How the Financial Sector Can Leverage IT to Stay Ahead
Technology changes at a lightning pace and with recent developments, including the advent of virtualization and shared infrastructure, the last few years have transformed every industry.
Maintaining a current IT infrastructure has become a necessity for remaining relevant among a competitive market. However, the never-ending journey of staying current within IT can be demanding.
Here’s how financial institutions can best invest in their IT environment to attract and serve their customers, all while addressing growing security challenges:
Keep Eyes on Your IT Environment
You’ve heard the saying: It’s a journey, not a destination. Your IT environment is not a box that can be checked. It’s more of a living organism that needs continued care throughout its entire life span.
Financial institutions and credit unions should have a plan in place to keep a watchful eye over all tech investments. While a 3-5 year “road map” of your IT plans is ideal, a 1–2-year outlook is warranted, at the least.
This plan should include:
- Keeping track of key dates, such as end of life or end of support dates for applications and software
- Completing regular updates and patches
- Requiring continuous check points to monitor the health of your overall IT environment
- Considering the technical needs of future business initiatives
Businesses who neglect their IT environment may find themselves backed into a corner and forced to make a fast and potentially haphazard decision that could have been avoided. Overall, the goal is to avoid “technical debt.” This concept refers to the cost of unnecessary work that must be completed due to a lack of regular maintenance or from choosing an easier, faster, or cheaper route rather than the correct one.
Technology is an enormous investment for businesses. Much like a home, your tech environment requires regular maintenance to retain its value. For businesses and organizations who may not have the infrastructure to fully manage this workload, a strong third-party partner can assume these responsibilities to ensure everything is regulated appropriately.
Focus on Security
Financial institutions are a key target for cyber attacks. This is due to the sheer volume of private data required to conduct this type of business.
Cyber security should remain a top priority for all businesses, but this is especially essential for credit unions. A cyber attack could result in a breach of private consumer data, significant business interruption costs, a ransom payout, and loss of public and consumer trust.
While businesses should put up the strongest defenses possible, the hard truth is that most institutions will fall victim to a cyber event. Not only do businesses need to prevent cyber attacks, but they must also be prepared to detect them and respond to them quickly to recover.
Leverage Data for Analytics
As technology develops, the amount of data available to financial institutions continues to grow. However, without the right solutions and applications in place, the use of this data may go to waste.
In the competitive financial market, businesses must leverage and act on their data. With the right data collection, compute, and analytical solutions in place, businesses can harness this information to make changes, maintain their competitive edge, and provide a better user experience for their customers.
Transition to Meet Adapting Customer Needs
Technology has changed the way customers interact with financial institutions. As the days of in-person transactions fade, consumers are looking for convenience at all costs.
With app-based banking, consumers are looking for fast, digital interactions to satisfy their needs at any time of day or they’ll take their business elsewhere.
A good example of this type of technological disruption is Blockbuster. As Netflix entered the market and leveraged technology to make video rentals easier for their customers than ever, Blockbuster was no longer able to compete and ultimately became irrelevant.
Financial institutions must invest in technology that allows them to provide the fastest possible service and connect with their customers in the way customers want to be connected with.
Next Steps: There is Always Opportunity When You Invest in Tech
For more information on how technology affects credit unions, check out episode 7 of Vizo Financial’s four-week series on credit union security: Episode 7: The Evolution of Credit Unions: Technology.
Here two Arraya experts, Ron Longley, Director of Hybrid Infrastructure, and Jared Ness, Account Executive, discuss the challenges that credit unions face and how these businesses can stay on top of new technologies.
Not every credit union has a robust, in-house IT team to address their changing needs and they don’t need to. A strong partnership with a managed services unit provides financial institutions with the critical IT support they need, so they can direct their focus where it’s most needed most.
Investing in your technology will ultimately provide cost savings down the road and help your business prepare for the future. All you need to do is find the right partner to help you throughout your journey.
Contact one of our Arraya experts if you’re interested in learning more.
Visit https://www.arrayasolutions.com/contact-us/ to connect with our team now.
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