I recently “attended” (since we’re still, for now, in virtual conference mode) a very good session at the MBA Spring Conference & Expo. One of panels, comprised primarily of lending tech and operations execs, hit on a theme that’s near and dear to us here at LodeStar. Specifically, the observation was, when planning to invest in new technology for their mortgage businesses, too many decision-makers have a tendency to chase the “shiny new thing.” In other words, too much weight in the decision being made goes to what’s newest and does the coolest things. After all, when it comes to tech stacks, newer is better, right?
Well, not always.
Don’t get me wrong. “Vintage” is not usually a word one wants to hear associated with one’s L.O.S. or production system. But the panel’s point was really about what priorities fell by the wayside—or at least, were not as important as “new” and “shiny”—in making a decision on the proper technology. Specifically, the following are questions that aren’t considered nearly enough in the evaluation process:
First, how smooth and quick is the implementation and adoption process? How much will it disrupt my operation? Will the users truly buy in, or will they find 3rd party apps and other hacks to supplement the new tech?
Next, is the software under consideration aligned with the habits and interests of the intended users? Do its strengths play to the way your operation functions? Or will the users be fighting headwinds to use the shiny new investment? In other words, does this technology make my team’s job easier…or harder?
Finally, how well does the new technology play with your existing tech stack? We all see or hear the examples of specialists trying to produce a mortgage using two monitors, five open browser windows, three apps on the iPhone and an iPad—not to mention a legal pad and calculator—to “seamlessly” get the job done. No good. If your technology isn’t embedded and integrated, you’re just building a system of silos. That’s not the road to true efficiency.
We’ve hit this topic before and likely will again—especially as efficiency comes to the forefront of lenders’ minds in a competitive market where margin takes precedence over gross revenue. Just like a business’ team must be pulling in the same direction, so too must its tech stack. So, before you succumb to “shiny new thing syndrome” when seeking an upgrade, ask yourself if that new toy is really helping your team.
By the way, we covered this topic and more recently on our LodeStar’s Lending Leaders podcast with CoreLogic’s Michael Marino. Head on over and check it out when you have a minute!
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