Organizations everywhere experienced major disruption in 2020, but how are they doing now? We sat down with Dan Groves, VP of IT for Westerra Credit Union to get his perspective. In this interview, Dan shared how Westerra’s IT modernization plans were disrupted in 2020 — and how they made the right pivots to get back on track as quickly as possible.
Can you tell us a little about Westerra Credit Union and how you got started on this IT modernization journey?
I joined Westerra about five years ago and really came in to improve efficiencies. I started upgrading infrastructure, building things for scale and growth, aiming to do things efficiently and securely. I had prior experience using Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) in a call center and the administration effort went down tremendously with VDI. We started looking at how we could leverage that type of technology in Westerra’s environment.
We began the normal processes of reviewing available options, looking at providers, costs and benefits, and any sort of roadblocks that might come up. The process took a few years since modernization wasn't a high priority. We were getting by and managing without any issues so the urgency wasn’t there.
As we continued to grow the business, our team was being asked to do more, but we didn't have more people. When that happens, you either make things more efficient or you hire more people ─ I'm always a fan of finding efficiencies first.
We got to the point where we were ready to make some decisions and get some testing going. We did a proof of concept and started to think “Okay, this is gonna work for us, we're ready to go down this path.” And that's when the pandemic hit.