The outbreak of COVID-19 has changed the way we do business in America. Even though financial services institutions are considered essential businesses, most banks and credit unions have had to make significant changes in their operations with the majority of their staff members transitioning to home offices.
The industry has performed quite well through this crisis, despite the tidal wave of work that came out of the Small Business Administration’s Payroll Protection Program. And those organizations that were already experienced in remote work environments fared even better.
This crisis has given us the opportunity at Xtensifi to see our team perform under pressure and the results have been a real silver lining. Our development teams in the U.S. and nearshore in Canada, were able to proceed with projects as our infrastructure allows for remote work. Even as our bank and credit union clients increased requests for new digital banking onboarding technology and additional capabilities to accommodate a flood of small business loan applications, we were able to continue on without missing a beat.
We feel incredibly grateful to have a great development team that is flexible and welcomes a challenge.
Unfortunately, not everyone was prepared for what was to come due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Due to mandatory stay at home orders, some software development shops found they were unprepared for remote work. Any bank or credit union that was relying on one of these shops that are now shut down to complete projects, especially related to their digital banking initiatives, may be left frustrated with unfinished projects during a critical time.
Preparing for a Second Wave
We will likely see a second wave of COVID-19 this fall, so it’s critical for smaller financial institutions to step up their due diligence efforts as it relates to their development efforts. Larger banks have sophisticated due diligence processes in place that allow them to determine the capabilities of external development teams in advance. Most smaller institutions could benefit from mirroring their due diligence processes. In addition to standard questions, FIs should ask to see evidence of the following:
- The development firm’s business continuity and disaster plans
- Geographic distribution of the team and secure connect protocols
- The maturity of the team and its management
- A range of remote collaboration tools
- Cloud–based management and control systems
Doing this work during a pandemic is largely similar to doing it at any other time. It doesn’t require more due diligence, necessarily, but it certainly requires the right due diligence.
We have been fortunate to be able to carry on during the COVID-19 pandemic without missing a beat. If your financial institution has had to put development projects on hold and aren’t sure when they will pick back up, or you’re looking to take on a new project to help your institution cope with the new normal, we would be happy to help.