Optimizing Your Credit Union’s IT Department

 

IT professionals are the unsung heroes of the massive remote work migration of 2020. Now that we are settling into a new normal, it’s time to turn that optimizing eye to the technological solutions and processes that are taking place in your credit union’s IT department.

The Credit Union Times has a great article about outsourcing your credit union’s cybersecurity. We wanted to include some benefits and helpful takeaways that can ease the burden of your IT department without outsourcing all of it.

Virtual Desktop

An easy way to optimize your IT offerings right now is through a virtual desktop. Each of your staff members is likely trying to figure out which issues should be Googled and which should be addressed by a member of the IT department.

A virtual desktop is a cloud-hosted desktop, which means that it benefits end-users and IT staff. It creates superior user experience and unified desktop and application access, as well as a no-compromise, fully customizable desktop experience. For IT professionals, it offers a solution that is lower cost, enterprise integration, simplified management, and extended credentials and security policies.

Offsite Data Storage

The autumn season creates a perfect storm, literally. Between the wildfires that started in California in August, Atlantic hurricane season, and seasonal thunderstorms – there are plenty of reasons why storing a backup of your credit union’s data offsite is an essential part of both disaster planning and business continuity planning.

No matter what plans you have for data backup, diversity and security should be top priorities. You want cloud backup services that work, dependable restores, and data at your fingertips.

Core Hosting Help

Finding and maintaining knowledgeable staff to manage and operate your credit union’s core system is a difficult task. We at IMS have a Hybrid Core Service that allows your IT team to decide how much or little we help with maintaining that core system. Delegating some of that core system work to IMS can free up your IT professionals to work on crucial staff requests or customer technologies.

Credit Union Cybersecurity Expertise

Outsourcing your cybersecurity can take the pressure off your own IT department, but the back and forth could create more problems than it solves. You and your credit union deserve a partner, a team that works with your IT staff to make sure your members and their financial, personal, and transactional information are safe.

Why Optimize Your Credit Union’s IT Now?

One of the things credit union members need right now, in these uncertain times, is increased peace of mind, hope for relief, and a reduction of stress. Your IT department can help them immensely with that in their financial lives. But as more and more IT teams report being overwhelmed and buried in implementing and maintaining all these new COVID-related solutions, your customers’ needs may start falling through the cracks.

Redistributing some of that work can free up your IT staff to provide crucial support to those who need it most: your staff and your members.

IMS Can Secure Your Data

IMS is your home for virtual private cloud services.

Contact us to find out how you can enhance member experience with our core hosting, virtual desktop, and disaster recovery tools.


Preparing for Hurricane Season

 

The official start of the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season starts on June 1 and runs until November 30, but there’s already a tropical storm developing off the coast of Florida. That means it’s time to take another look at your disaster recovery and backup systems to make sure you’re prepared for any storms.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Centers for Environmental Information, the U.S. South, Central and Southeast regions experience a higher frequency of billion-dollar disaster events than any other region in the country. Severe storms like hurricanes and tornadoes lead to extensive power and telecommunications outages, mail service disruption, facility damage and transportation restrictions that impact how people access their money. Credit unions are no exception and may have to shut down or move operations for safety. In these moments it’s crucial your members can rely on you to continue serving the community.

Our client Louisiana Federal Credit Union has experienced many storms over the years, including Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Gustav and Isaac. During the aftermath of every storm, their community has relied heavily on Louisiana FCU to provide full financial services. Knowing they are located in a hot zone for natural disasters, the credit union decided to move their core system to a safer region in the Northwest. By upgrading their core system, they now have peace of mind during hurricane season knowing that their services will be available to its members in their time of need.

business people planning at meetingMajor storms can disrupt a financial institution’s operations, sometimes lasting a significant period of time. While some interruptions can be anticipated, others cannot. That’s why it’s critical to have a business continuity plan in place. This is how the DuGood Federal Credit Union was able to effectively begin its backup plan when their data center was in the direct path of a large-scale hurricane.

The credit union knew they needed to act fast for the safety of the business and their staff. Members would be evacuating soon and it was important they could access their funds. After contacting our team, we worked together in coordinating a graceful shutdown of their systems and implemented a remote backup solution. It took less than three hours to back up systems, recover servers and bring up third-party vendor services like the ATM and internet banking. Ultimately, we were able to help with other technical operations as the team evacuated to another office.

With a continuity plan in place, your credit union will be able to jump into action if there’s any disruptive event. Test your disaster recovery service and reassess how well your institution is prepared for threats across all levels. When working with our team, you can count on no-cost annual testing to verify the integrity of your data.

We cannot predict the severity of all disasters, especially when it comes to natural disasters, but there is practice and preparation. Know where to go, identify what critical functions are needed and develop planned responses. 

Don’t wait until a storm is on the horizon to start making plans for your credit union. Contact our team to talk about the disaster recovery solution your credit union has in place. When disaster strikes, you’ll want to focus more on your members, staff and service than on complex logistics.