Across industries and geographies, demand for specialized treasury technology and treasury management systems is higher than ever. Corporates are seeking to improve security, automation and controls within mission-critical treasury activities such as liquidity management, payments processing and risk management. While the establishment of a future state vision for the treasury function has been relatively easy for treasurers, the selection of technology to achieve that vision has been difficult.
Navigating the treasury technology landscape can be challenging for treasurers with little experience selecting or implementing technology. There are many providers of treasury technology, each with their own specialized solutions and functional areas of focus. Many treasury technology vendors are privately held, or private equity-owned, with minimal financial transparency, and uncertain long-term ownership strategies. It’s important for treasurers to consider the overall stability of potential technology partners, ensuring partners have a commitment to ongoing technological innovation and investment.
While technology provider stability is important, a best-practice approach to technology selection involves considering several other factors, including the product’s functional capabilities, predictability of pricing structures and ability to meet complex treasury needs.
Comparing functionality can be difficult for treasurers. Certain functionality, such as basic cash positioning, has been commoditized, making it hard to understand system differences. Treasurers have to perform a comprehensive functional comparison to ensure technology suitability. Additionally, with the growth of cloud-based deployment options, treasurers should take into consideration the ease with which cloud-based technology can be deployed and maintained.
There are several steps treasurers can take to simplify the technology selection process:
- Key Stakeholder Buy-In: Prior to selection, assemble a key stakeholder team with leaders from IT, treasury and all impacted peripheral functions such as accounting and finance.
- Develop Business Requirements: Work with key stakeholders to establish a comprehensive set of business requirements which will allow your team to make an apples-to-apples comparison of technology vendors, scoring across requirements.
- Measure Twice, Cut Once: Have thorough system demonstrations from vendors, which address all business requirements. Include all key stakeholders in demonstrations.
- Simplify Vendor Scoring: When scoring, focus on vendor stability, experience as well as product functionality and investment, while also ensuring costs are in line with expected benefits.
The treasury technology software selection process doesn’t have to be difficult – it can be both simple and comprehensive. By dedicating a group of internal key stakeholders, establishing business requirements, performing thorough system demonstrations, and establishing a scoring framework focusing on vendor stability and functional capability, treasurers will ensure they select the right treasury technology vendor, and have a successful implementation.