Technology Resolutions for 2016

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As we wrap up 2015, it’s hard to believe that another year has passed, but with 2016 right around the corner, I’m actually starting to get excited. To me, a new year means a new beginning, and for some of us it also means resolutions. Many resolutions are set for personal reasons and empower people to be their best selves, such as quitting smoking, eating healthier or becoming more active.

You’ve probably already guessed mine from my recent posts – it’s to put my Fitbit to good use and get more steps in a day. But the New Year is also a great time for credit unions to think about resolutions and goals they would like to achieve within the next year.

I like to get an early start on my business plans by taking into account what we’ve achieved over the last 12 months, where we struggled and any overarching trends that either helped us reach our goals or impeded progress.

Recently, I was hosting our financial services customers at our end-user conference, CommunityLIVE, when our vice president of development, Bill Filion, discussed an idea that affects every organization: Software sprawl.

It hit me that more financial organizations should set a goal to stop software sprawl. So what exactly is software sprawl and why should your 2016 goal be to stop it?

I define software sprawl as a dilemma an organization faces when it manages too many software applications. Especially when the organization has an ever-growing list of requests for new solutions coming in, keeping it from properly controlling upgrades or maintenance. Sometimes these organizations have so many solutions, they aren’t even sure which ones are needed and which have, or should, become obsolete.

Stopping the Madness Before it Gets Worse

The rate of technology adoption and emerging technologies continue to grow exponentially every year. And as every organization knows too well, there is an expanding list of new technologies your employees want and need to do their jobs more effectively and stay competitive. So what’s the best way to implement technology to meet the business’ needs and keep your IS department sane and happy?

Instead of taking the approach of looking into new solutions to solve your business needs, look to see if one of your current applications is flexible enough to create new solutions that fill that void. The best solutions are flexible and agile, and easily integrate your line of business systems to do more with less by connecting the right people to the right information.

As many credit unions know, having the right information at the right time not only speeds processes, it ensures better member service. By building out the software you already have, like enterprise content management, you’ll be able to keep up with the increasing compliance and transparency  demands, which is another factor forcing financial institutions to re-evaluate their product offerings and software applications.

My best advice to prospects and customers suffering from software sprawl is to keep it simple. The more systems credit unions rely on, the more time consuming upgrades and maintenance become, and the more tedious it is for your IS department to figure out the best time to make updates without affecting the other systems you rely on.

Technology is always evolving and it’s imperative that credit unions embrace adaptable, flexible solutions that meet their business needs today and into the future, and easily integrate them into core systems. That way their organization remains agile and is ready and able to handle whatever the industry throws at them.

Michelle Harbinak Shapiro

Michelle Harbinak Shapiro

Michelle Shapiro brings more than 15 years of experience in the banking industry to her role as Financial Services marketing portfolio manager at Hyland. Her mission is to share best practices and evangelize the power of ECM as a tool for banks, credit unions and lenders to help automate paper-based processes and proactively manage regulations.

1 Response

  1. Elizabeth Hershey says:

    The session Michelle referenced with Bill Filion was exceptionally useful, especially the rules of thumb Bill offered to help financial services organizations determine when it is best to keep a solution in your core, when to build it in OnBase and when to seek a dedicated system. He also demonstrated how the more we develop in OnBase, the more we realize we can do – one solution becomes the catalyst for another. Powerful stuff when we learn how to leverage it,

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