Editor’s Note: The following is a Q&A with Kyriba Chief Technology Officer, Ivan Batanov. Last month, Batanov spoke at VivaTech’s CEO Forum in Paris with Amazon’s managing director of AWS France about how the cloud is reinventing financial services. For those of you that weren’t in attendance, we sat down with Batanov to ask him some questions about how treasury and finance functions are leveraging cloud technologies to streamline processes and run more effective programs.
Q: How is SaaS changing the corporate finance department?
Ivan: SaaS is radically changing corporate finance departments. SaaS offers a broad range of technologies and tools from traditional ERPs to TMS to highly specialized products for foreign exchange (FX) risk, all without the costs associated with traditional software implementations (e.g., licenses, hardware, support). This allows for complex, and often expensive, technologies to be available to companies that would not have otherwise been able to afford to build those technologies themselves. Beyond that, services can seamlessly integrate via APIs, and traditional product life cycles are disrupted as SaaS allows for product updates and new modules to be deployed immediately with no IT cost.
Q: How does leveraging cloud-based technologies help CFOs and treasurers make better decisions?
Ivan: The cloud offers tools and visibility that would otherwise not be available.
In the case of Kyriba, we have clients with close to 100,000 bank accounts and more than 500 banks globally. Without the cloud, it would take an insurmountable number of analysts and a lot of time to get visibility into company finances, not including the testing, implementation, downtime and security issues involved. And if the lead analyst or other members of the team leave, the knowledge of how to run those processes goes with them, but with a cloud-based service those issues aren’t relevant.
The cloud-based solution means that even as there is turnover, all of the knowledge and the process stays intact and with automation the amount of time needed to gain visibility into company finances is vastly diminished, meaning that with real-time visibility CFOs and treasurers can make decisions based on the most accurate, up-to-date information.
Q: Why are FinTechs moving to the cloud?
Ivan: The cloud is a natural fit for innovative FinTechs that are looking to continually scale up and improve their offerings. In many cases, internal infrastructure teams supporting data centers don’t have the resources or expertise to keep up with the velocity of software engineering teams and it is important to be able to support that output and deliver increasing value to customers.
The cloud enables technology to continually serve global users, offering extensive security features and access to services (i.e., a managed database, storage, archiving and computing) without having to invest in physical data centers, hardware, additional infrastructure or other operational expenses.
Q: Financial services is a highly regulated industry - how does the cloud help with regulation challenges?
Ivan: For a financial services technology provider having to meet every regulatory demand in every country involves a tremendous amount of time and resources, but the cloud provides a foundation that meets major compliance regulations at a fraction of the cost. Additionally, the data encryption, cryptography, auditing, security, infrastructure and disaster recovery services provided adds an additional layer of safety when it comes to being compliant with customer needs and regulations.
Q: What is the biggest advantage of using the cloud and how does it benefit FinTech consumers?
Ivan: FinTechs with cloud-based solutions allow for customers to focus on their core business and avoid the complexity of operating and updating a software platform. Having a cloud technology in treasury ensures that the platform is always up-to-date and secure, and means that no resources need to be allocated to scaling, upgrading, testing and deploying new versions of the platform as would need to be done with a traditional on-premise software. Additionally, one of the biggest benefits is gaining access to innovative technology that would otherwise be unavailable or too expensive to implement, such as banking connectivity and machine learning technology.
It’s clear that cloud-based technology is the present and future for innovative finance and treasury teams and that’s why it has been a priority for Kyriba. Kyriba prides itself on making the cloud worry-free by providing predictable cost, automatic updates, better support, business continuity and high-level security.