Embrace the cloud

Embrace the cloud

Cloud computing can be the perfect solution for many businesses, argues Paul Hunt, managing director of Phoebus Software

New technology scares people. But those who embrace it reap rich rewards. In 1929 Lloyd George complained oratory was dead and that political speeches had descended to the level of talk. That was before Dunkirk, when Winston’s Churchill’s words went back to war when Britain’s armed forces could not. Before John F. Kennedy asked what you could do for your country. Before Dr. King had a dream.

Lloyd George argued the conditions of modern speaking – he meant the arrival of broadcasting – were not conducive to the preparation of speeches.

He despaired too soon.

Today’s orators have certainly adapted their styles. Obama’s speeches are written not for his immediate audience but for the millions who watch the sound bites deliberately crafted for the evening news. The best modern speeches show that oratory is not a declining art, even though television places more emphasis on moving images than words. But far from destroying oratory, broadcasting increased our ability to disseminate speeches.

The latest technological marvel to threaten our industry’s status quo is the cloud. For those mortgage companies who are not too timid to explore it, the cloud will improve and cut costs.

First, the cloud allows IT departments to manage expenditure according to the volumes of work they are handling. Businesses can outsource their data centre requirements and buy ICT resources as a utility service. By contracting out infrastructure resources to a managed hosting and utility computing provider on a rental basis, without upfront costs and with short term contracts, firms can reduce capital expenditure and save a significant amount on their ongoing infrastructure costs. For most financial service companies a cloud provider will be cheaper overall with improved economies of scale rather than traditional IT where servers, storage and software are used on the premises.

For that reason, the cloud also has the potential to transform the landscape for smaller lenders by driving down the costs of entering the market. The instant accessibility, along with the lack of upfront costs offers businesses a flexible IT structure which can expand or contract extremely quickly. With large businesses there are more complex issues such as storage, monitoring and content delivery to consider.

Second, the growing regulatory strain on lenders and servicers has meant many inherited systems are in need of an update. Customer service requirements have placed added burden onto outdated systems and this makes it problematic for companies to comply with rules. Cloud allows modern software and servers to be updated consistently to deliver the highest levels of customer service and to comply with TCF without the need for expensive manual workarounds. That means that failing to embrace advancements in IT systems can be hugely counterproductive. Outdated legacy systems invariably end up becoming expensive and time consuming.

Cloud can add value for lenders and servicers by using modern, constantly updated commercial servers, leading to faster processes and greater profitability. For proactive lenders the cloud is potentially the perfect solution in the drive to minimise extraneous costs and improve service quality. It could easily propel your business into a sky high league of its own.

Contrary to what traditionalists may argue, the beauty of online is that it allows people to instantly share with a larger audience. Look at how online newspapers and magazines have flourished, with the introduction of tablets, smart phones and blogging. The digital world hasn’t killed print it has enhanced people’s accessibility and freedom to express opinions. The incredible range of technological opportunities that can be used to support businesses are definitely a bonus not a threat. Lack of innovation is far more likely to do that.