MADISON, Wis. (12/12/12)--A new white paper from the CUNA Technology Council, "In-House or 'As a Service'" examines how the roles of information technology (IT) professionals are shifting, along with ever-changing technology at credit unions.
There's no doubt that the cloud and virtualization are playing increasingly greater roles in credit union technology plans. Whether they use these options today or plan to within the next decade, credit unions agree the trend is toward off-site hosting, the paper said.
Credit unions today have to be even more technology-savvy, to ask service providers and partners the right questions and to stay on top of tech challenges and potential off-site problems, the council paper added.
It appears the key is to determine the right time to make the shift--considering each operational need as it arises, and balancing costs with control and security with flexibility. The ultimate goals are to serve members' needs and demands, while maintaining privacy and protection of members' personal financial information.
While this new landscape holds promise, it can also be risky, said Jay Liebe, executive vice president, development, for Switch Communications Group. Switch is a CUNA Strategic
Services alliance provider. Many vendors that provide cloud computing services
are new to serving financial institutions and providing infrastructures that deliver 100%
uptime, Liebe said.
Before outsourcing any IT functionality, Liebe says credit unions should ask vendors:
- Where is the data housed?
- What type of equipment is offered?
- How is the data center protected from security threats?
- Does the vendor's location protect the credit union's data?
- Who owns the data center and what is their area of expertise?
- How is the vendor preparing for growth?
- Is the company financially stable?
Due diligence is key, and inexperience can be risky, Liebe said.
To see the paper, use the link.