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How Corporate Treasurers Can Navigate through the Pandemic
Steve Wiley | VP, Treasury Solutions, FIS
April 29, 2020
Corporate treasurers are under more pressure than ever before. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced them to rethink everything they do, from basic liquidity management to complex foreign exchange and interest rate risk management.
Their ability to adapt to the post-pandemic world has largely been dependent on the quality of technology and degree of digitalization in operations. This unplanned stress test on IT infrastructure has forced corporates to reprioritize technology projects, balancing new demands from the business with operational limitations stemming from the pandemic.
For example, one of the first and most important questions treasurers asked themselves when the pandemic became a reality was, “What proportion of treasury activities can be conducted remotely?” Treasurers without securely accessible and comprehensive “work from home-ready” technology have had the most difficulty operating during the pandemic.
Many corporates have been unpleasantly surprised at just how unprepared their technology infrastructures were. Many have been forced to continue going into the office to access on-premise or installed technology, and many of those who thought they had seamless remote system access have experienced challenges in technology performance, often related to the overloading of virtual private networks or not having the necessary internet bandwidth to cope with increases in remote users. Other corporates have found that technology could not be accessed securely from home office locations, due to inconsistencies in authentication or log-in procedures.
Those treasurers navigating the pandemic most effectively have already adopted modern, cloud and web-based treasury technologies. Cloud-based treasury technology is critical for seamless, secure and fully remote treasury departments because these systems are globally accessible from anywhere with a secure internet connection. The cloud allows for treasury and transactional processes to be consistently managed from anywhere in the world by authorized users. Additionally, many treasurers prefer the cloud due to its overall simplicity in implementing, lower total cost of ownership and lower overall system maintenance. The greater availability of cloud-based solutions by technology providers, coupled with the ongoing need to work remotely, will lead to much greater adoption by corporates in 2020 and beyond.
However, treasurers with antiquated and installed technologies are taking a hard look in the mirror, reassessing their treasury and IT infrastructure to ensure they can cope in these new conditions. Many corporates are already working with internal IT groups, treasury technology providers and banking partners to create cloud migration strategies and modernize platforms.
As those projects are completed, corporates will not only be able to operate amid COVID-19; they’ll be able to improve liquidity management, cash forecasting and foreign exchange exposure management as a result of the pandemic.
Tags: Treasurers, treasury, cloud, Cloud-based treasury technology, liquidity management, foreign exchange, interest rate risk management, cash forecasting, treasury technology, pandemic, COVID-19