Secured Serverless Microservices Architecture for Digital Process Innovation: A FinTech Case Study


Successful financial institutions can sabotage their future and potential greater success by thinking their current level of success will take them to the next level. This is where digital innovation plays an important role in the growth and continued success of a company (Kagermann, 2015). Digital innovation is not just about technology, but technology that makes innovation practical (Arvidsson, et al., 2018). For digital innovation, even an established firm that has full control over their investment, digital culture, ideas, and regulatory compliance, confront the following challenges: speed to market, high availability, scalability, security, low cost, and skilled labor. These challenges come from the information systems barriers, particularly situational barriers, cognitive and physical barriers, legal barriers, and attitudinal barriers in (Knapp, 1979 and Johnson, 2001). A viable business model for innovation in the digital economy must follow the fundamental economic principles as well as use digital computing technologies efficiently and economically (Choi et al., 2000 and Kraus et al., 2020). The digital process innovation can help companies simplify the technology landscape, reduce overall IT costs, and bring products and services to market quicker, thereby realizing greater earnings potential (Akella et al., 2015). In recent years, serverless (aka function-as-a-service - FaaS) cloud-based microservices architecture is one of the sustainable technologies for FinTech (Goli et al., 2020) to achieve its digital process innovation. The autonomy of microservices helps to develop each expected business service as a microservice by a dedicated team with better quality and DevOps brings the implemented business service as microservices into production swiftly with no downtime (Bogner et al., 2016). It helps to bring the product and service to the market quicker i.e., addresses the speed to the market barrier. Executing microservices in a serverless microservices cloud architecture brings down the operational complexity which reduces or zero-outs the required skilled IT resources to support operations (Kim et al., 2018). However, FinTech microservices code is on top of the serverless architecture, and it can have all sorts of security flaws, or the third-party libraries used in the code can have vulnerabilities. Most of the time the bigger security risks are in the design and development done by the IT team than the cloud provider (Schleier-Smith et al., 2021) and it must be addressed. With that understanding, to address the information system barriers’ challenges, in this research, we propose a cloud-based Secured Serverless Microservices Architecture (SSMSA) as a platform to implement FinTech digital process innovation efficaciously. As part of this research, we evaluate our architecture through a case study implementation with a reputable financial institution in Massachusetts. The newly developed banking services using SSMSA aided to remove the manual lending process to an automated decision-making system, bring the new services quickly to the production system, manage the peak loads, and automatically scaling the system based on the load in real-time to reduce the cost. This case study will help us analyze how the FinTech rollout challenges are addressed by this architecture. Even though the case study focused mainly on FinTech, the recommended architecture would help other services domains like healthcare as the underlying challenges are domain agnostic.

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