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Clouds don't always bring rain

Cloud computing solutions redefine disaster recovery

Obvious and mediocre won’t be found here—but “Why didn’t I think of that?” will! Challenging the banking status quo is Dan Fisher’s personal mission. Obvious and mediocre won’t be found here—but “Why didn’t I think of that?” will! Challenging the banking status quo is Dan Fisher’s personal mission.

Daily life, be it office or home, comes with the 21st century expectation that access to your digital applications and data will always be available. No matter what you are doing, or where you are at, when you need access to your files, emails, and apps, it should be there.

As little as five years ago, the ability to achieve that kind of access and availability would have been impossible on a large scale—and on incredibly expensive on a limited scale. Not so much today. Depending on the technology you choose, it can be easy. There are limits, though.

First of all, what is cloud computing? My characterization of cloud computing means… it’s a simple one… “not here.”

That is to say, in a traditional environment, the mainframe, storage, server applications, and the back-up solutions were all on site or at least close by. More importantly, as the role of technology increased in the community bank, the risk also increased along with management challenges. But there is a very affordable and efficient option available through a cloud solution.

So, imagining a contemporary cloud design, all a specific banking location would need is secure access to the internet. In a typical hub-and-spoke community bank configuration, servers hosting local applications and access to core vendors can all be replaced. The only duplication infrastructure that a cloud-based solution would need is a second independent source to the internet at each of your locations. Furthermore, system security and network monitoring (7 X 24 X 365) are included with your provider.

Going forward, as you begin to upgrade or re-design your disaster recovery and business continuity plan, before you go and purchase a train-load of hardware, software, data recovery applications and back-up location, look to the cloud first. You will be surprised about how sunny your future will look!

—The Wombat!

Dan Fisher

Dan Fisher is president and CEO of The Copper River Group, a consulting firm headquartered in Fargo, N. D., that focuses on technology and payment systems research and consulting for community financial institutions. For nearly 30 years, Fisher has worked in the financial industry using technology to improve the bottom line. He was CIO of Community First Bankshares (now part of Bank of the West), has served as a director of the Federal Reserve Board of Minneapolis, the chairman of the American Bankers Association Payment Systems Committee, and was a member of the Independent Community Bankers of America Payments Committee. Fisher has written numerous articles on banking technology and the payments system. He has authored or co-authored six books and recently published a book titled, "Capturing Your Customer! The New Technology of Remote Deposit." You can contact Fisher at [email protected] or at 701-293-6222.
P.S. To understand Dan's nickname, check out "About the Wombat" on his website.       

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