Finance and technology are linked more closely than ever, and that’s a trend that will continue into the foreseeable future. For finance professionals, becoming technologically savvy is a must, but that doesn’t mean CFOs will have to tackle new tech that’s overly complex; user-friendly solutions make the latest advances accessible. Here are the technology moves every financial director should be ready to make in 2015.
Cloud Computing Improvements
Flexibility is key to keeping pace with business, and that goes for finance personnel too. Being able to work from mobile devices or stay connected with the office while traveling is vital, but security has become a concern. High-profile incidents with Target, Sony and other major B2C players have led to better security for cloud deployment and use. With improved security comes the possibility of using cloud storage solutions for finance and investment industries, a move that eliminates the large, inefficient on-site servers many companies use to maintain data security. Cloud deployment also means greater speed, especially for remote staff and mobile devices.
Obsolescent Legacy Systems
The flip side of cloud computing options is a trend away from legacy systems. When Microsoft pulled the plug on support for Windows XP, it left companies scrambling for a business-ready alternative. While it’s still possible to use the older software, users no longer have the protection of regular updates to close security loopholes; in finance and related sectors, that’s not a realistic option. Operating systems aren’t the only aspects of your technology that could be out of date. Aging software or costly, complex in-house frameworks no longer make sense for companies that need better support, improved security and greater functionality.
Big Data Capability
As computing power has grown, the ability to process and analyze huge volumes of information has allowed businesses to gain sweeping new perspectives on their data. For finance executives, the rise of big data has the ability to transform the landscape, allowing you to move from analysis to implementation in record time. Having access to more information and more new ways to look at it brings insights that wouldn’t be possible without big data analysis. Spotting nascent trends and seeing discrepancies on a broader scale will enable finance pros to respond more quickly to anything that comes their way.
Enhanced Client Care
Customers have become used to speed-of-thought transactions with everything from banking to making restaurant reservations, and they expect the same rapid, efficient service from financial firms. In 2015, upgrading to technology that allows you to serve a more mobile, tech-savvy and knowledgeable clientele quickly is essential. Those finance professionals who work only indirectly with clients should still adopt a more service-oriented outlook, delivering answers to customer questions within minutes rather than hours or days.
Your company’s clients aren’t the only ones on the move. Technology frees finance professionals from the confines of the office too, allowing them to take their work on the road. By becoming more mobile, you can serve clients’ needs on-site, attend conferences while working remotely and oversee regional or international finance needs for your organization.