Banks, savings and loan associations, credit unions, funds, and other companies in the banking industry rely heavily on information technology (IT) to support everything from their core systems to their digital marketing efforts.
However, technology solutions can serve financial institutions well only if they are implemented correctly and expertly maintained. If not, they can become a source of constant operational, cybersecurity, and compliance issues.
Most companies in the banking industry lack the experience and expertise necessary to meet their IT needs internally. Fortunately, they can easily and cost-effectively borrow what they don’t have by partnering with a Managed Services Provider (MSP) that has worked with clients in finance and understands the unique challenges they face.
In this guide, we explain how MSPs can support their banking clients, and provide advice on what financial institutions should look for when selecting an MSP.
What Are Managed IT Services for Banking?
When a bank or some other financial institution needs to transport a large sum of cash, they hire an armored car service instead of handling the critically important task themselves because a specialized third party can do a better job.
Similarly, financial institutions can partner with a provider of managed IT services to outsource the management of their IT systems. These teams of experts are specifically trained and experienced in dealing with the unique security and compliance requirements of the financial sector.
In addition to day-to-day IT system management, MSPs help their clients navigate the complex process of selecting, implementing, and integrating new technology into their existing infrastructure.
MSPs typically charge a set monthly or annual fee for a package of services. This allows their clients to budget for IT costs in advance and avoid the unpredictability of in-house IT support. What’s more, MSPs have economies of scale in their favor because they serve multiple clients. So, they can supply IT services at a lower cost than if a client were to oversee all its IT needs internally.
How a Managed IT Service Provider Can Support Banking Institutions
MSPs can play a vital role in supporting banking institutions and ensuring their success. An MSP can support a banking institution in a number of ways to help it thrive:
24/7 Technical Support
IT issues can occur at any time of the day or night, which is why MSPs offer 24/7 technical support. With a skilled IT support team always just a phone call away, companies in the banking industry can promptly resolve their technical issues to reduce downtime and improve customer satisfaction.
IT Strategic Planning
These days, it’s not enough to merely keep systems running to achieve and maintain competitive advantage. Future IT needs must be anticipated and have the knowledge necessary to make informed decisions about how to address them. Companies can set themselves apart from their competitors by identifying innovative technologies that can improve efficiency, increase productivity, and better serve customers.
Financial institutions are at a high risk of cyber attacks because they handle sensitive personal and financial data. Plus, they are subject to a wide range of laws and regulations regarding data security and privacy, such as the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS) or the Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act (GLBA). Cybersecurity-savvy MSPs help financial institutions achieve a strong cybersecurity posture by providing services such as network monitoring, vulnerability assessments, and incident response.
Because a financial institution that can’t ensure the availability of its systems and data is not trustworthy, it’s paramount for all companies in the banking sector to prioritize business continuity planning. MSPs help financial institutions get back on their feet after outages and cybersecurity incidents by supplying services such as disaster recovery planning as well as backup and recovery.
The cloud has become a fantastic source of competitive advantage for companies across all sectors, and it can be especially beneficial to financial institutions since cloud service providers invest a lot of money in robust security measures to protect customer data and meet regulatory requirements. MSPs make it easy for financial institutions to navigate the increasingly vast and complicated ecosystem of cloud solutions to choose those that fit their needs the best.
By offering all this support, MSPs can help financial institutions stay competitive and meet their regulatory requirements – allowing them to keep a razor-sharp focus on their core business goals.
What Should Banking Institutions Look for in an MSP?
To take full advantage of the above-described benefits, banking institutions need to do their research to find the most suitable MSPs. Here are several key qualities and capabilities to look for in an MSP.
MSPs that have a deep understanding of the banking industry and its unique needs and challenges can provide more valuable and tailored services than those that are not familiar with it.
A strong cybersecurity background paired with the knowledge of all relevant cybersecurity regulations financial institutions must follow should be essential requirements for all MSPs that provide their services to the banking industry.
The IT needs of financial institutions can change rapidly based on current economic conditions, government regulations, technological developments, cybersecurity threats, and customer demand. MSPs should be able to adapt flexibly to them and scale their services up or down as needed.
Proven Track Record
Companies in the banking industry should always seek partnerships only with MSPs that have a history of successfully working with other banking institutions.
Regardless of the industries they focus on, the best MSPs prioritize customer satisfaction and are determined to work closely with their clients to understand their needs and nurture long-lasting, mutually beneficial partnerships.
By considering these essential qualities and capabilities, financial institutions can select an MSP that’s fully capable of providing solutions that align with their requirements, meet regulatory compliance, and help them achieve their overall business goals.
Aligned Technology Solutions Can Help
Aligned’s experts understand the unique challenges all banks, savings and loan associations, credit unions, funds, and other companies in the banking industry face. Our managed IT services are designed to help financial institutions focus on what they do best while our world-class team of IT professionals takes care of the technological side of things.
Are you interested in 24/7 technical support, IT strategic planning, cybersecurity compliance, business continuity planning, cloud computing, and other services? Then contact us today to learn more about what we can do for you.
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