Is your bank or credit union using manual processes for commercial lending that are time-intensive, prone to error, and create pain points for customers and employees? If so, it may be time to leverage technology for a new way of working. A cloud-based commercial lending system is efficient, user friendly, and provides new tools and insights for employees and managers.
What is the “cloud”?
In simple terms, the cloud is technology infrastructure that’s provided via the internet. By accessing this infrastructure, a bank or credit union can acquire new capabilities without adding servers, applications and data storage on site.
Enhance your commercial lending business with a cloud-based system
Among the advantages of cloud-based systems are speedier access to the data, documents, and reporting on which your business relies.
Here are 7 key benefits of digitizing your commercial lending business with cloud computing:
- Save money – pay only for the services and resources you use instead of buying, installing, configuring, and maintaining your own on-site IT infrastructure.
- Productivity – automate business processes and workflows to increase efficiency and reduce error rates.
- With feeds from the core system, bankers won’t need to re-enter account numbers, balances and other customer data.
- Automating workflows can speed the application-to-approval process, e.g., pushing work to underwriting or doc preparation as each prior step is completed.
- Bankers can readily access the views they need, e.g., all loans in the pipeline or details about one specific deal.
- Risk management – customize and automate compliance items, such as covenant tracking, to define review periods and generate actionable reports for quick and easy remediation.
- Security – many public cloud providers, such as Microsoft Azure, have made sizable investments in security measures, beyond the means of most organizations. In a McAfee study of 1000 organizations worldwide, 52% said they “experience better security in the cloud than on-premise IT environments.”2 Additionally, many cloud-based solutions offer additional security through the use of a “private cloud”, which provides enhanced security by restricting access to a single customer.
- Scalability – start with your current requirements and scale as needed vs. acquiring infrastructure today so you’re prepared for tomorrow.
- Built-in redundancy – continue to have access to key system components, even if a server malfunctions.
- Flexibility – your services can be adjusted based on workload demand.
Cloud computing is not all or nothing. There’s a hybrid model
A misconception that cloud migration must be all or nothing has contributed to banks’ and credit unions’ slow adoption of cloud services. With the hybrid model, institutions have IT infrastructure and data on site and through a public or private cloud. “A hybrid cloud approach allows an institution to continue using legacy applications that can’t be migrated to the cloud while offering the flexibility to run new cloud-enabled applications.” 3
Additionally, many financial institutions are already using the cloud through Office 365, a Salesforce CRM system, or an HR system such as Oracle Human Capital Management.
Ready to get started?
To achieve the benefits of the cloud computing, here are 3 ways to get started:
- Identify your top business strategies.
For example, if commercial lending is a key contributor to profitability, what can you do to enhance your outcomes? If you haven’t yet digitized your processes and workflow, consider software to improve pipeline, portfolio, or risk management.
- Research and talk to trusted vendors about how their technology and industry knowledge can help address your challenges and provide new opportunities.
- Ask about a vendor’s cloud-based delivery, integration with your critical systems, and if they have intuitive interfaces that make their system easy to use for all types of users â€“ then request a demo.
Whether it makes it easier and safer for borrowers to submit their information, employees to analyze a credit or prepare a term sheet, or managers to gain an overview of the pipeline and portfolio, a cloud-based system can add value and optimize your commercial lending business.
“As institutions navigate an increasingly complex environment of regulatory requirements and strive to meet customer demands, the cloud can provide a reliable, accessible and compliant IT infrastructure while optimizing costs.”5