United States

Community banks leverage RSM’s FIT as a Service to optimize operations

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Overview

Community Bank of Raymore was founded in 1979 and is located in Cass County, Missouri. The bank currently has nearly $250 million in assets and more than 40 employees. When the bank commenced operations, it was the first bank charter in Cass County in 45 years.

Its sister bank, Community Bank of Pleasant Hill was founded in 2006 and located in Pleasant Hill, Missouri. The bank currently has over $65 million in assets and about 20 employees. The bank has more than 100 stockholders with most of them residing in the Pleasant Hill area.

Community Bank of Raymore and Community Bank of Pleasant Hill are both organized under the holding company Lolyn Financial Services.

Background

RSM was the managed information technology services provider for the Community Bank of Raymore and Community Bank of Pleasant Hills for more than a decade. The banks’ employees had the convenience of a dedicated RSM support person on-site four days a week to help resolve any IT issues that came up. Through this long-term and close partnership, RSM has made great strides in standardizing solutions across both banks to increase efficiencies, security and overall IT execution.

Project

Toward the end of 2017, the banks’ executive leadership team decided to migrate its IT infrastructure to the cloud, and moved to RSM’s FIT as a Service platform. FIT as a Service (financial institution technology as a service) combines managed IT services, cloud environment and regulatory compliance components all in one package, priced at one set monthly fee.

Jack Hopkins, president of Community Bank of Raymore and vice chairman of Community Bank of Pleasant Hill, says the banks were talking with RSM about moving to the cloud environment for a couple of years. “We were going to have to make some large capital expenditures on new servers and additional pieces of hardware, so it made sense financially to migrate at that time,” said Hopkins.

Migrating to the cloud while reducing costs

To kick-start the migration project, RSM recommended that the banks reallocate the cost required to have RSM on-site toward funding the migration to the cloud. Not only did it make sense to trade one cost for the other, but moving to the cloud would make having RSM personnel on-site unnecessary.

“Without having RSM on-site, it freed up some resources to do other things. From my perspective, it’s been a lot better than I would have ever anticipated—I think it’s the quietest conversion we’ve ever done,” said Hopkins.

RSM’s simplified pricing model with a set monthly fee was also a key reason for the banks’ move to FIT as a Service. “With RSM’s FIT as a Service, we don’t have those big stair-step expenses as you would if you were buying capital pieces of equipment and then having to keep upgrading,” said Hopkins.

Bypassing the need to mine for IT talent

Hopkins acknowledged that one of the benefits of working with RSM in an outsourced environment is not having to recruit the technology staff required to manage the banks’ IT needs. “Since our banks are small, it’s hard to attract and retain all the skillsets you need to stay up with everything and to keep people trained,” said Hopkins. “Contracting with RSM means we have more than one person allocated to help us who are trained in different areas of technology.”

Another advantage cited by Tammie Farr, the banks’ vice president/IT manager, is that RSM’s work allows her to be more strategic in her role. “Instead of having to worry about applying patches or making sure backups are running properly, I’m able to focus more strategically on what I want to do with the IT department here,” said Farr. “As an example, RSM worked very closely with bank personnel and our debit and instant issue provider on some issues that we had. I know that if they are on it, I don’t need to worry.”

Securing Office 365 environment with tenant hardening

Security is paramount when the banks are trusted with sensitive customer account information.

RSM is also working with Lolyn Financial Services to implement Microsoft Office 365 tenant hardening, which includes Outlook, SharePoint and OneDrive. Tenant hardening for financial institutions puts policies and controls in place to ensure content—such as the banks’ highly privileged user accounts—is securely uploaded and shared to their Office 365 environment.

These policies and controls will be standardized across both the Community Bank of Raymore and the Community Bank of Pleasant Hill. “The Office 365 Security and Compliance Center helps our banks meet compliance and data protection obligations,” said Hopkins.

Outcomes

RSM’s FIT as a Service managed IT platform has enabled the Community Bank of Raymore and Community Bank of Pleasant Hills to focus on strategic management of bank operations while having peace of mind that all their IT needs are handled accurately and effectively. The experienced RSM team stays ahead of current banking trends, applying best practices that make the most impact on the banks’ operations.

Key benefits of RSM’s long-term partnership with Community Bank of Raymore and Community Bank of Pleasant Hill include:

  • Seamlessly migrating to the cloud without any service interruptions
  • Removing the need for large capital hardware expenditures and upgrade costs
  • Delivering a simplified pricing model with a set monthly fee
  • Providing experienced IT talent, eliminating the need to recruit and train internal resources
  • Creating a secure outsourced environment to host sensitive client data

They said it

“Since our banks are small, it’s hard to attract and retain all the skillsets you need to stay up with everything and to keep people trained. Contracting with RSM means we have more than one person allocated to help us who are trained in different areas of technology.”

- Jack Hopkins, President of Community Bank of Raymore and Vice Chairman, Community Bank of Pleasant Hill

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