Gosh, the world has changed a lot since I wrote part 1 of this series. In fact, the new world we live in now has changed quite a bit since March 6, 2020. It feels like eons ago, certainly not two months ago! With that said, that first article could never be more relevant than it is now.
In “What is the “cloud” and why should we use it Pt 1”, I talked about 10 reasons to leverage the cloud. To briefly recap, those 10 reasons are all related to resiliency, security, and empowerment of innovation. All of which are things the financial industry and your members need, and need quickly, during this time.
The way you’ve always worked and delivered products and services has been heavily disrupted and may never return to “normal”. The unprecedented health challenge we all face is directly impacting how financial services are being delivered today and will shape the way the industry works and interacts with financial consumers in the future. You and your teams have rapidly turned to remote work to minimize the impact on day-to-day productivity and ensure the health and safety of your employees and members – a digital first approach that may have been on the slow roll-out road map is now mission critical.
One of the great misnomers of the cloud is you “move there”, which suggests a huge lift. It would be more accurate to say you “try there”. For example, identify a business problem that can be solved by a cloud solution, test it in a safe environment, see the benefits, start small migrations, and then grow.
This crisis has provided the opportunity to take a rapid-innovation approach and the technology is here and available for everyone. Solutions you may have thought were more suited for fintechs or “big banks” have become a necessity to the credit union industry. Cloud providers have been stepping up to provide access to jump-start funding and credits to move forward rapidly with cloud projects to support your teams and members.
We have seen a huge uptick in use of cloud services such as desktop-as-a-service (DaaS), solutions like AWS Workspaces and elastic pay-as-you-go services like AWS VPN. These solutions can support thousands of remote users. Implementing Office 365 and Microsoft Teams (which have often been on the project backburner for years) allow real time, secure digital communication, and can be deployed in days instead of weeks.
With an increase in cyberattacks and quick changes to networks to enable remote working, it is of utmost importance to review your security and resiliency. While leveraging the public cloud for your critical infrastructure can enormously improve your security posture, you are still responsible from a compliance and security standpoint for much of your data. Remember to consistently review your current technology environment to ensure your overall network is secure, your patching is up-to-date, and you have the proper disaster-recovery solutions and backup in place.
Now more than ever is the time to ask yourselves – “What business problems and process challenges could I solve by leveraging cloud solutions?”
This rapid shift to more flexible solutions has been a fascinating trend to watch. Technology teams and C-Suite leaders have been reporting on the team building power of empathetically rolling out projects in this far from perfect situation. We are seeing processes and systems put in place that will forever change the way the industry and people work. Although it may not feel like it in the moment, this will better us to drive future innovation and improve industry-wide crisis readiness.
We have felt extremely privileged and lucky to be able to support the credit union industry, and in turn support your members and communities. The Think|Stack team was built for situations like this, to help those who weren’t. As a business trying to help other businesses, we are offering complimentary security health checks, journey map sessions, and cloud and security planning sessions for CUInsight readers. If you have questions about your technology, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.