This article will focus on the Enterprise Budgeting on Cloud for Banks.
dashboard benchmarkingThe Cloud is coming!  Are you prepared?  I read a story once about a land that was going through a drought, famine, and warfare.  After a momentous battle, a leader told one of his lieutenants, “Go up now, look toward the sea.” So the lieutenant went up and looked and said, “There is nothing.”  And the leader said, “Go back” seven times.

It came about at the seventh time, that the lieutenant said, “Behold, a cloud as small as a man’s hand is coming up from the sea.”  And the leader said, “Go up, say to our adversary, ‘You had better flee this mountain, so that the heavy shower does not stop you.’”  In a little while the sky grew black with clouds and wind, and there was a heavy shower.

Did you ever get the sense that Banks and Credit Unions are looking out over the vast competitive landscape and saying to themselves that they don’t need Cloud?  They say to themselves, “It is too risky.  We want to do and own everything ourselves.  This Cloud stuff is just a fad!”  Try telling that to Sears as they are facing the end due to competitors like Amazon, the leading Cloud retailer.

At the end of 2016, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and the National Credit Union Association (NCUA), there were more than 11,500 Banks and Credit Unions with over 113,000 Branches.  That is a massive infrastructure!

To the Banks and Credit Unions credit, they all offer online banking as a way to transact with them.  The problem is that they own all the servers, hardware, and IT staff to prop up their web presence.  Again, that is a lot of stuff for the bankers to keep up with.  To keep up with all of their investments in overhead along with everything else to run a business, an Enterprise Budgeting is needed now more than ever.

What exactly is Enterprise Budgeting?  – Enterprise Reporting, according to Information Builders, is a form of Business Intelligence (BI) that extends reporting and analysis capabilities beyond your IT department, finance staff, and specialized analysts.  With enterprise reporting, anyone who has an impact on the Bank or Credit Union’s business – city executives, branch managers, relationship officers, and tellers – have immediate access to the key information they need to effectively perform their jobs.

If they are facing the customer, they need access to what products and services the customer already has by getting data from the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system.  They need to know what the customer is likely to be interested in pursuing from their Predictive Analytics solution.  If asked for a review of fees charged, the banker needs to know the customer’s profitability generated from the Funds Transfer Pricing and Activity Based Costing modules.

Just having access to all this vital information is not enough.  Bankers need to know if the information they are looking at is good, bad, or ugly.  The only way to determine the results is by implementing an Enterprise Budgeting solution.  In the same way that the reporting tracks all relevant information, the budgeting piece is responsible for setting goals, targets, and benchmarks.

Setting goals for number of teller items per hour, loans produced per month, average cross-sell ratios per customer, and average net interest margin on deposits per branch are crucial to a bank to a bank operating at peak efficiency.  All this information cannot be entered by your accounting team.  They need collaboration from everyone involved.

Collaboration is the key to success!Collaboration is a joint effort of multiple employees or teams to accomplish a task or project. Within a Bank or Credit Union, collaboration typically involves the ability of two or more workers to review performance and update plans, budgets, and forecasts or other content over a network.

At the bank-wide level, the ability to collaborate and communicate is increasingly becoming essential to business processes. Enterprise collaboration may encompass the use of a collaboration platform, enterprise social networking tools, a Virtual Private Network (VPN) and the public Cloud.

Cloud collaboration allows employees to work together on documents and other data types that are stored off-premises and outside of the company firewall. Employees use a cloud-based platform to share, edit and work together on projects. Cloud collaboration enables two or more people to work on a project at once.

With so many individuals needing to input, view, and track their goals within an Enterprise Budgeting solution, Cloud deployment often make the most sense.  If the solution was deployed in-house and without a web portal, the application would need to be installed and maintained on every user’s machine.  Your collaboration in this case would be the sending of e-mails or storing spreadsheets in Windows folders on a network.  With IT keeping up with all the new releases of the loan, deposit, and online banking applications, that are mission critical, Enterprise Budgeting application maintenance will be a low priority.

Even if the solution that bankers choose has a web portal, having the solution on-premise may also be a burden.  You will have to keep up with hardware maintenance, software updates, VPN’s, data backup and disaster recovery.  Going with Enterprise Budgeting on Cloud for Banks makes the most sense.

Skyhigh Networks does a great job summarizing the many advantages of using Cloud as follows:

  • Fresh Software – the latest versions of the solution are always available
  • Do more with less – going Cloud is a great way to outsource some of your IT’s tasks
  • Flexible costs – with banks ranging in size from 30 to 3,000 employees, Cloud can accommodate all of them
  • Always-on availability – most Cloud providers maintain 99.99% uptime
  • Improved mobility – with Cloud, you can manage your budget on your mobile device
  • Improved collaboration – as mentioned already, virtually every employee can be involved
  • Cloud computing is more cost effective – the associated expenses of propping up and supporting a system goes away
  • Flexible capacity – Cloud is very scalable

There are many other good reasons to go Cloud in addition to the ones already listed.

So who can help?  There are many vendors that offer Enterprise Budgeting on Cloud for Banks.  If you are just getting started with the general piece of your Enterprise Budgeting process, Oracle Hyperion Financial Management, SAP Business Planning & Consolidation, IBM – Cognos TM1, and Solver’s BI360 are all good solutions.

If you are ready to tackle the other operational metrics of your bank or credit union, you will need a data warehouse with a good reporting engine to put all the information together.  You might consider IBM Cognos, SAP BusinessObjects, Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition (OBIEE), and again BI360 by Solver.  All of these solutions are offered on the Cloud as well as the old fashioned way of on-premise.

So if you have just two employees or two hundred employees participating in your Enterprise Budgeting process, BI360 by Solver is an easy self-service analytical solution that is enabling banks to make world-class decisions.  Solver, Inc. is happy to answer any questions and generally review BI360’s easy-to-use, Excel-powered enterprise reporting solution for banking and finance industry users.  Don’t get caught in the rain unprepared.  Get an Enterprise Budgeting on Cloud for Banks solution today to be better prepared to take on your competition.