MReport September 2015 - Cool Under Pressure

TheMReport — News and strategies for the evolving mortgage marketplace.

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Th e M Rep o RT | 31 Feature will find that a hybrid cloud strategy will offer their organizations the greatest flexibility, while maintaining the tight security controls needed to meet audit and compliance require- ments. Regulations and guidelines require that property data remain stored in a secure location with stringent access controls around that data. Using the hybrid strategy allows for the flexibility and cost savings involved in consuming public cloud resources with unre- stricted data, while maintaining their critical systems and confidential data in the con- trolled private cloud environment. Several na- tional field services companies, like Safeguard Properties, have begun utilizing the hybrid cloud system to leverage public cloud offerings for informational websites and research and development (R&D) projects, while maintain- ing all of restricted data within their tightly controlled private cloud environments. Earlier this year, RightScale, a cloud automation vendor, released its 2015 "State of the Cloud Report," which surveyed 930 IT professionals about cloud computing. It showed that hybrid cloud offerings remain the preferred strategy for businesses, with 82 percent of businesses reporting that they use a hybrid offering. This is up from 74 percent in 2014's report. The Sky's the Limit F ield services providers must take a cautious approach to cloud computing. Many mortgage servicers have yet to fully embrace public cloud technology due to le- gitimate security and compliance concerns. However, field service providers can lever- age a hybrid cloud strategy, keeping their sensitive data protected in their private environment, while leveraging public cloud offerings for development, test, and stage environments to lower capital costs and pay for the services they consume on an as-used basis. Field service providers also can leverage cloud service offerings for tar- geted applications like time and attendance, payroll, CRM, or Web hosting initiatives. Safeguard has implemented a comprehen- sive hybrid cloud strategy, integrating the company's new state-of-the-art data center environments with private cloud technolo- gies, while utilizing public cloud services for hosting of informational websites and strategic research and development projects not containing sensitive data. Using a hybrid cloud approach has helped Safeguard provide better services to its mortgage servicing clients through ensured and enhanced security, dy- namic agility, and enhanced monitoring. The hybrid cloud approach has allowed Safeguard to be more agile in reacting to is- sues or needs in a timely manner. Leveraging public cloud offerings for rapid R&D builds of solutions has allowed Safeguard's IT depart- ment to rapidly prototype and deploy test solutions, without tying up infrastructure hardware and human resources. These solu- tions are vetted out in protected public cloud offerings, then brought back into Safeguard's private cloud environment for deployment into the production infrastructures. In leverag- ing public cloud services, Safeguard has been able to lower its capital spend for develop- ment environments and developmental IT staffing support. Safeguard's newly implemented private cloud infrastructure has provided great ef- ficiencies and agility to support the rapidly changing needs of the industry. System de- ployments have decreased from multiple days down to minutes, environmental patching has been reduced from weeks to several hours, and system failovers have decreased from hours to minutes. This new level of agility has positioned Safeguard to better support and rapidly respond to dramatic fluctuations in transac- tion volumes. For example, during grass-cut season, Safeguard can dynamically increase system capacity to support increased transac- tion volumes, then scale back as transaction volumes decline in the fall. Safeguard's private cloud strategy, termed "Data Center 2.0," has implemented redun- dancies at all tiers of its environment, across multiple geographically diverse data center environments, while removing single points of failure. This is done so the company's clients are not affected and, in most cases, are not even aware if system issues arise. This cloud strategy also enhances Safeguard's monitoring capabilities, as systems and transactions can be analyzed down to the packet level. This gives the company complete visibility into the health and performance of applications across all systems, networks, and end-user environ- ments. Despite questions, uncertainty, and lingering doubt from the mortgage servicing industry, a cloud computing strategy is a requirement for field services providers to maintain the agility to support rapidly changing require- ments and support the exponential increase in data, while controlling IT costs within their organization. Scott AnderSon is the AVP of infrastructure services for Safeguard Properties, the largest field services company in the U.S. Knowledge WHY LIA? The Largest Provider of E&O Insurance to AMCs in the U.S. SINCE 1977 POLICIES SPECIFICALLY DESIGNED FOR AMCS COMPETITIVELY PRICED COVERAGE NATIONWIDE COVERAGE WITH "A" RATED COMPANIES STATE AMC BONDS WITH NO ADDED FEES Contact Susan Lomeli Ph: (800) 334-0652 X 139 Fax: (805) 962-0652 CA License #0764257 Administrators & Insurance Services LIA_AMC_Print_Ad_Knowledge_2.2917x9.125.indd 1 2/11/15 7:18 PM

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