Matt Gunn, Managing Editor | TechComply

As more credit unions look to move beyond legacy applications, the cloud-based software as a service (SaaS) model has continued to rise in popularity with institutions looking for better flexibility and lower cost. software-as-a-service-saas

Industry magazine Credit Union Business has highlighted the trend in its most recent issue. Described as a “software on demand” distribution model, SaaS could be seen as the modern embodiment of the old service bureau model used by financial institutions over the course of the last several decades. These applications live outside the individual machines of a bank or credit union, can be switched on or off or made available to more users as necessary, and are generally thought to ease the burden of hardware and software costs over time.

In the article, “Get SaaS-y for Faster, Maybe Cheaper, Newer Technology,” Safe Systems CTO Brendan McGowan adds his thoughts on these services:

“By consuming SaaS from a cloud service provider, the credit union experiences more utility and less infrastructure,” says Brendan McGowan, CTO of Alpharetta, GA-based Safe Systems, which provides compliance-centric IT solutions. Internal infrastructure commonly has a lower total cost of ownership over its useful life but requires a larger initial investment and maintenance. “It all depends on how the credit union values these different aspects of the tools they use to do business,” notes McGowan.

This could add up to lower hardware costs or easier deployment and patching of software, as those functions are all hosted by a vendor or service provider. It’s another potential advantage of cloud services, which have also gained popularity through things like hosted email and disaster recovery among financial institutions.

Beyond cost and flexibility, the Credit Union Business article shows how the SaaS model can ultimately help improve the overall customer experience and contribute to security and compliance.

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