Managed Services for Credit Unions – What a Great Idea!

Over the past few months, I have been hearing a similar complaint from a number of my clients. One after another, they have observed that “just can’t keep up the pace.” IT overload, in a sense. 

Frankly, I was amazed to hear this, especially since I kept hearing it over and over. These are very smart managers, and many are moving up the ranks in the credit unions they work for. I could understand “I can’t keep up” stress from a business person trying to manage enterprise technology, but I was shocked to hear these words from seasoned and more than capable technologists.  

I thought of Managed Services Programs (MSP) as a solution for my frazzled clients. Managed services could free up my clients to focus on member-facing value add and other strategic items. If credit union technology professionals could stay focused on increasing value to the member and less on the IT plumbing systems, credit unions and their members would be immensely better off. 

MSP for credit unions can cost half of the cost of the same in-house services. This gives credit unions a great advantage; they can obtain the plumbing expertise through contractors and invest their W2 resources in core systems and member facing applications. 

The path to MSP success starts with finding a Managed Services and Compliance Program Vendor who focuses specifically on credit unions. Credit unions are more complex than many similar sized companies in other sectors, and it is very important that your IT business partner knows this and has credit union expertise in their business.  

Here are other key items to check out before closing a deal with an MSP provider: 

  1. Do their programs match to an Information Security Program, NCUA, or FFIEC?
  2. Are compliance and IT operations the focus of their service (as opposed to devices and products)?
  3. Have you reviewed samples of monthly reports?
  4. Have they been questioned by NCUA auditors before? How did they do?
  5. Is access to Tier 1-Tier 3 talent included in the monthly fee?
  6. Is there a complete 3rd party due diligence package for: insurance coverage, financials, security controls, background checks, NDAs, etc.?

Finally, something to consider from your side: Will bringing this provider on board really enable you to focus your valuable in-house IT and business personnel on core systems and member facing activities? 

If the answers to these questions are positive, you stand an excellent chance of reaping big benefits from partnering with an MSP provider.

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