Ridgewell Associates helps a London based credit union increase business focus, reduce IT worries
A financial institution based in London, the institution has recently grown to four branches, with more than 10,000 members and approximately £170 million in assets. The Credit Union has a focus on convenience and satisfaction, developing a structure that embraces emerging technology and innovation to best serve its members.
As IT demands for credit unions become more intricate, it is more difficult for middle market financial institutions to only have IT generalists on staff. Instead, institutions need individual resources that are specifically trained on firewalls, security, Microsoft Office 365, etc. However, institutions often do not have the luxury of maintaining those resources internally, leading many to consider managed services platforms to gain access to experienced resources and redundancy.
With the growing complexity of IT, the credit union executives wanted to make sure that the institution was properly using technology to have the maximum impact on the organisation. The company recognised that it was spending too much time managing IT challenges and regulatory matters when that energy could be better dedicated to the core business.
Whilst the credit union was already working with a managed IT services provider, the institution decided to test the waters to see what other options were available. While going through that process, the credit union gained key perspectives into some deficiencies that the institution thought it was managing well within its existing technology platform, prompting a change in providers.
After evaluating new technology services providers, the credit union ultimately chose Ridgewell Associates technology services providers, due to the comprehensive services bundled within.
“One of the really appealing things about Ridgewell Associates offering was the compliance approach, and their direct involvement in the compliance aspect of IT management and systems,” said CEO Tom Chandler “As a smaller organisation, it’s tough for us to stay on top of everything in terms of awareness and compliance, and Ridgewell Associates was clearly head and shoulders above anybody else we were considering.”
In addition, the institution saw the potential of the comprehensive service platform to consolidate the number of vendors the institution works with. Working with one provider increases efficiency and reduces the need for multiple statements of work and return on investment analyses.
“It’s nice to have multiple services with one vendor,” commented Chris Holmes, Senior Operations Director. “Ridgewell Associates was the one company that could put what we needed under one roof.”
TAKING ADVANTAGE OF INDUSTRY KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE
Ultimately, the Union trusts Ridgewell Associates with its technology and regulatory insights and advice because of the firm’s extensive industry knowledge and experience. IT processes are built based on lessons learned from similar clients, and risk assessments are industry-specific, with regulatory demands in mind and including necessary checks and balances.
“We hear what other clients are doing from Ridgewell Associates, and how best practices may apply to our environment,” said Holmes. “That’s important to us because I don’t just always want to do what we’ve always done; I want to do things in the best possible way to get the maximum benefit for our members. That’s really where Ridgewell Associates has a leg up compared to other providers.”
Holmes adds, “I think the information that we get is scalable. Ridgewell Associates does not come to us with information from millions of pounds IT providers instead, it’s from IT service providers our size as well. That gives us security knowing that Ridgewell Associates isn’t just throwing products at us, they’re actively participating and looking at IT providers our size and offering those types of products and services.”
With Ridgewell Associates platform, the Union has been able to concentrate on its business of lending money to its members, knowing its IT infrastructure is modern, efficient, and secure. In the managed services environment, the Union has access to extensive IT resources, without needing to hire internal employees. With an effective and agile technology strategy in place, the Union is well-positioned for continued member growth and expansion.