Planning a treasury technology project is often a daunting task. From identifying the business needs to building the business case to creating the project plan, treasury technology projects involve a myriad of laser-focused details as well as the input from a diverse cross-section of business functional areas in order to succeed.
But what about WHEN you should consider a treasury technology project? Are there business situations that lend themselves to making a technology addition or change?
The simple answer is yes.
Here are the 5 situations when companies should consider starting a treasury technology project. By leveraging one or more of these situations, you’ll find it easier to gain buy-in from your leadership and other teams, easier to carve out budget and IT support, among other key resources needed for success:
When new leadership enters a company, disruption often follows primarily because these new leaders have been brought in to help the business advance and grow. Whether it’s a new CFO, Treasurer or Assistant Treasurer, technology itself is changing the way these leaders manage and is often an area of focus for where change can be implemented.
Additionally, the roles of CFOs and Treasurers have changed dramatically over the last decade and even more profoundly during the last two years. The market volatility caused by the pandemic has deeply impacted not only operational activities but also the financial risks faced by the business. This increase in risk has resulted in the CFO and Treasurer needing to be even more agile in their decision-making ability and more dependent upon the quality of the tools their teams use to help them accomplish that.
As strategic partners within their companies, today’s CFOs and Treasurers must be able to take financial data and use it to influence strategy and operational decision making. These new demands often lend themselves to technology innovation that can drive changes that allow these roles to be more dynamic in ensuring the continued success of the business.
Any major core infrastructure move impacts a host of areas within a business, potentially causing disruption. A move to the Cloud is no different, as companies determine how best to position themselves to take advantage of new opportunities moving to the cloud can deliver, particularly in providing the digital-ready infrastructure that will further drive digital innovation, scalability and access.
This kind of move requires a deep assessment of all business areas and includes things like the identification of current business processes, business needs, cross-departmental dependencies, data migration needs/issues, compliance/regulatory requirements, redundancy identification, data quality, general due-diligence, etc. so that an effective roadmap, migration plan and detailed project plan can be created.
This is a prime time to address technical projects that may be able to be included in the overall migration plan since many of the company’s functional areas will be discussed in terms of operational impact for a project of this scale.
We’ve been hearing about digital transformation for what feels like eons. But transformation initiatives often come with budget, executive support and IT support – all crucial elements to a successful treasury technology initiative. Saying that Treasury is responsible for the liquidity of a business is a simplistic way of describing a role that, to be a strategic partner, must interact with and consider an abundance of functional areas to ensure the success of the overall business.
That interaction across business areas often results in the ability of Treasury to impact technological changes beneficial to not just their function but functions across the company including areas such as:
- Cash management
- Cashflow forecasting
- Cash management optimization
- Capital structure
- Counterparty risk assessment/management
- Debt management
- Refinancing/funding requirements
- Banking relationships
- Liquidity risk
- FX management
- Treasury operations
- Treasury management system
- Investor Relations
Long before a treasury tech project is implemented, there are often various internal processes in place for assessing business needs, determining the validity of a project, gaining necessary financial approvals, assessing current state and future state needs, preparing technology and business requirements, issuing RFPs (if required), collecting and assessing RFP responses, meeting with vendors and, finally, selecting a vendor.
Additionally, software license renewals often have an advance notice requirement should you wish to not renew the contract.
To ensure enough time is allowed to meet internal business requirements for new technology, it’s recommended that you review technology contracts a minimum of one year in advance of the license expiration for any technologies you may be replacing.
Whether your company’s growth is organic, systemic or through acquisition, rapid growth can be a key period for technological advancement. Similarly, volatile markets offer an opportunity for technological advancements for many of the same reasons: the norms of traditional business models can be quickly upended in both situations. These situations provide the impetus to drive advancement in unprecedented ways – for those willing to embrace a new mindset.
Today’s “new normal” is about building the future, not waiting for it. That emboldened vision is about more than “fixing” the business. Rather, it embraces technology, upends conventions and creates the future as the company envisions it.
As counterintuitive as it may seem, moving forward with a technology project during rapid growth or volatile markets is often the right approach to take. Volatility is often the time when issues arise that make it clear that the business needs to evolve technologically in order to solve these problems, adapt to market challenges and advance the business. As the cliché goes, never let a crisis go to waste.
The bottom line
Spearheading a treasury technology project is not for the faint of heart. Marshalling resources, gaining buy-in from executives and colleagues and sourcing budget present a challenge at any company. But, the treasury teams that will prosper most are the ones that take advantage of opportunities that pave an easier path to success.