Tech Tips for 2024 Strategic Planning

As fall approaches and budgeting season begins, we want to share the leading industry initiatives, including technology focus areas for 2024 roadmaps. What’s included in your strategic plan for 2024?

Increased Security Measures: SASE, SIEM/SOC

SASE (pronounced “sassy”), or Secure Access Service Edge, is just one example of a new approach to security. The idea is to ensure that your data and connections are secure, no matter where or how you’re connecting to do work. This is particularly valuable for remote workers, but it also applies to people who are on the go, working in branches, or out in the community. SASE covers not just PCs and laptops but also phones, tablets, and other devices. With SASE, you can have peace of mind knowing that your business and personal data are protected.

SIEM/SOC solutions provide your organization with Security Information Event Management (SIEM) and a Security Operations Center (SOC). Think of SIEM as the smoke detector and SOC as the firefighter. These tools are no longer just an add-on to your organization’s technology; they are a requirement in today’s security landscape. The most advanced providers offer not only SIEM/SOC but also fraud and compliance assistance.

Strategic and Budget Considerations:

  • SASE solutions, such as CATO

  • SIEM/SOC solutions, such as DefenseStorm or Adlumin

  • Security Awareness Training, such as KnowBe4; after all, security starts with your employees and how they interact with technology

  • Information Security Conference: CU Intersect

  • Join the NCU-ISAO, which is helping to enhance the community by sharing information and strengthening security measures

Microsoft 365 Utilization and Optimization

Would you buy a Ferrari only to go to the grocery store? I hope not. Similarly, if you haven’t incorporated AzureAD, M365, virtual cloud desktops, and other security measures in your strategy, you might be missing out on advanced capabilities that you’re already paying for.

The effective use of technology spend is crucial for credit unions to stay competitive and meet the expectations of their members. Embracing Microsoft 365 optimization is a strategic step towards achieving these goals, ensuring credit unions remain agile, member-focused, and at the forefront of technology and security.

Strategic and Budget Considerations:

  • Moving collaborative data into Teams and SharePoint

  • Defender for Endpoint

  • Defender for M365 for email security

  • A Pure IT Microsoft 365 Assessment

Into the Cloud: Shift from Physical Infrastructure

With the rise of both digital-centric banking and work-from-home models, on-premise solutions simply don’t meet the security, compliance, and collaboration needs of credit unions today.

Not only do solutions like SASE and Microsoft’s Azure AD (now Entra ID) help with this transition to the cloud, but increasing numbers of core providers are cloud-centric or capable of running in the cloud. We are seeing the movement of the Data Warehouse and business intelligence toolsets to the Cloud.

Strategic and Budget Considerations:

  • Moving your server infrastructure into Azure or AWS

  • Assess current and future vendor partners with Cloud capabilities or offerings that enable your organization’s growth and maturity; align with the business needs and timeline

AI Integrations to Bolster Service and Security

The explosion of AI chatbots, like ChatGPT, began in late 2022. Today, there seems to be an AI tool integrated into every single product: down to Grammarly, helping me keep this blog post readable. It seems like everyone is using AI these days, but it has to be done safely.

Although AI tools can bring about significant changes, inputting private or financial information poses significant security risks. It is crucial to have proper policies and processes in place to ensure the safe and secure use of AI.

Strategic and Budget Considerations:

  • Proper staff training and process implementation for open-source AI models

  • Private vendor AI tools to enhance member experience or your Security Operations Center (SOC)

Unification and Integration of Tools

A growing trend in member services is the use of data culmination tools and central portals for timely visibility. This involves integrating various tools and technology such as core platforms, member communication or Omni channels, and new account and loan applications all to increase productivity and consumption of critical information. There is a growing focus on automation and increased efficiencies for credit unions, as well as creating new solutions through fintech companies and other providers. Credit unions are seeking middleware and partners, such as Janusea, to work with new solutions and improve existing ones that currently rely on batch and dual entry systems.

Strategic and Budget Considerations:

  • Credit unions, CUSOs, and Fintechs no longer need to stress about the dreaded “integration” conversation with their vendors or partners

  • R&D on which middleware/integration companies can increase member service

  • Business Intelligence Analysis and Roadmap

  • Vendor Analysis and Integration capabilities

Courtesy of Julia Hendrickson, PureItCUSO