Deeper Thoughts
Are We Finally Moving Past the Dreaded “Tech Silo”?

It’s spring conference (and user group) season, and so far, this year’s has been quite productive. While it’s great to get out after a long winter and network with old friends and new connections, it’s also a great time to notice trends in the industry. Especially since we haven’t had a full conference season in some time. It appears much has happened since the winter of 2020.

Why aren’t we hearing about integrations anymore?

Have you noticed that, while integrations between major mortgage technologies used to be big-ticket news items, they’re barely covered anymore? Why is that? It could be that the trade publications got tired of covering them. Or, it could be that they’re happening so frequently that they can’t all be covered?

A more likely possibility…

What about a third possibility? What if, more and more, existing and new technologies are being developed or updated for ease of connectivity and co-existence with other technologies? Odds are, it’s a little bit of all three possibilities, but it’s actually a very positive sign. It means we may finally be moving beyond the era of the tech silo.

The era of the tech silo.

You’ll recall that, around 2015 when the new TRID requirements went live, chaos ensued throughout much of the mortgage and title industry. A lot of that was because the rule was fairly ambiguous in places. A little more of it came from an exceptionally short implementation period. But some of it resulted from a problem the industry had already been experiencing, but which was put into the spotlight with the requirements of the rule. 

Some of the technologies designed (or altered) to manage the operational changes mandated by TRID didn’t really integrate or co-exist with some of the best and most widely used platforms in the industry. As a result, we started reading about and hearing about “silos.” Maybe more so than one would hear in the agriculture industry! But, as we know, grain silos are useful. Communications or operations silos are anything but. They lead to delays, unnecessary data entry and re-keying. Stalled responses to inquiries. Errors. Wasted time and expense.

The rising awareness of the importance of connectivity

From our earliest days, LodeStar has made connectivity and co-existence a key part of our brand—so much so that “connectivity” is one of the three “Cs” in our mission. Clarity and community go hand-in-hand with the concept. We may be the closing fee experts, but what’s the point if our closing cost calculator causes as many problems in the workflow as it solves? That’s why we’ve worked hard to partner with other great technologies like ICE Mortgage Technology, BeSmartee, Blend, Byte Software, Dytrix and Mortgage Coach (just to name a few) so that the experience is seamless.

From what we’ve seen during the spring conference season so far, more and more mortgage technologies have become aware that lenders are now aware that the Shiny New Technology only delivers effective ROI if it doesn’t disrupt the rest of an otherwise effective tech stack. So integrations are happening more proactively. Or technologies are being developed with an awareness that every piece of a tech stack can’t be the dominant element, requiring users to clunkily jump from one solution to another to another during a single process. So they co-exist without the need for integration, in some cases. 

New technology on display

Conference season isn’t over yet, either. We’re looking forward to the MBA’s Technology Solutions Conference and Expo in Las Vegas this April. This is always one of the top events to see new technologies as well as see what’s new with the best and brightest platforms and solutions. We’ll certainly be there. And we’re looking forward to seeing, hopefully, even more of the trend toward connectivity. Because, once we’re on the same page collectively as an industry, we can focus on even bigger challenges like improving clarity in the transaction and streamlining the entire process. That all starts with the tools we all use to produce the transaction working together, rather than against each other. 

Hope to see you in Las Vegas this April!