Making the Business Case for Intelligent Apps in Finance
While the benefits of intelligent apps are clear, not all systems are created equally. When evaluating Intelligent Apps, it is essential to hone in on the functionality of three key areas: Engagement, Integration, and Maintenance requirements.
It’s critical to look for a simple, intelligent system of engagement built to meet multiple needs, ranging from vendor management and auditing, to performing daily tasks, such as responding to customers or requests for updates or documentation. For the finance office, the technology must understand financial terms, extracting context and relevance when executing workflows.
An ideal solution will also work with your existing systems and integrate seamlessly into multiple applications. Look for one with deep financial depth, or if you have RPA or other solutions in place, look for advanced tech that integrates with and enhances your current technology.
The right app should also inherently understand specific industry challenges. In particular, for finance, your chosen tool should be able to tackle simple and complex financial tasks, such as vendor management such as onboarding, providing updates, or responding to inquiries. It should also address challenges with accruals, dunning and collections, and cash performance.
Third, when evaluating Intelligent Apps, it is essential to assess user-friendliness and maintenance requirements. For a dynamic organization, apps easily configured by finance-driven individuals across the spectrum without reliance on IT, are of paramount importance. SaaS solutions put the onus of software maintenance such as system updates, fixes, patches, and new features on the vendor, allowing finance teams to focus on the most impactful and valuable work. Making changes as a business user means less reliance on IT and others to keep your system running smoothly and effectively. Look for a that provides your finance teams with sophisticated decision support, including cash forecasting recommendations.
Building vs. Buying Intelligent Apps
Buying a SaaS Solution
Building a Custom Platform
How quickly are products implemented?
SaaS solutions are designed to be business-user empowered and offer out-of-the-box functionality.
Due to the complex nature of customized tools, expect an extended development and implementation timeframe.
How user-friendly is the product?
SaaS software purpose-built for finance teams allows the business side to change and maintain the solution through an intuitive user interface.
IT involvement is required for custom systems and back-end coding.
How are updates handled?
Updates are automatically performed, including security measures, integrations with connected apps, and new features with minimal IT involvement.
Updates must be manually performed by IT every time. System testing and quality control could mean downtime and delays. Timelines become cumbersome, with other projects often taking precedence.
How easily does the product integrate with other applications?
SaaS provides flexible, scaleable, seamless integration with other apps and programs, especially when connected using APIs.
Custom products must be specifically engineered to interact with other integrations.
How affordable is the product?
Designed to fit the needs of many end users, SaaS offers scalable pricing, reduces the cost of ownership over time, and often delivers ROI payback in less than a year.
In-house builds usually require additional time and resources, resulting in inflated project costs, increased maintenance costs, and delays resulting in lost savings.
How easily are changes made to the product?
With low code/no code configuration and system changes, SaaS is designed for widespread finance department usage.
IT-dependent change requests are slow and low priority.