by Peter Seward, Vice President, Product Strategy, Reval
When Canadian visionary Marshall McLuhan coined the phrase, “The medium is the message,” in the 1960s, he didn’t know about Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) technology—at least as it is understood today. He didn’t have to. Rather, he understood that a medium itself can have a transformative effect on ‘human association and action.’ The light bulb, for example, transformed human activity because it no longer restricted activity to daylight hours. The automobile spawned suburbia, highways and the extension of time and space between work and home life. In the world of treasury and risk management, SaaS is a medium that has the transformative power to break down barriers and change the way groups across and beyond the enterprise share information and create intelligence. Taking a closer look at the medium, we can explore how the shared nature of SaaS technology, while not new, is enabling an evolution that will take the management of treasury in directions not yet thought of.
From shared data to shared services
The conventional view of SaaS as a convenience is well understood, as it is in the example of online banking. It is even appreciated for its enablement of sharing public data for the benefit of all users, as with online newspapers. What is less understood, however, is where SaaS is headed, and what is driving the direction of change.
The SaaS world is hosted. Partially shared, partially private and fully secure. Decentralized and subscribed to – no longer is it necessary to buy servers, make backups, check security, and endure painful roll outs and upgrade cycles. Your access is anywhere, anytime on a single version, which is regularly upgraded and in compliance with the latest regulatory changes. Your treasury organization is no longer bound to IT strictures, other than a tick in a RFP box, leaving you free to fully exploit the opportunities inherent in the SaaS medium.
Consider, then, how the consumption of information by users across the treasury spectrum – from positioning cash, processing payments, monitoring credit lines and making inter-company loans to generating valuations, performing advanced risk management and posting accounting entries – is driving an evolution from shared data to shared services. This evolution toward shared services means more work is automated and provided by your SaaS partner, saving you time and money.