Now Is the Time to Alleviate Financial Stress for Families and Businesses

My Post (15).pngThe rippling effects of COVID-19 on the economy has overwhelmed everyone. With the unemployment rate at 13.3%, people are trying to save their homes, their businesses, and support their families. Banks are flooded with customer requests to help delay debt payments or alternative financing options. Your employees want to help alleviate customer stress, but are navigating new government programs, adjusting to work from home, and now are having virtual empathetic conversations. As a banking leader, you are faced with balancing how to help customers immediately, educating your employees remotely, and understanding the long-term credit implications of your actions.

This is an opportunity for banks to reestablish relationships with families and businesses as a trusted advisor. Influential leaders in financial services around the globe know they must be part of this recovery. This means leading with empathy, understanding pain points, and ways you can help. The financial services industry is in a better place than it was during the 2008 Economic Recession and is poised to become a foundation for stability and support.

Here we discuss ways you can deliver an empathetic trusted experience that can identify, engage, resolve, and lead customers to financial recovery.

Identify vulnerable customers

Your customers’ financial stability is changing daily, increasing the demand for new credit and financial solutions. You must identify your at-risk customers to proactively provide solutions to alleviate financial pressures. This can be a challenge as most banks lack visibility and connection into both credit portfolios and customer analytics to manage risks across all product lines and departments. By creating a single source of truth with your data, you can have visibility into your operations and customer financial wellness.

Start with connecting your platform and banking systems to your back, middle, and front departments through integrations with APIs or MulesoftMascoma Bank leveraged Mulesoft to connect to their core banking system. This allows you to capture financial account data, service inquiries, and virtual meetings from any channel in one place. Now you have created a single source of truth. Analytics tools like Tableau and Einstein Analytics for banking can reveal real-time business insights to quickly sense and respond. Below is an example of a Credit Risk analysis of Small Business Loans in proximity to COVID-19 cases. Employees can see which small business customers might be affected by COVID-19 closures and proactively reach out to help.

By better understanding your customers, you can identify who needs immediate help and predict what areas could be impacted in the future. Use these insights as guidelines to adjust your operating model, protect the bank from the negative impacts of credit defaults, and revenue compressions. Now is the time to listen and focus on creating programs your customers need. – Read more

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5 myths of Disaster Recovery

My Post (14).pngCommon misconceptions about Disaster Recovery

 

Being prepared
The importance of disaster recovery (DR) cannot be overemphasised in today’s climate, but there are still many misconceptions about DR and whether every business needs a solution in place.

Too many businesses fail because they are not prepared for an IT disaster, even when a simple DR solution could have saved them. Reportedly only 6% of companies that suffer data loss survive, which is why it is so critical for every business to understand the value of disaster recovery.

So, what are some common myths about DR?

#1 ‘The chance of a disaster striking my business is low’
Every business is at risk, whether large or small. Some sectors such as finance and eCommerce could be targeted due to the value of the data being held, but small businesses who are less likely to focus budget on protecting their infrastructure are equally at risk.

Disasters can happen anywhere, at any time, whether a natural disaster, human error or hacking attack. Human error is even considered to be a primary factor for most data breaches and data loss in UK businesses, and the size and impact of DDoS attacks has been steadily rising in recent years. Even if businesses are not situated in areas of risk from natural disaster, global warming has affected weather cycles in the UK – consider flash flooding and storms that can cause power outages.

All businesses need to consider the value of their data and be prepared with a proactive DR solution in place.

#2 ‘Our business would be fine if disaster struck’
This is a very dangerous myth about DR. A disaster could affect access to applications, hardware, data, servers, networking equipment, power and connectivity. DDoS attacks and data breaches in particular cause widespread damage and could also affect customer data as well as the business’s own.

Unless there is a DR plan in place to resume operations in a short amount of time, then a disaster could create prolonged downtime for staff and customers and damage to the company. Extensive planning ahead of time, to consider all eventualities, is essential.

Companies should look at where the biggest vulnerabilities lie and run a Business Impact Analysis to determine the damage a disaster would cause.

#3 ‘We already have an airtight Disaster Recovery Plan’
No DR plan is ‘airtight’. The plan could be very comprehensive and cover all bases but disasters, by nature, are unpredictable. Businesses need to prepare for the unexpected with their DR solution.

Preparing a DR plan is the first step on the path toward complete disaster security. Run regular tests and reviews to ensure the effectiveness of the plan and to analyse any areas that fall through the cracks. It is far better to find and fix any problems in advance of the DR plan needing to be rolled out.

Clearly communicating a high-level DR plan to employees is vital to ensure that all team members know what would happen should a disaster occur. Also having a reporting and escalation procedure in place for any suspected DDoS attacks or data breaches is an important process to have.

#4 ‘We Backup Our Data…We Should Be Safe’
This is another common misconception – there’s an important distinction to make between backups and disaster recovery. Backups are the process of making an extra copy (or multiple) of data either on or off-site to protect it. DR, however, is a solution that ensures businesses can quickly reestablish access to applications, data, and IT resources after a disaster. – Read more

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How COVID-19 has created an unprecedented demand for cloud hosting providers.

My Post (13).pngThe unprecedented lockdowns caused by the coronavirus pandemic have led to huge changes in the traditional workplace environment and in the way that businesses are being run.

Every sector and industry in the UK has been affected in some way as companies adapt to new working environments. For most companies, that means joining in with the work from home revolution, even if they never planned to in the past.

For the IT sector, a shift to online working has created a huge surge in demand for dedicated cloud hosting platforms, as companies have quickly looked to increase their security and storage capabilities.

In this article, we take a look at how cloud hosting has been affected by COVID-19, and how cloud hosting providers have coped marvellously well with the surge in popularity!

What is cloud hosting and why is it in demand?

COVID-19 has demonstrated the need for cloud-based hosting and the upsurge in demand has been felt by hosting services across the country as they deal with the ever-expanding move towards more cloud-based systems and applications.

But to understand why cloud hosting is currently in demand due to COVID-19, we need to take a look at what cloud hosting actually is.

In the not so distant past, companies or websites would host their data on a single server. This server would have a location, usually within a data centre, somewhere in the world. That server could host just one website’s data or it could host the data for several different companies all at once.

But in recent years, there’s been a fundamental shift in data hosting. Instead of using a single server, there’s been a move towards hosting data on multiple servers, giving better redundancy and scalability. This has become known as cloud hosting, the idea being that the data you need storing is stored simultaneously across a ‘cloud’ of different servers. – Read more

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