The Democratisation of Treasury – The Time is Now
by Robin Page, Publisher, TMI
Innovation in the tech space has exploded over the last decade. New technology and software firms are popping up virtually overnight as seen by the over $58.8bn raised by US-based startups in 2015. The result? Technology has become more accessible and time-to-market less complex for both the technology providers and their clients.
Known as the ‘democratisation of technology’, this trend has been fuelled by the ability to develop and deliver enterprise-level functionality quickly and more cost-effectively than previous generations of technology. These applications are designed to be easier to implement, use, scale, and upgrade. Prior to this trend, Forbes magazine described the landscape as a “slanted playing field” which “carries over to business where the expense, complexity and overhead of cutting edge IT adds to the many disadvantages” for organisations.
Today’s generation of ‘democratic’ technology removes traditionally inherent barriers from automating business processes across all organisational functions. Unfortunately, one area in which this technology revolution has yet to have a meaningful impact is treasury.
I recently had the opportunity to discuss with Anis Rahal, CEO and Founder of TreasuryXpress, how the democratisation of technology can and will impact treasury.
There has been a lot of talk about the democratisation of technology. What do you think this means for treasury?
In terms of what democratic technology can mean for treasury, it will be nothing short of a game changer on multiple fronts: easier access to data, improved ability to integrate with other systems, faster time to market during implementation to realise value from technology investments, and, very importantly, affordability.
Treasury leaders are often still bound by limited access to bank transactional data and market data that is still difficult to get at best. Cumbersome to analyse, it often comes from disparate financial systems that take enormous amounts of time and resources to implement and that ultimately do not communicate with each other. The democratisation of treasury technology means a treasury management solution (TMS) that offers companies of all sizes cost-effective access to the data, and ease of functionality in creating and distributing customisable automated reports that improve cash flow forecasting and liquidity management.
Sources of data for an organisation often go beyond bank transactional data. Advances in the functionality of ERPs, client relationship management solutions, marketing automation solutions and human resources management solutions have driven the collection of huge amounts of transactional and behavioral data (big data). This data is being collected to understand the behaviour of customers and employees, and more importantly, how to influence them to drive sales and optimise human capital.
A TMS that is easily integrable with key business systems can afford treasury the opportunity to be the steward of company data, take a leadership role in how it is analysed, interpreted, and ultimately utilised to inform and improve decision making across the enterprise.
How do you see TMS’ evolving in the future?
TMS providers need to harness the spirit of the democratic technology movement and have it guide their innovation and how that innovation is delivered to market. TMS providers need provide solutions that are highly accessible which means easy to buy, easy to implement, easy to use and easy to integrate. This type of experience will define the democratisation of treasury technology, which delivers a frictionless user experience for treasury.