Today, community-based financial executives find themselves at a crossroads. One path recognizes that their industry is being disrupted, changing rapidly and with a competitive landscape drastically different from the days of old. Credit unions are buying banks, banks are now looking to buy credit unions and non-traditional financial options are becoming market leaders. (How many commercials have you seen for Rocket Mortgage? They’re now the nation’s largest mortgage lender, and as of January 2020, the official financial sponsor of the NFL).
The other path leads toward tradition; what’s worked in the past and building for the present – especially when it comes to technology. Decisions made with, “It’s what has always worked for us in the past,” or “we don’t need to worry about that, yet,” unfortunately still haunt the boardroom today.
Over the course of my career, I have had the opportunity to meet many banking executives across the country. Different states, different markets, big, small, growing, merging and consolidating – you name it. What’s interesting to me – and something I’ve consistently found among the top performers – are they always tend to possess the following traits: a culture of innovation, agility, customer-centric services through technology (but not just for technology’s sake), and an infrastructure built not only for today’s digital landscape, but beyond. Thinking toward the future is imperative for continued strategic business growth, and can’t simply be, “dealt with later.”
How do I navigate into the cloud?
There are many ways in which high performers cultivate these traits within their banks. One key factor has been leveraging the power of cloud infrastructure (IaaS). The “power of the cloud” sounds cliché, and surprise, cloud service providers don’t all fly around with capes! The reality is that migration to the cloud may not solve every single one of your problems, but it’s certainly a good place to start alleviating some pretty significant pain points.
Thinking about offering a new product? Get to market faster and reduce time to deploy, test and rollout with cloud-based solutions. Planning to open a new branch, merge or purchase another institution? Extend your IT environment more efficiently and standardize across your entire organization by leveraging cloud infrastructure. Who likes paying for a hardware refresh every three to five years? Certainly not the CFO. Or more importantly, what IT manager likes going to their CFO with that enormous number in their budget? I’ll wait…no, you can’t find one. Get your bank out of the hardware management business and turn that capital expense into operating expense! Infrastructure as a service (IaaS) allows you to leverage enterprise=grade equipment, facilities and security at a fraction of the cost.
Have a roadmap
80% of organizations are predicted to migrate toward the cloud, hosting, and colocation services by 2025. (Source: Computerworld)
If you have not yet thought about cloud adoption, now would be a good time to start looking at your options. Put together a plan on how you will get there considering that the cloud is the future. The banking industries’ growing need for more data (more specifically, the right data when you need it), AI based technologies; FinTech platformization and lack of internal IT resources are quickly driving many community financial institutions to make cloud migration decisions.
The trend in banks moving to a remote computing model has allowed for more focus on core banking competencies while at the same time enhancing the institutions security and compliance posture. With cybercrime, fraud and regulatory requirements around technology at an all-time high, many smaller-to-midsize institutions have made the decision that world-class solutions, guidance and support are not just “nice to haves,” but necessities in order to secure company and client data. For these bankers, shifting to a cloud strategy with the right partner is a sustainable solution with a pragmatic and strategic play for the future.
A path to success
Public, private, hybrid – there are many cloud infrastructure options available today and a great first step is to understand each and how it fits into your overall IT strategy, business and compliance requirements. Partnering with the right service provider is critical, and it is important you have a clear list of objectives and expectations defined. Your prime focus should be comparing service providers to your criteria. (Not so much provider vs. provider.) This will be a key factor in selecting a partner that can deliver the support, features and resources that will best align with your bank’s ongoing business, security, operational and compliance goals.
All Covered allows financial institutions to move their workloads to a secure cloud environment where they can easily scale as their business grows, paying only for what they need, when they need it. In turn, this makes data and banking available to customers anywhere, at any time. Our Service Bureau IT models are completely customized programs designed to support your existing IT staff all the way to fully outsourcing the function in a cloud environment. Through a true technology partner approach, our team helps simplify the planning, maintenance and oversight of your infrastructure, cybersecurity and compliance needs. In fact, we were recently ranked #1 among U.S. MSPs by Cloud Tango. Contact us today to learn more about our solutions for the finance industry.