These Tech Advancements have a Common Denominator
Commercial and private real estate is never dull. Regardless of conversational topic there are always references back to it in some shape or form. Similarly, this is also true for technology but combining the two provides an unparalleled backdrop of breadth and depth, where a broad range of latest technologies can be simultaneously deployed to create significant value.
Economic shocks from the pandemic continue to be felt across the globe and have certainly accelerated the rate of change in a multitude of areas. If anything, corporates have been forced to be more receptive to change than ever before, but this time around there is an additional multiplying effect where one change in a single area can positively contribute to desired changes in others.
Increased productivity, reduced emissions, cloud or simply a better user experience are convenient phrases to hang high level comments around, but what has actually changed from a practical perspective. Very simply, and at a macro level, it is about connectivity x-application and x-ecosystem that can make your business processes more intelligent, as well as speed improvements driven not just by new processor technologies, but more significantly from more advanced software designs, but there is more.
Processtech plus these latest software design capabilities provide users with a means of putting into place end to end secure compliant processes for both qualitative and quantitative business flows. The macro end result is that business flows are specific in design, meaning that software programs are smaller in size for optimum execution. As a result, they are also easier to maintain, have a smaller cyber threat vector footprint, as well as being future proofed to other new tech related advances in the longer term, e.g. Artificial Intelligence (AI).
Fundamentally, the end result for corporates is the ability for the process owner to define fully or partially automated and proactive compliant granular business flows. These go from data collection, through all required data transformations / enrichments to “ranked” contextual actionable reporting + workflows @anywhere @anytime + payments @anywhere + simulations. Augmentation assistance comes from smarter “bots” to facilitate value creation.
Dashboards can be used from multiple vendors, noting that the core issue is not so much about the technologies surrounding how to visualize the underlying data sets which is more of a commodity item these days, but more about the processes that build and enrich data quality on an auditable and repeatable basis. The concept of dashboards continues to evolve, and has moved forwards from them being static at the end of an activity, as well as even further on from when described as in-process analytics.
Process owners can now present ranked actionable contextual information to key stakeholders depending on circumstances, rather than them seeing all information, to save valuable time. Of particular relevance today, is being able to identify both positive and negative trends more quickly for all to undertake immediate corrective actions. In essence, think here about corrective actions being at both a low level, and also at a strategically higher level ie the modus operandi of the business.
Examples. Using the above processes to drive end of month stakeholder reporting, but where variances are ranked in aggregate or at entity level with only the material supporting documentation provided to them. Another would be to drive corrective actions for lease payment delinquencies, and more holistically to fine tune the overall business model characteristics for new contracts. Both detailed and holistic management can be driven at contract level.
What will your final solution look like? Holistically, due to the large number of existing functional systems already being in place, the end result at a macro level will likely be a mixture of apps + applications + processtech, the latter being the glue to combine and transform information as required from your multiple systems. In fact, reflecting on transactional friction and data transformations today within your business will likely see many examples of this, with diverse information sets coming together, albeit painfully if at all, from multiple systems in specific formats for decision support, controls and management activity.
As commented on above, modern connectivity should be seen as a core capability, meaning that your processes can run not only x-applications, but also x-ecosystems. In other words, your systems can connect seamlessly to other established and leading market players to both add value and save time.
Examples here at a more detailed level could see the managing of lease receipts through the broader leveraging of Open Banking API’s, as well as providing end users with a choice of payment methods for a smoother more convenient experience. For more holistic corporate treasury management, API’s can be used for aggregate pre-payroll cash management across your properties and portfolios, as well as processing lease receipts across regions and the globe.
Leveraging the functionality of ProcessTech should not be seen as all or nothing during any initial process deployment, as conceptually additional functionality can be introduced over time to iteratively improve data quality. For example, transactions involving allocations can be enriched with meaningful data to make traceability and calculation methodology easier to achieve later in a year. Solutions can be deployed on the cloud, on-premise or hybrid as required by corporates.
Thinking it through. As you can define ultra-granular process flows for both qualitative and quantitative work flows in operations and finance, then you can tackle other critical areas in your business for enhanced value creation. This ultra-granularity of design is really the bedrock and common denominator of PropTech, FinTech, ProcessTech and the as yet not mentioned other areas of RegTech.
As a result one can think well beyond typical process areas that leverage core applications, which typically might include HR & extended activity flows, procurement, and financials. These could be entirely different processes or extensions to existing ones to add a deeper level of sophistication eg ESG, IoT, IFRS 16 cf ASC 842 reconciliations, or even extra steps to have deeper controls in place to prevent Business Process Compromise ie to avoid any re direction of lease payments to bad threat actors.
Systems integration, which can involve multiple detailed technical considerations, is one specific area to be especially mindful of when selecting vendors to work with, particularly when modern day systems have to digitally interact with systems from existing legacy vendors. As always for compliance, think through the logical, physical, practical and taxable location of data throughout your end to end business process flows, and keep a watchful eye on changing rules relating to data sovereignty and privacy.
Understanding the shape that a final solution will take at least in practical terms is by no means an easy task, but hopefully the above will have provided you with some deeper insights as to why the same macro technologies today have both enabled and powered the very much admired advancements within FinTech, PropTech, ProcessTech and RegTech. Being able to define secure processes granularly on the one hand, and on the other to have them executed x-application and x-ecosystem is empowering todays corporates to enable smarter more connected compliant business flows than ever before. This means that they can become a disrupter as well as a driver of deeper value creation, both very powerful additions in today’s tough business environment.
GaiaPM, a member of the FlexSystem Group, provides lease and property management software designed to help you drive performance up and costs down. As a global solutions provider in over 38 countries GaiaPM, together with its proven solutions for financials, human resources, and operations, is a business software vendor to 1 in 10 Forbes Global 2000 (May 2020), and 1 in 5 Global Fortune 500 (August 2020). Operating at the intersection of new digital process and payment technologies, whether deployed on-premise, in the cloud or hybrid, our powerful solutions provide you with iterative opportunities for value creation.