Digital Transformation; The Solution to Network Traffic Overload in Nigerian Online banking Platforms
The first quarter of 2023 in Nigeria was characterized by decisions from the federal government that, though born out of good intentions for the long run, had an immediate adverse effect on the lifestyle of Nigerians. A remarkable one is the redesign of the naira notes and the decision to discontinue the use of old ones before the general elections. However, implementing this new naira policy was characterized by excessive demand for the new notes against minimal supply, forcing Nigerians to resort to online banking as an alternative.
Continued difficulty in transacting with physical cash has brought unprecedented pressure on existing online banking platforms as more and more Nigerians sign up for mobile banking applications of their respective banks in addition to using the unstructured supplementary service data (USSD) channels. Reports show that some banks that could not handle the overbearing pressure grounded their online banking channels.
The harsh experience following CBN’s policy reminds us of the COVID-19 experience and thus provides a playbook with which the current challenge can be solved, which is to embrace digital transformation.
Digital transformation is the integration of digital technology into all areas of a business as well as the reinforcement of existing technologies, which results in improved business models, customer experiences, processes, and operations.
What Solutions Do Digital Transformation Bring?
While organizations embrace digital transformation in response to certain threats such as competition, workload spikes (as is the case of Nigerian banks), etc., “Digital Transformation is better thought of as continual adaptation to a constantly changing environment.” The goal should be to build an operational foundation, to evolve and respond in the best possible way to unpredictable and ever-changing customer expectations, market conditions, and local or global events.
While a proactive digital transformation approach is imperative for the success of banks in times like these, an inclusive role of the stakeholders involved forms the basis of digital transformation – A successful digital transformation stems from the complete synergy of the leadership, product management, development, architecture, and operations units.
In order to comprehend every aspect of change with open technologies, from automation and hybrid cloud architecture to app development and deployment, containerization technology assists all types of businesses on their digital transformation journeys.
Containerization is all about packaging separately the requirements of an application under development in the form of a base image. This image can run in an isolated space (containers) on different systems and presents the following advantages:
- Containerized applications can be run anywhere; hence, traffic spikes resulting from changes in policies would have no effect on business operations if critical applications are migrated to the cloud.
- Containers are lightweight and faster, as they are ready for computation in seconds.
- There is a reduction in infrastructure cost since many containers can run on a single machine or even a Virtual Machine (VM).
- Monolithic or legacy applications could be containerized using microservice architecture, making room for future scaling.
- Containers are not dependent on any particular OS and can run on any OS, given the container engine runs on a host OS.
Containerization technology started gaining more recognition over a decade ago and has Docker, LXC, CRI-O, and RKT as prominent engines in the space.
Conclusively, while digital transformation means different things to different organizations, a company with a well-set-out digital transformation strategy is prepared against peak periods in businesses. Thus, as is the case of the Nigerian experience, a new policy doesn’t strangle out existing infrastructures with excessive traffic.
Containerization technology presents a solution to the problems of cost, scalability, and computing speed.