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Cloud-Based Solutions Lead the Way

This piece originally appeared in the December 2021 edition of DS News magazine, online now.

While the industry has seen advancements in digital mortgages and processes over the past decade, the last 18 months have exponentially accelerated these trends to better meet changing industry demands in response to the pandemic. The effect has been a marked shift away from the remaining manual, paper-based processes that some lenders and servicers use to conduct business.

This has led mortgage professionals to demand more from their existing technology infrastructure, and many have adopted cloud computing as the basis around which their digital mortgage initiatives are now built. The benefit of this is that cloud computing allows the mortgage ecosystem to exist in a more holistic and less segmented environment of insights and solutions—providing a seamless digital experience that supports more efficient processes and smarter loan decisions.

From an operational standpoint, data silos, or the technical barriers between data sets, are effectively removed with cloud-based solutions, giving lenders and servicers the ability to easily form a more complete picture of a borrower. Removing the need to manually retrieve data from various data sets and housing information in a centralized, globally distributed data source enables mortgage professionals to combine data in new ways and unlock novel insights, resulting in smarter decisions and the ability to help borrowers make wiser financial choices. Removing data silos also eliminates the risk that comes from replication and inconsistencies that result from manual rekeying or reconfiguring data sets.

Mortgage professionals that leverage cloud technology can also benefit from stronger security protections because data security is inherently built into the system rather than through a “bolted-on” solution. This helps ensure that the most up-to-date security technology is in place, including fixes for the most recently identified vulnerabilities, hardware, and software updates, which traditionally have proven challenging and time consuming to manage. Given the amount of personal information that is required in the mortgage process, this helps eliminate the significant security risks lenders and servicers face. Security in the cloud can also be monitored in real-time, providing organizations with better visibility and control to prevent future cyber threats, ultimately protecting the bottom line and overall health of the organization.

Cloud-based solutions are a critical component of business stability, resilience, and continuity as they can be more effective than on-premises solutions in protecting against downtime and data loss. While any form of disaster (whether human-made or natural) can impact business operations, having a stable and reliable solution in place eliminates unproductive downtime, lost revenue, and brand reputation damage that can result from such events. With cloud computing, organizations can significantly reduce disaster recovery costs by eliminating the need for physical, off-site data centers.

In an industry that is constantly changing and evolving, cloud solutions provide lenders and servicers with the flexibility to quickly scale operations to meet market demands, typically with little to no disruption or down time. With this, resources can easily be redirected to focus on more revenue-generating activities and tasks as market conditions evolve.

Perhaps more than any time prior, to be successful in the current mortgage environment requires that lenders and services be adaptable. Cloud-based solutions that leverage the latest technology and rich data insights gives mortgage professionals the flexibility they need to innovate quickly, securely, and at a lower cost, while still being able to respond to changing market conditions, regulations, and security needs to ensure continued success.

About Author: Jennifer Henry

Jennifer Henry is VP of Strategy and Marketing with Equifax Mortgage & Housing Services. She is responsible for pricing, product management and marketing, and mergers and acquisitions. Henry brings more than 20 years’ experience to her position at Equifax, including operations, technology, marketing, sales, product management, mortgage loan quality. and loan origination services. Prior to her position at Equifax, she held leadership roles with First American Mortgage Solutions and Fannie Mae.
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