By Amber Harsin, CEO, Prodigy
Over the past few years, credit unions have spent a lot of time and money making sure they remain attractive to today’s mobile consumer. Credit unions have replaced their archaic core processing systems, upgraded digital banking software and deployed new product sets, all to ensure that the needs of today’s bank anywhere/anytime consumer are met.
For better or worse, our work here isn’t done. Among the many lessons already heaved upon us by 2020, credit unions and their vendors both discovered that they also need to accommodate the anywhere/anytime employee, i.e., the remote employee. With shelter-in-place orders in effect, back-office employees either have to work from home or not work at all. Most all credit unions I know have employees working from home right now. The question is: How easy or hard was it to make that happen?
For credit unions that operate their entire IT infrastructure – including their core – in the cloud, I can tell you it was almost effortless. Let me use Prodigy as an example.
When it became clear that both our CUSO and our credit unions would need to shut down locations for the time being, it was largely a non-issue. Because we maintain all our IT infrastructure in our own private cloud, connecting our employees from the kitchen table is no different than connecting them from a cubicle. We were able to move to a fully remote workforce in the time it took employees to drive home. For our credit unions, connecting remote employees to their core and cloud-based ancillary servers to minimize service interruptions was just as easy. Anywhere access is one of the built-in benefits of a cloud deployment. So it only stands to reason that the more you deploy from the cloud, the better off you are.
When we first talk to credit unions about Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), they can be very hesitant to give up their on-premise servers. It’s almost as if those servers represent some sort of security blanket. Never mind that this particular security blanket consumes ridiculous amounts of time and money that are better spent elsewhere.
What a lot of credit unions decide to do as a baby step is use Prodigy for Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS). Using real-time replication of on-prem server data to the cloud, we’re able to offer an affordable solution that, in practical use, rivals much more expensive High Availability (HA) solutions. A number of our credit unions have yet to take the next step beyond DRaaS.
If ever there was a time to get serious about cloud infrastructure, this is it. We now live in a world where being ready for anything means really being ready for anything. The cloud makes that not only possible, but practical. Too bad dealing with murder hornets isn’t as easy as dealing with remote employees.