Defining your IT strategy for the future
According to an article published by Forbes, nearly 80% of enterprise information technology (IT) will move to the cloud by the year 2025, leaving their on-premise systems behind. This prediction includes financial institutions and financial service providers around the world — commercial banks, rural banks, microfinance institutions and financing NGOs alike.
For example, Cantilan Bank, Inc. (CANBNK), one of the largest rural banks in the Philippines, reached a national milestone by becoming the first financial institution regulated by the Bangko Sentral NG Pilipinas(BSP) to move their core banking operations to the cloud. CANBNK’s digital transformation was supported by the Asian Development Bank as a pilot project to demonstrate the benefits of cloud technology in terms of effectiveness, efficiency, risk mitigation and outreach.
Benefits your microfinance institution can gain with cloud technology
Cloud-based technology or the cloud delivers significant business benefits. Because countless businesses are reaping the benefits already, the results are well documented. When a business or organisation replaces its dated, on-premise IT system with a modern cloud-based platform, they benefits in three key ways according to IBM: flexibility, efficiency and strategic value.
For microfinance institutions, the value of cloud technology leads to becoming more efficient, making informed decisions, growing and reaching more clients in remote, hard-to-reach communities. Your microfinance institution benefits from cloud technology both in the short-term and long-term. The benefits are especially significant for growing institutions. Take the example of opening a new branch.
Become more efficient
With cloud technology, your financial institution can open new branches quickly and without heavy capital investment. Each branch only needs to have an Internet connection and a laptop to access your cloud-based core banking system. This speeds up the time it requires to open a new branch — an access point for financial services
Make informed decisions
Using real-time data that is consolidated from all of your branches, you can create reports that show you which branches are overflowing with demand for your services. This gives you an overview of your market and where it makes the most sense to open a new branch — for your business and for your community.
Reach more clients
With the ability to open new branches quickly and place them wisely throughout your market, your microfinance institution can reach more clients in a more efficient manner. This is critical to supporting your communities and reaching your financial inclusion mission.
Myths about cloud technology are misleading business leaders
Despite the proven benefits of cloud technology, skeptics remain. As Vice President and Gartner Fellow Daryl Plummer states, “Cloud computing represents one of the most misunderstood, yet valuable, innovations in current IT and business strategies.” In a report written by Gartner, How and Why Leaders Must Implement Cloud Computing, some of the most common myths are:
- Cloud is less secure than on-premise systems
- The cloud is a data centre
- Cloud is not for mission-critical use
- Cloud should be used for everything
- “The CEO says so” is a strong enough cloud strategy
While myths about cloud technology are widespread, experts emphasise that “Organisations that do not have a high-level cloud strategy driven by their business strategy will significantly increase their risk of failure and wasted investment.”David Cearley
How to successfully move your microfinance institution to the cloud
Replacing an on-premise system and going to the cloud is not just about technology. To reap the full benefits of the cloud, your microfinance institution needs to align your technology strategy with your business strategy, create a change management plan, get buy-in from all areas of your business, develop an implementation and training plan, etc.
Oradian works with microfinance institutions one-on-one through each step of digital transformation from on-premises systems to our cloud-based core banking platform. To get started, contact us and we will get back to you shortly.
In the meantime, there are useful guidelines and helpful thought exercises that can help you as a leader of a microfinance institution prepare your move to the cloud.