Written by Nicky Wilkins, bluQube: In the last century we have seen the invention of the colour television, penicillin, the credit card, the PC and the world wide web to name a few. Each one of these inventions set about a change that would affect life and business forever, which begs the question, what next?
Quite simply the next things to change finance are already in place and they include the ethereal concept known as cloud computing, the application of finance tools to mobile devices, user-intuitive software design and huge changes to system integration.
A head in the Cloud and a step ahead of the competition
You may already have either an in-depth or slightly woolly understanding of cloud computing. What few know is the sheer extent and impact of its future applications. Without doubt in some form you are already utilising cloud computing for systems both in the office and at home in the form of Gmail, Spotify, DropBox or Netflix. There has been a 75% rise in Cloud adoption in the past 5 years and this is only set to grow year on year, leaving those suppliers and businesses not adapting left behind as others take advantage of its clear benefits.
Updating with no risk of outdating
An often overlooked expense for your business tech is the accelerated rate at which it moves forward. It doesn’t take long before any software investment becomes less efficient than the competition, outdated, or worse, completely unsupported. One of the biggest drivers for businesses moving their systems to the cloud is that updates to software happen with no unexpected costs whatsoever and completely free of the hassles associated with on-site storage, ensuring that the software vital to your business is constantly updating and always at the forefront of efficiency and service.
And because any software change is handled by your system supplier, all update responsibility is left in the hands of the experts – just one less thing to distract from the focus of your business on business, rather than spending budget, space and time on hosting and updating your systems.
Using tech to make business more mobile
The ability of your finance systems to adapt to a less tethered generation is more than just another business benefit; it’s a modern day business essential. Put simply, a finance system that can work on mobile devices isn’t just something that’s nice to have it’s something your staff will come to expect.
Mobile access provides more flexible, efficient working environments and important, reflects the contemporary ethos of the business by supporting a wide variety of devices and platforms resulting in a working day that’s not tied down by time or location.
How look and feel will shake up your processes
Finance systems are changing, or at least they should be. Modern financial systems and software are designed to be sleeker and more intuitive, requiring less training for new staff and making every day working lives more pleasurable and ultimately more productive. A financial system with the user-friendly design of your personal tech and the ability to tailor access levels will allow you to devolve administrative finance tasks to non-finance departments across the business, freeing the time of the core finance team to concentrate on advancing your business. In other words if you work with a finance system that doesn’t look completely alien to someone outside of your department, they’ll be more likely to input information and access relevant reports without having to always go through an already overburdened financial team.
Pick & Mix
Web service integration is another element we’ve been seeing in our personal gadgets for years, yet remains far from common place in the business world. This not so new technology allows your business systems to integrate and share data in real-time without being tied in to one supplier across your full suite, just as your smartphone does with 3rd party apps and devices. This means you can choose the best systems for each department without sacrificing inter-department integration, ensuring you’re always working with up to date and accurate information.
How are you going to adapt?
With the world of finance so closely regulated, all finance systems perform the necessary everyday tasks like purchase orders or budget account enquiry; added value comes in working with a supplier that differentiates itself in ways that aid your wider business goals. That’s where Cloud systems, improved mobile capabilities and intuitive software really start to excel your current and future financial potential.
With the rate and nature that financial software is developing, your business’s adoptions of new technologies is less a conversation about whether you do adopt, and more about how early an adopter your business will be.
Written by Nicky Wilkins, bluQube. Exhibiting on stand A380 at Accountex.