PERSON OF THE WEEK: Adam Hansen is chief operating officer and chief information officer of assure360, a full-service technology and outsourcing solutions company for the mortgage default servicing industry. The company recently launched ProMatters 2.0, a turnkey, cloud-based, Web-accessible and mobile-aware case management system. MortgageOrb recently interviewed Hansen to learn more about the advantages of cloud-based case management systems and how new technologies can enhance compliance in the default servicing industry.
Q: What are the benefits of a cloud-based case management system over a traditional (i.e., on premises) one?
Hansen: Perhaps the greatest benefit a cloud-based case management system can provide is its real-time access into file statuses, giving users access to case documents when they need it – even on the go or in the courtroom. Digitally storing and producing required case documents in an easy-to-manage, cloud-based platform helps automate the process and improve efficiencies for users.
Another benefit of a cloud-based case management system is its ease of integration. Because it is Web-based, it can be easily set up and implemented into existing technology and software with minimal setup and doesn't require a large upfront investment in updating servers or improving network infrastructure. Firms today often don't have robust IT departments or infrastructure, so a plug-and-play system has proven to be a viable solution without sacrificing the features or quality in a case management system.
Q: Are there any drawbacks or security concerns of a cloud-based case management system? If so, what are the solutions?
Hansen: With every new area of technology, there will always be new security risks and concerns that can crop up and need to be addressed. We, unfortunately, live in a world of data breaches and cyber attacks, so every organization should be taking every opportunity to protect themselves and their sensitive information. Ensuring client and company information is kept safe is no longer a choice – it is a necessity and an expectation.
The good news is that there are ways to combat and mitigate these risks, starting with a solid IT infrastructure. Every case management system, whether it is cloud-based or not, should have some form of data encryption to keep sensitive files secure. Similarly, firms should have intrusion detection and prevention systems set up to monitor and protect against breaches. For those already on cloud-based platforms, firms need to be sure that their files are on a secure server – preferably one that is redundant and disaster-tolerant – to prevent any unforeseen outages.
By implementing these simple procedures, firms can do a lot to mitigate the risk of a possible security incident from occurring.
Q: Is the default servicing industry moving toward outsourcing staff? Why would a mortgage default servicer or law firm outsource IT?
Hansen: As financial and time constraints continue to affect the industry, servicers and firms need solutions that are cost-effective. Many firms don't have the need for a full-scale IT department, but they still need support with some of their technologies and infrastructure. Many routine IT functions, like email and phone services, helpdesk requests, equipment management and software development can be easily outsourced, often at a cost-savings.
Attorneys and mortgage default servicers don't want to be IT professionals. They want to run their firms, manage their cases, manage their clients and do so as streamlined and efficiently as possible. Outsourcing their IT needs strikes a nice balance between decreasing a firm's annual operating cost while still preserving the support and quality that a firm needs to run their day-to-day operations.
Q: How can new technologies improve compliance or efficiencies within the default servicing industry?
Hansen: Compliance is arguably one of the most important concerns in our industry today. For mortgage default servicers, new technology can vastly improve efficiencies, but it is only as good as it is secure. Regulations are constantly changing, and secure, reliable technology can help servicers stay compliant. Host your files on secure servers that have redundancy capabilities, fully encrypted databases and intrusion prevention methods.
For those exploring a cloud-based technology, all files need to be stored on fully compliant and certified clouds, ensuring sensitive files are kept secure. Most importantly, it's vital that servicers remain proactive. Technology can be a wonderful tool to help with compliance, but it also requires that law firms remain aware of changing servicer expectations and new regulations.