Keeping IT from becoming a business problem is difficult; especially for financial institutions. They must achieve the proper balance of achieving business objectives while also achieving compliance with regulatory requirements. They are dependent upon technology to deliver services in a complex, competitive and threatening Internet environment.
Financial institutions need more than capital to compete; they need quality IT services from partners equal to their demand.
How can financial institutions establish the right framework for configuring and provisioning IT resources in such a high-stakes business environment? How can they make sure it is up-to-date and compliant with FFIEC requirements?
The answer to both questions is the same: an experienced, skilled and trusted partner can provide resources to achieve competitive advantages and compliant IT solutions.
Challenges in Managing and Maintaining IT Networks
IT Directors face separate and significant challenges to both manage and maintain complex IT systems. They need resources. Managing the design of the IT System requires knowledge of systems and anticipation of IT trends. At the same time, IT Directors must understand business issues and opportunities so they can align the design opportunities with business goals. Qualified managed services for financial institutions offer knowledge of systems and anticipated trends that, when combined with the IT Director’s knowledge of business requirements, results in IT design success.
There is no shortage of maintenance issues and tasks that could bury even the most resourceful IT department. In addition to managing device and software life cycles, there is patching, log monitoring, firewall monitoring, backups, business continuity testing, access management and vendor management that are needed to ensure operational resilience and that sensitive data is protected.
All of this design and maintenance activity is performed while facing perpetual waves of cyber threats in the form of viruses and malware. Financial institutions endure more than most because they have both sensitive customer information and access to financial systems. Employees must be continually trained in security protocols to avoid introducing vulnerabilities through carelessness or ignorance. Technology must be designed and deployed to facilitate employee efforts and reduce the Institution’s attack surface.
The IT Director’s burdens have been complicated by the evolution of the work environment. The ever-increasing demand for diverse network resources, including remote workers and customers, has created complexities for financial institutions. The explosion of push notifications and wireless devices, for example, have led to a new science of network traffic analysis and remediation. Data storage and optimization can lead to serious disruptions if not carefully managed.
With these threats comes opportunities for IT directors to provide effective solutions by engaging subject matter experts who can help design, deploy and maintain an agile and resilient IT system that serves the Institution’s business needs.
Managed Services for Financial Institutions Add Value and Reduce Risk
An experienced managed service provider offers great competitive value. With all the heightened threats against financial institutions, federal guidelines require above-average operational and security protocols that are “commensurate” to the resources of the financial institution.
The FFIEC stipulates that management should develop and implement a “robust” IT Risk Management (ITRM) process to “identify threats, measure risks, define IT security requirements, and implement controls,” among other things. A trusted third party financial managed service provider can help IT directors do this effectively on a continual basis.
Collaboration between bank management and a skilled IT partner can generate safe, scalable solutions to help the financial institution grow.
A well-qualified managed service provider offers strategic value to financial institutions, reducing management’s load in critical areas and ensuring regulatory compliance. Such value comes from:
- The vendor should provide design and maintenance support for both extraordinary organic growth periods and when the Institution seeks growth through mergers.
- The vendor should know the Financial Institutions rules and help ensure compliance with regulations. The vendor should have personnel with relevant IT experience and certifications.
- The vendor performs regular security scans and responds to security alerts 24/7/365.
- The vendor maintains a business continuity plan and coordinates with or assists the Institution with its plans.
- The vendor ensures that network devices, servers and desktops are current with the latest patches and updates.
- Employee training. The vendor maintains well trained and certified staff and can assist the Institution with its training needs.
- The vendor monitors the environment for changes and performance to ensure availability of resources.
DataComm understands how critical it is that financial institutions get their IT right. We want to help. Our people work very hard to bring organizations technology that is fast, stable and inconspicuous.
Our streamlined financial IT managed services bring both competitive and compliance value. IT directors at credit unions and other financial institutions value the friendly and helpful approach we bring to their most challenging problems.
Learn what modern technology service solutions are available to your institution. Get a free solution proposal via DataComm’s free online managed services quote generator for financial institutions.