3 Reasons Community Banks and Credit Unions are Shifting Operations to the Cloud

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September 13, 2023

Despite hypergrowth and widespread market adoption, some community banks and credit unions remain suspicious about the cloud.

If you fall into this category, you’re not alone, and I’m glad you’re here. I can’t wait to share the good news, impart a few caveats, and dismantle some popular myths.

The time is now because market forces drive everyone to the cloud. I know. No one likes to have their arm twisted. However, it’s more palatable if you approach the journey with clear eyes and expectations.

 

#1 – The cloud is your best bet for enhanced cybersecurity.

Cloud software development is an irrefutable law of nature. Why? The technology world is not going back to client-server software development. That ship has sailed. So, everybody is coding for the cloud, and cloud solutions easily integrate with other cloud solutions.

This irreversible trend makes cloud-to-cloud interoperability a much shorter and less circuitous path than the route from cloud-to-premise-based equipment.

All of the market-leading solutions in the cybersecurity space are cloud-based and purpose-built to activate from a web browser:

  • Email Filtering
  • Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR)
  • Extended Detection and Response (XDR)
  • Intrusion Detection System (IDS)
  • Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)
  • Security Information and Event Management (SEIM)
  • Single Sign-On (SSO)
  • Web Filtering
  • Everything from Microsoft

Microsoft includes many tools mentioned above on its Azure Platform, like Microsoft Azure Sentinel. They also offer countless third-party integrations to augment your Microsoft environment with additional protective cybersecurity options.

 

#2 – The cloud is the most convenient way to provide access 24/7/365.

Today’s workforce is constantly on the move. Hybrid work is gaining popularity with your team engaging with workloads in the office, at home, in coffee shops, in the bleachers during little league games, on planes, beaches, and more.

Access is not limited to business hours. This is good because employees dislike negotiating traffic to reach a server-based file share in the office or wasting time trying to access a server-based file share through an unreliable VPN remotely.

Another challenge that won’t go away: younger employees, a majority of today’s talent pool, will pick and choose companies based on quality of life and employee experience benefits. If they can’t work remotely for you, they’ll work remotely for one of your competitors.

And while no employer likes turnover (nobody stays at the same job for very long these days), cloud solutions make onboarding and offboarding processes quick, easy, and much more secure than premise-based technology. We’re talking minutes instead of several days!

 

#3 – The cloud simplifies security and compliance management.

Storing your data onsite is risky and doesn’t comport with the latest security and compliance mandates. Microsoft has a simple solution to this challenge, aligning with The National Institute of Standards and Technology or NIST.

Thanks to Microsoft 365, every detail of your computing environment can be architected with a regulator-friendly IT blueprint. This NIST-approved IT system in the cloud can increase or decrease in size, scope, and cost depending on your exact needs and headcount at any given time.

Even better, every last detail is available for reporting to satisfy the most demanding prospects, clients, auditors, insurance companies, and attorneys if a data privacy incident occurs.

You can’t prevent all security breaches, but solid documentation provides proof of due care and limitation of liability.

Equally important, cloud backup saves the day with geographically diverse data centers (backups of backups), solutions for every brand name cloud product, data encryption if your cloud is compromised, and more.

 

Your journey to more flexibility

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention other benefits like continuous innovation, periodic updates, reduced capital expenditures, and a smaller real estate footprint.

Your in-house team will also love the extra administrative support since most cloud solutions are supported by an expansive third-party ecosystem of MSPs incentivized by SaaS developers to provide value-added management and consulting expertise.

The less time your IT team spends managing repetitive infrastructure tasks, the better, especially when your MSP can process routine “plumbing” details more cost-effectively. 

And there’s no pressure to lift and shift. Cloud solutions are modular so that you can move workloads incrementally. You may have a critical client-server solution that can’t be retired before full amortization. No problem. The cloud is your best bet for flexibility, thanks to hybrid configuration options that give you the best of both worlds.

Please schedule a free consultation to explore ways Integris FID can optimize your cloud experience.

Jed is a Solution Advisor at Integris who has specialized in MSP solution development, sales, and marketing communications since 2003.

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