The financial services industry is IT-intensive. Before the Internet/self-service
era, transaction processes and "real-time" availability created a never-ending
need for processing power. The networked opportunities created by the internet
have added another layer of IT applications and demands.
Credit unions are probably even more IT-dependent than a bank or thrift. With
an average asset size of just over $60 Million, the ability to compete rests
on dedicated core processors that automate business processes and routinely
interface with third party networks.
Credit unions face common questions such as:
- What IT applications are possible versus which have a positive return?
- How do we distinguish between what is tried and true versus what is peripheral?
- What is the difference between purchasing an application and creating a
successful business solution?
Areas of Most Frequent Spending
The top two areas for IT spending in 2004 were security and enhancing the member's
Internet experience. 5 of the top 10 IT applications due for increased spending
are Internet-related, with consumer online loan decisioning solutions mentioned
by 68% of credit unions, according to a Callahan survey.
Areas for IT Assistance
Another area on the survey called for an open-ended response. Credit unions
were asked to finish the sentence: "I wish I knew an IT vendor that could
help me with __________." Many of the concerns had to do with specific
applications such as CRM integration, customirzing servers, commercial lending,
and check 21 capabilities.
But a second category of responses was of a completely different character.
These suggest the need for overall IT planning and strategy assistance, and
included remarks such as:
- Project management across the organization;
- Developing a good technology plan;
- Network Strategies;
- Solving my host system needs
Both specific solution and overall planning of IT strategy are ongoing needs
of credit unions. How can your company help credit unions with these issues?
Let credit unions know that you can help them by relating your case studies
and your success stories via articles on CreditUnions.com.