplace Trends: Finding, Hiring, and Managing Talent in 2021.”

Jackie Lennon
Written by
Jackie Lennon
Jackie Lennon is a Client Partner at Andela. She is based in New York City.