Changes in leadership – IT strategic steps
The credit union industry is experiencing an increased turnover in leadership as a result of mergers and acquisitions, or the appointment of new CEOs or Presidents. Often lost in the early days of transition is the criticality of IT. Understanding the full scope of an organization’s IT systems and strategies is important to ensuring the ability for new leaders to meet the needs of members now and in the future.
When it comes to IT and credit unions, there tends to be many stakeholders involved from internal IT teams to multiple external vendors. A new leader can never assume its organization’s IT position is strong and stable.
Leaders cannot begin to develop a organizational strategy without ensuring its foundation is stable and that starts with IT – technology is the hub through which daily operations occur.
Document and Take Stock What You Have
Having a clear snapshot of the state of your hardware, software applications, data, and security stance can quickly help you identify the biggest areas that need your attention when it comes to technology.
Identify What to Keep or Migrate and What Is Duplicate or Obsolete
New leadership presents an opportunity for the credit union to explore new possibilities. What hardware will you need? How will you handle technical support? How can you leverage the cloud for better security and scalability? What will you assign to internal, full-time IT staff, and what can be better accomplished with partners and vendors?
Identify (And Protect Against) The Biggest Threats to Your Credit Union
The fun part of Strategic IT Planning is exploring new technologies, efficiencies, and ways to serve your members. The less fun part of IT, but perhaps the most important part, is protecting your assets from external attacks that could bring operations to a halt. From ransomware attacks to social engineering/phishing scams, make sure you have a plan for how to protect your IT if, and when, an attack happens.
Know Your Budget and What You Can Afford
As new leadership develops a clear vision for the near and distant future, it will be necessary to create a short-term, and long-term IT budget. A vision without the right resources could stall, delay or prevent progress and action.
Create a 1/3/5/10 Year Strategic IT Roadmap
Create a 1/3/5/10 year strategic IT roadmap that matches your vision to your budget. Transformative change cannot be completed in year one. Every credit union is different, but to make lasting change, leaders need to chart out a flexible but realistic IT plan 5 to 10 years ahead. That roadmap will allow the organization to prioritize those areas that pose the biggest risk while making sure your team is achieving its goals. A strategic IT roadmap offers your staff, and your board, clarity on what you want to accomplish, keeping everyone aligned.
As your credit union navigates a leadership transition and plans for a future vision for your members, it is important to make sure that IT strategy is at the center of every conversation.