Technology modernization is a hot topic across many industries and organization types. Organizations, whether they are corporations or banks, are modernizing their technology by either updating to the latest and greatest technology, moving technology to the cloud or leveraging new types of technologies like APIs. They are also seeking more services to help support technology. Treasury is the latest department to get on the modernization train.
When we look at the role of a treasury professional, it is far from simple. The overarching obligations to manage liquidity, debt, investments, regulatory compliance and risk exposures are becoming more complicated as corporations continue to expand internationally and operate in different languages, currencies and time zones. These elaborate organizational structures then collide with volatile market events and a new world fraught with data privacy and cyberrisks. Many are often utilizing old, unsupported technology and lack the IT support and budget to move to the latest technology.
Treasury professionals are taking steps to modernize their treasury with cloud-based treasury management solutions supported by vendors who can offer:
- 1.Seamless Integration
By modernizing treasury in the cloud, treasury professionals gain a service team that helps integrate treasury solutions to internal systems, including ERPs and accounting platforms as well as external partners such as trading partners and banks, via both traditional integration technologies and the latest in web services and other APIs. They are also able to leverage new channels, such as open banking APIs, which can lead to the consumption of increased solutions from a bank, including balance inquiries, cut-off time checks or checking credit line availability as well as the facilitation of real-time payments. In a recent FIS market report, 35 percent are interested in open banking APIs. Thirty-five percent already have or plan to have an API banking initiative in place within the next 18 months.
- 2.Hyper-focused Security Methods
Cyberattacks are incredibly widespread. Treasurers have ultimate responsibility for many of the areas that are most commonly targeted by cybercriminals, including cash balances, global bank connectivity, high value payments processing and maintenance of repetitive payment instructions. Like other executives, corporate treasurers are expected to own all the risks that impact their function. Treasurers don’t have the time or internal resources to gather threat intelligence, so relying on treasury technology providers to collect this information and use it to develop risk-mitigating solutions and to advise on the threat environment is important. The right vendor should be able to help you understand the risks that exist in the cybersecurity space and the tools and options available for managing them, as well as explaining the general best practice that all groups (treasury vendors and corporate treasury organizations) should be demonstrating.
- 3.White-glove Service
Modernizing treasury in the cloud enables corporate treasury to not only meet their requirements but focus their staff on strategic initiatives without having to manage and maintain systems. A cloud solution should offer end-to-end professional, managed and client services wrapped around it for a single point of contact. The vendor should have expert professional services and managed services teams that can execute on providing clients with easy implementation or migration paths to help get corporate treasury up and running with minimal disruption to their business. They should also receive a standardized, streamlined, professionally managed project, intended to minimize interruption to their treasury departments and reduce the effort from their treasury resources during the implementation. The vendor should provide a team of experts who manage the integrations, ongoing operations and upgrades, reducing IT overhead. Functional and technical client service experts enable clients to have one vendor to contact after implementation.
- 4.Vendor Cloud Services Offer Application-based SLAs
Vendor Cloud Services are often backed with service level agreements that focus on more than infrastructure, they focus on application availability and operational health. Internal IT teams and third-party cloud services normally only assure infrastructure availability, which often means they meet their SLAs even when the application is down.
- 5.Lower Operating Costs
Private cloud environments are increasingly becoming attractive due to their rapid-to-deploy and easy-to-use nature, combined with an attractive commercial model that doesn't require any upfront hardware or software investment and lower overall operating costs. Hosting a solution in the cloud combined with suite of managed services offers customers lower running costs, which means predictable, low-risk operating costs.
Hosting treasury management solutions in the cloud with vendors who can support the solution from implementation, migration, upgrades, infrastructure, security to functional and ongoing support can catapult treasury to the forefront of the digital enterprise.