Financial Institutions Are Leveraging Workload Automation and Orchestration to Modernize Legacy Systems and Remain at the Forefront of Digital Transformation

In today's fast-paced financial landscape, staying ahead of rapidly evolving customer expectations is crucial for financial institutions (FIs) to remain competitive. Clients and members demand an improved digital banking experience and won't settle for less. Consequently, many banks and credit unions are adopting cloud-based applications to scale their operations, reduce costs, and boost organizational agility. 

Legacy Systems Pose Risk During Market Volatility 

U.S. consumers aren't strangers to a fluctuating economy, and according to a recent survey by the National Association for Business Economics, the remainder of 2023 doesn’t seem to look too different. More than half (58%) of respondents estimated a greater than 50% chance that the economy will begin to see a downturn in 2023. But while the country’s economic outlook appears grim, solutions are available, especially for FIs. One of the most critical preparations credit unions and banks can make is to deploy automation and orchestration, enabling older technologies to communicate with the new.

Legacy systems create drawbacks for FIs as consumers turn to more digitized solutions, leaving banks and credit unions vulnerable to risks that can negatively impact their operations, security, and overall efficiency. Legacy systems consume resources and come with significant risks, including:

Higher operational costs to maintain software and hardware

Security vulnerabilities that leave FIs an easy target for cyberattacks and data breaches

Prolonged service interruptions due to the age of the system

Heavier burdens on compliance standards

Limited scalability

Lack of integration with newer technologies

Compliance issues

Workload Automation and Orchestration

In a 2022 poll, 83% of bankers said they recognize the importance of digital transformation, but only 43% of bank executives are committed to digitally transforming their existing business models. Those who have made the transition and proper tech investments know that to meet the ever-evolving needs of financial customers and increase consumer retention, it is vital to deploy cloud-based technology supported by tools like workload automation and orchestration. Workload automation is the process of managing and scheduling the execution of tasks, processes, and workflows digitally. It helps FIs automate routine tasks, reduce human error, and ensure operations run smoothly and efficiently. 

Then there's orchestration, which involves coordinating and managing numerous automation tasks across various systems, platforms, and applications. Combining workload automation with orchestration enables banks and credit unions to automate manual processes and streamline many mundane and time-consuming tasks internal IT teams and financial professionals manage daily, such as mortgage and loan processes, online banking, and bill pay. In addition, the right platform offers enhanced business intelligence by automating data transformation to the institution’s data warehouse to ensure that banking leaders have critical data insights to aid in better decision-making.

From Legacy to the Cloud

Cloud-based applications allow FIs to quickly adapt to new business requirements, seize opportunities, and respond to changing market demands. For example, employee retention is critical in an economic downturn and a significant factor in FIs' ability to cement themselves as a strong competitor in the financial market. Banks and credit unions will significantly increase employee productivity and lower turnover rates by automating routine tasks and streamlining workflows. Staff will have more time and resources to focus on strategic, value-added initiatives.

Entrenched legacy systems can hold FIs back from the innovation members want. In fact, they’re demanding it. According to a study conducted by the Harris Poll, 40% of financial consumers are willing to leave their primary FI for an improved digital banking experience. On the other hand, providing a seamless digital banking experience can increase member and client retention rates, according to a study by PYMNTS and PSCU.

When cloud-based applications are supported by tools like workload automation and orchestration, it creates a fast path for FIs to meet the demand of financial consumers. How? A robust workload automation and orchestration solution frees up IT resources, minimizes complexity across multiple environments, and reduces IT infrastructure costs.

Orchestrate Digital Transformation with Automation

Using workload automation and orchestration tools can significantly amplify the advantages of digital transformation, as these tools can manage and streamline complex cloud-based environments. In today's financial institutions, operating across multiple IT environments necessitates the implementation of workload automation with true orchestration capabilities. Such tools can sync with cloud migration goals, magnifying its benefits while reducing complexity.

Workload automation and orchestration enable IT teams to automate manual, repetitive processes and orchestrate them across diverse and complex IT environments. When applied to cloud-based applications, these tools have a multiplier effect on the benefits of cloud technology. Some examples of processes that can be automated include mortgage/loan processing, business intelligence, and online banking and bill pay.

By adopting cloud-based workload automation and orchestration solutions, financial institutions can free up their teams to focus on more strategic initiatives, ultimately leading to a more efficient and agile organization.

About the Author
Ryan Dimick is the Chief Technology Officer at SMA Technologies in Houston, Texas. Throughout his nine-year tenure at SMA, Technologies Ryan has also held positions as Director of Engineering, Director of Cloud Services, Software Architect, and Sr Business Consultant. He started his career at Corning Credit Union as a user of the OpCon automation platform and held positions in IT Operations and Programming.  Outside of work, Ryan loves to be creative in the kitchen by mixing cuisines and creating culinary concoctions with his family. He loves running with his dog, the serenity of growing a garden and producing his food, and his competitive spirit prevents him from saying no to ping pong challengers.

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