Let’s face it, keeping up with evolving banking applications, meeting customer and regulatory demands and managing and securing a network can be a huge challenge for any financial institution, especially community banks. Today, in an effort to bring customers the best features and options banking technology can provide, banks are adding applications to their networks that must integrate seamlessly with their core banking system. Each core has its own complex product matrix comprised of layer upon layer of acquired companies and products. Because of this each core has its own specific application set and standard practices, most of which have been developed in separate silos from each other.
As a result, we typically see the core-provided solutions built in a modular fashion requiring little to no analysis of the existing environment. This can result in a disjointed network comprised of extraneous hardware and licensing that are difficult to manage and do not fit into the bank’s future strategic plans. Working with an independent IT provider who understands core providers can be a huge benefit when it comes to incorporating new core systems into the existing network and wider vision for the network’s growth.
As a Jack Henry customer you may have first-hand experience overcoming some of these same hurdles. With over 100 Jack Henry clients, Safe Systems has implemented many of the JHA and various Profitstar applications in many different environments. Here are some suggestions to help you identify and avoid common implementation challenges in the future:
Adapt Your Network Configuration to Support New Applications
When you are adding an application to your network the core will often require that the application be housed on its own designated server. They will often quote you physical hardware for the application to reside on as this fits their modular one size fits all mentality. Depending on your network infrastructure, new designated servers and/or suggested physical hardware may not be necessary to support the new application. Be sure to review your bank’s specific network configuration before licensing /acquiring any new hardware. This review can be a challenging endeavor unless you have a team familiar with both the product requirements and the existing network configuration.
Once you determine the optimal set up and new servers are required, there are many tasks that must be performed to ensure they are being managed properly. These servers must be set up on the network and added into the bank’s inventory of technology assets. They must also be enrolled in a credible patch management program and accounted for in the network disaster recovery plan and backup process. Working with an experienced bank IT network provider that has a holistic view of your entire network will help ensure you are not purchasing and running unnecessary hardware and that you avoid creating network management issues.
Ensure Compliance and Security Day One
What happens after new products and services are implemented in the bank? All new applications must be secure and in compliance with FFIEC regulations (How will this impact business continuity planning? How does it factor into the incident response program?). The right outsourced IT provider should have teams that work extensively with the core provider and the bank to ensure the new product is fully implemented correctly at the bank and meet all operations, compliance and security objectives.
Ensure Patch Management Out of the Box
Patch management is more important than ever! The lack of an effective patch management process has contributed significantly to the increase in the number of security incidents in financial institutions. An effective patch management program should include policies and procedures to identify, prioritize, test and apply patches in a timely manner. The longer that a system remains unpatched the more vulnerable the institution becomes. If you choose to work with an outsourced service provider, be sure they can offer your institution a comprehensive patching program that delivers quick, accurate, and secure patch updates to all applications. This process will help mitigate the multiple risks associated with running unpatched programs and automate the time-consuming process of testing and deploying new patches.
Dispelling 5 IT Outsourcing Myths within Financial Institutions
Get The Right Help
Working with an experienced outsourced IT provider such as Safe Systems helps ensure your integration with Jack Henry core systems will be smooth and efficient. Safe Systems is a banking-specific technology specialist with more than 20 years in the industry and relationships with more than 600 financial institutions. We have a unique understanding of critical components such as Jack Henry core processing, 3rd party banking applications, financial industry best practices, information security, business continuity and FFIEC guidance.
We have been working with and supporting more than 100 Jack Henry core banking clients for more than 20 years. This experience has provided us with a thorough understanding of Jack Henry’s core banking solution, best practices for working with the solution and how to efficiently add applications in a secure environment. Our holistic approach to financial services ensures our financial institutions are running an efficient and secure network.