Confidence in flawless, consistent control and monitoring of IT systems is paramount among credit unions. The concept of downtime is unimaginable. In short, credit unions — like any essential community and personal financial resource — need to maintain peak efficiency, control costs, scale when needed, and, above all, protect members’ data.
Here's where embracing cloud services for your IBM i is a total game changer. Housing vital data and applications within on-site servers was acceptable for years. Times change — and so do requirements. As such, today more credit unions are opting for cloud computing. Relying on a qualified, experienced cloud hosting provider makes all the difference in managing systems, ensuring efficient operations, and knowing that data is safe and downtime is minimal should an intrusion or natural disaster take place.
Embracing cloud computing involves a two-phase process. The first is making the decision to transition your IBM i, AIX, Linux, and/or Windows systems to the cloud environment in partnership with a qualified provider. The second involves establishing a carefully orchestrated plan to migrate systems to the cloud — with minimal disruption to daily operations. A cloud provider worth its weight will work closely with the credit union’s IT and management staffs to assess systems and software currently in place and walk you through the steps needed to transition to the cloud.
After deciding on off-site hosting, your cloud services provider should make the transition painless. It should fully outline the implementation processes, what it will need from your organization, and how to prepare and configure your current systems for the migration. More than likely there will be a series of checklists, shared and discussed among all stakeholders, followed by specific steps such as project planning, reviewing network capabilities, and getting ready for the actual migration. Once those areas are ironed out, the cloud services provider will institute a testing phase to ensure all systems are working up to par before it's time to “go live” on your new cloud services.
As with all things credit union, preparation is paramount. As such, the credit union’s IT team should work closely with the cloud provider to prepare the business, application owners, and the IT department itself; ensure the network is sufficient to accommodate the change; and, of no small consideration, satisfy all security and compliance issues, including National Credit Union Association mandates and guidelines.
Preparing the business by working with IT and legal teams is an important step in the migration process. Document preparation and policy changes should be finalized, legal issues reviewed and settled, and contractual obligations and agreements reviewed. Risks and downtime requirements are also covered. Communications and bandwidth issues should also be ironed out as well. Lastly, an inventory of security information and event management capabilities is recommended, along with companion services.
“The process can seem involved, but every facet of the process is done for a reason to ensure that operations are seamlessly maintained prior to, during, and following transition to the cloud,” explains Hal Schwartz, President of Melville, New York-based DSC, a provider of high availability, disaster recovery services, and a preeminent provider of cloud services. “Financial organizations in particular need to know their systems are protected, their data and applications are accessible, and all systems work flawlessly and at a lower cost.
Chuck Paolillo, DSC’s Chief Technology Officer, echoes that observation.
“DSC realizes a smooth transition to cloud services is essential,” he notes. “Nothing in the process is left to chance. It’s all meticulously planned and executed with no detail overlooked. We become partners with our credit union clients. When they’re able to serve their members without interruption during and following migration, we’ve done our job, and we’re proud of our efforts.”
To learn how DSC can help your credit union migrate to the cloud, click here to read our whitepapers and guides or get in touch.