Article

Tech Time: Automation Helps Credit Unions Bridge IT Talent Gaps

digital illustration of gears and data representing automation
Merly Thomas Photo
Director of Managed Automation Services
SMA Technologies

4 minutes

Managed workload automation can help manage talent shortages in the wake of the Great Resignation by offloading repetitive tasks.

Whether you call it “The Great Resignation,” “The Great Renegotiation” or “The Great Reshuffle,” the fact is that credit unions cannot ignore how talent shortages are affecting their capacity to innovate and meet the demands of members.

Implementing workload automation and orchestration software is the most practical solution for credit unions facing workforce challenges, as it considerably reduces the requirement for staff to carry out repetitive, process-oriented tasks. WLA&O requires fewer IT workers, enabling the reallocation of existing talent to concentrate on the most important, strategic initiatives. This tactic can be a game-changer for organizations that are struggling to find the talent they need to advance.

To fully profit from the operational advantages of WLA&O software, credit unions are increasingly in need of assistance with implementation, management and optimization—and automation management can turn into a full-time job for many institutions. To execute dynamic automation amid staffing woes, managed automation services are the key.

The Mission of MAS

A third-party MAS team—automation experts who can help with the setup, monitoring and maintenance of automated systems—adds an extra layer of support, particularly for a credit union with complicated IT infrastructure. By incorporating error logic into workflows and across operations, MAS aids in process optimization and incident response management.

Three primary focus areas make up MAS:

1. Consulting. A skilled MAS team can tell the difference between a credit union’s specific needs and the need for automated management, which are two distinct concepts. For either a specific project or across an entire organization, MAS experts can provide insight that reveals new automation potential.

2. Monitoring and maintenance. This includes carrying out upgrades, setting up new components and keeping an eye on how well those components are working. Monitoring and maintenance consist of anything from making sure system notifications are provided to guaranteeing the automation platform is in sync with the database.

3. Operational support. Though automation may be up and running, there should still be ongoing supervision to make sure objectives are achieved. Experts will keep an eye on the processes and applications, respond to alerts and proactively enhance automation initiatives.

The Advantages of MAS

One of the key advantages of leveraging an expert MAS team to manage back-end automation is that your internal IT staff will have more time to concentrate on strategic matters. Meanwhile, MAS  and WLA&O can handle such recurring tasks as the processing of payments and reporting and business intelligence.

A credit union’s MAS team, made up of automation engineers with in-depth knowledge of the software, may assist a financial institution in identifying desired results and then optimizing the platform to accomplish them. While IT is inherently complex, technology in the credit union industry is definitely no cakewalk. The most equipped MAS team will need to have a deep bench of domain expertise and can help IT reach higher levels of operational efficiency because they will have a wealth of expertise working within similarly complicated environments.

How MAS Works

Through the supervision of engineers who understand the platform, MAS increases the power of workload automation and orchestration tools. A credit union will collaborate with experts to determine which operations may be automated and how such initiatives can be integrated into an existing IT infrastructure. The engineers will then continue the automation efforts in line with the set objectives and success indicators. Credit unions can also work with a third-party partner to receive the particular level of support they need via a tiered MAS program.

Some additional applications for MAS include:

  • accomplishing lights-out processing at all times while maintaining access to 24/7 monitoring;
  • enhancing compliance and security while attaining the highest level of efficiency with experts in workload automation;
  • integrating several instances of WLA&O software with sophisticated digital infrastructures to effectively automate tasks; and
  • simplifying data management and ETL (extract, transform and load) procedures to make them less error-prone and to cut down on system troubleshooting time.

Simplify IT and Reduce Talent Pinches With MAS

In the wise words of outgoing Microsoft executive Ray Ozzie, “Complexity kills.” There has never been a better opportunity for credit unions to take advantage of automation, as member expectations are at an all-time high while IT staffing is at an all-time low. It’s tough to acquire and retain IT talent, but MAS frees credit union staff from routine, mundane activities and enables CUs to redeploy resources where they are most needed.

Merly Thomas is director of managed automation services at  SMA Technologies.

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