Realising new efficiencies in treasury management

Treasury management systems are often plagued by operational risks and a lack of efficiency. The cloud offers an effective way to help, says Jean-Louis Lalonde from AZUR Group

By Guest on 30 November 2015
Realising new efficiencies in treasury management

This article first appeared in the Autumn 2015 issue of OnWindows magazine.

The industry is currently flooded with thousands of in-house, legacy treasury management systems that are reaching the end of their lifecycle. This includes old desktop applications from an assortment of generic technologies like client-server applications, spreadsheets and database management systems. These systems are error prone, introduce delays and missed opportunities, involve higher fees, afford less control and are harder to audit. The cost of operating these legacy systems is quite high when we take into account infrastructure, resource overhead, the lack of quality forecast and overall agility.

This, teamed with the fact that the complexity of treasury reporting requirements is increasing, demanding strong analytics capabilities for large volumes of data, provides a valuable case for why shareholders, corporate directors and treasurers are all calling for a modernised ­software-as-a-service (SaaS) treasury management system (TMS).

It’s no secret that organisations that migrate to the cloud save on IT spending due to a ­reduction in data centre expenses and lower IT personnel costs. A cloud-based treasury management system (TMS) can provide the increased visibility and effort reduction required to manage daily financial transactions at a much lower lifecycle cost. This enables treasurers to focus their resources on more strategic risk management activities. The cost savings, combined with strategic benefits in speed, scalability and agility, are strong arguments for any organisation to make a more aggressive leap to the cloud.

But until now, SaaS TMS have largely been based on privately-owned cloud infrastructures, which cannot compete with Microsoft Azure’s level of services because they are built on their own data centres with limited resources and high operation costs.

We’ve introduced a true SaaS TMS: built with the latest infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) and platform-as-a-service (PaaS) advanced functionalities from major cloud service providers like Microsoft. Since 2008, Microsoft has invested billions in its high quality Microsoft Azure Cloud infrastructure, enabling the development of affordable, highly secure and efficient SaaS solutions.

With the quick, ready-to-use availability of Azure IaaS, each infrastructure component is provided as a service, including virtual machines, storage, network, VPN, the Azure SQL database and Active Directory.

The IaaS utility service model is a pay-per-use/pay-as-you-go, subscription-based mode which scales infrastructure services based on application usage. This is one of the pillars of cloud computing services. IaaS services can be scaled up quickly for increased demand and scaled down in times of decreased demand. This translates to enormous flexibility and the optimal use of resources and money. IaaS reduces total cost of ownership and changes the enterprise cost from a capital expense (capex) to an operational expense (opex).

With Azure PaaS, each platform component is provided as a service, including app services, worker services, service bus, BizTalk services, notification hubs and many more.

PaaS delivers the services required to support the complete development & delivery life cycle of web applications and services on the Internet. PaaS is a perfect match for agile methodology, because agile is based on iterative and incremental development whose iterations, as they progress, may require supplementary platform component services.

The highly-secure Microsoft Azure provides international and industry-specific compliance standards such as ISO 217001, HIPAA, FedRAMP, SOC 1 and SOC 2, as well as 256-bit data encryption, fully clustered multi-tier structure and an antivirus solution. On top of Azure security mechanisms, a SaaS TMS can provide the following security schemes: two-step login; centralised user and role management; configurable workflows with multi-eye controls and approvals; secure SWIFT messaging cloud services; static and dynamic security services for continuous web application vulnerability scanning; IP filtering to securely access TMS on Azure; and network isolation via VPN to securely access TMS on Azure.

Organisations that employ a true SaaS TMS are uniquely poised to harness the security, scalability, availability and affordability of the Microsoft Azure and SWIFT Lite2 complementary cloud platforms.

Jean-Louis Lalonde is the president and CEO of Azur Group

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