Developing on Salesforce: Continuity of Service is Essential for Financial Institutions
Every business wants to avoid downtime. They can’t bring in any money if their customers can’t access their services. However, this basic imperative is even more of a necessity for the financial services industry.
Gartner estimated the cost of IT downtime cost the average company $5,600 per minute back in 2014. This estimate will vary depending on factors specific to each business and industry—not to mention the fact that it’s no doubt increased since the study was released seven years ago—but it gives us a good idea of what’s at stake.
Downtime costs your financial services company money.
The need for continued service becomes even more apparent when you factor in the fact that customers rely on continued access to their financial information. The ramifications of an inability to access and use financial information can create difficult situations.
But if every business needs continued access to their Salesforce platform, what makes it more pressing the financial industry?
Here are 7 factors that illustrate the need for continuity of service within the financial services industry:
1. Regulatory Compliance
The financial industry is subject to a series of government regulations because of the important role it plays in people’s lives. The applicable regulations will differ depending on where your financial institution is located and with whom it does business, but some variation of these regulations will apply.
Financial institutions must work to maintain security and access of service.
These are but two examples of the numerous regulations facing the financial industry.
The New York Department of Financial Services regulation requires banks to protect the data relating to their customers, as well as maintaining secure operations.
The Monetary Authority of Singapore stipulates guidelines for the financial industry in its Technology Risk Management assessment. They went on to issue legal requirements regarding the cyber resilience of financial institutions.
2. Consumer Confidence
Competition between various banks has increased over the years as services rendered have become more homogenous. The casual banking customer has many choices for where they want to open a checking account, for instance.
An outage in services will lead customers to find other sources to fulfill their financial needs.
Trust is a major aspect of working with a financial institution, and this can be irreparably damaged if your services aren’t available when they are needed.
Maintaining consumer confidence is essential to every successful business. Don’t give your customers a reason to look elsewhere by maintaining control of your platform.
3. Stability of Technological Infrastructure
Your Salesforce instance is an interconnected structure of metadata and functionality. These systems trade information and operate based on mutual communication.
An outage in one area of your digital platform will have a snowball effect on related systems.
A seemingly simple hiccup in the infrastructure of a financial institution can not only have negative effects on your customers, in can negatively impact other areas of your platform.
Maintaining a stable digital platform will save you the time spent bringing the various systems back into working order. And this is on top of the money you’ll avoid missing due to the downtime.
4. Cost Effective Operations
Streamlined operations means you aren’t redoing your work. Redundant tasks cost your company money through wasted labor hours from your team.
Doing something right the first time around and maintaining the functionality of your services saves you from looking backward when you should be looking forward.
The financial industry provides essential services to their customers, but they are still businesses. A profitable system of operation is needed to continue helping your customers with their financial goals.
Continuity of service ensures your stream of income will continue allowing you to best serve those who depend on you.
5. Access to Sensitive Data
Many of the regulations for the financial industry are related to their handling of sensitive customer information.
Financial institutions have access to social security numbers, addresses, and—of course—bank account information. It could be catastrophic for a customer should this information fall into the hands of a cybercriminal.
The GDPR, for instance, has a series of requirements for banks and how they handle the sensitive information for their customers.
Continuity of service is often dependent on proper security measures. And if a bank isn’t taking the time and effort to guarantee the security of their customers’ data, they probably have room to improve on maintaining a functioning system as well.
6. Potentially Drastic Consequences for Customers
The expanding offerings of financial institutions have led many people to link a series of considerations directly to their bank accounts. This includes utility bill payments, paycheck direct deposits, mortgage or rent payments, and more.
A failure of these accounts to perform their intended duties can lead to very real consequences for customers.
We rely on financial services to maintain our quality of life. A disruption in these services equates to a disruption in our daily lives.
7. Tips for Maintaining Service
Mindful practices and usage of essential tools can greatly improve your ability to either avoid loss of services or expedite the process of getting it back to operations.
Here are a few quick tips you can use to avoid losing access to your Salesforce system and mitigate the effects of a loss of service.
Frequent Backups and Restore Capabilities
Businesses in the financial industry need to have systems in place to restore functionality should something go wrong. A trustworthy backup and restore plan is the best way to accomplish this.
AutoRABIT Vault and Data Backup Recovery can be tailored to your exact needs—including frequency and scope of the data and metadata to be backed up. Restore functionality reinstitutes essential system data to minimize the amount of time your customers are left without service.
Educated Team Members
Your team members are your greatest asset as a business—you wouldn’t be able to properly serve your customers without them. However, they can also create major problems without even realize they are doing so.
Stress the importance of adherence to best practices to team members throughout your organization. Accidental deletions can lead to downtime.
Adequate training and constant attention can help avoid this scenario.
Frequent System Audits and Updates
Scheduling frequent system audits will give you an updated viewpoint on the health of your Salesforce system. This can be useful for many reasons, but one of the main ways it helps is to alert you to potential security vulnerabilities.
Address any security issues as soon as they are found. Keeping up with system updates will assist in this effort.