Biz insights

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Fintech: friend or foe?

Published November 7, 2019 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

https://www.nationthailand.com/business/30378105?utm_source=category&utm_medium=internal_referral

Fintech: friend or foe?

Nov 06. 2019
Photo credit: Getty Images

Photo credit: Getty Images
By SPECIAL TO THE NATION

1,181 Viewed

In recent years, Fintechs or firms providing financial products and services that leverage technology have been rapidly transforming the financial industry.

These Fintechs are categorised into four groups according to the type of products and services provided: 1) capital market and banking services such as payment and lending, 2) investment management services, 3) insurance products such as P2P insurance and personal insurance, and 4) property-related services such as housing mortgages.

Within these groups the number of startups have been rising at varying rates, for instance globally the majority share of startups are within the capital market and banking services; in particular payment services, whilst in the Thai market most startups are concentrated within the lending business.

Overall Fintechs have achieved tremendous success as reflected by the amount of unicorn startups that have risen to over 40 firms, which is the highest among all industries, including tourism, education and retail.

Aside from startups, many leading technology companies or big tech companies like Alibaba, Tencent and Google have also been entering the Fintech market. These companies have adopted emerging technology like blockchain and artificial intelligence or AI in developing new products. A recent example is Ant Financial, an affiliate company of the Alibaba group and operator of a mobile and online payment application, whereby the company has been promoting a new payment method that uses facial recognition in replacement of QR Codes.

AI, which is the enabling technology, will make payments ever more convenient, especially for elders, as customers will no longer need to access their smartphones for each transaction.

In terms of competitiveness, these big tech companies will have an edge over traditional firms due to their digital ecosystem, for instance; access to popular social media networks that are large pools of consumer data will allow for greater consumer insights. By combining the data with emerging technologies, big tech companies are more likely to create new products and services that are better aligned with customers’ needs than traditional firms.

As such, the emergence of Fintechs can be seen as a challenge to traditional financial businesses that includes banks, securities firms and insurance companies, which may be at risk of losing their market share. Furthermore, competition among financial and banking businesses have intensified with increasing number of competitors and innovative products and services launches that caters to customers’ preference. Traditional businesses are also likely to be affected indirectly, such as losing consumer behaviour data to startups and big tech firms when consumers make their transactions via e-wallet.

To overcome the numerous challenges, firms should start by prioritising core strengths.

For instance, to cope with the fast changing environment firms can enhance efficiency by outsourcing technology-related activities to those with more expertise.

As for firms that are more focused on building competitive strengths and maintaining comprehensive management control, they should set up a Fintech unit as an affiliated company, which would allow flexibility in handling product and service development. Cooperating with startups and big tech companies in developing new product and services can also be beneficial like in the case of China Everbright Bank and Ant Financial, where the bank was able to leverage on Ant Financial’s artificial intelligence-related applications and biometric verification technology to accelerate product and service development and lessen the burden of having to build new technology from scratch.

Contributed by Parichart Jiravachara, Partner, Risk Advisory, Deloitte Thailand and Kanchanok Bunsupaporn, Senior Consultant, Clients & Industries, Deloitte Thailand.

Kanchanok Bunsupaporn

Parichart Jiravachara

Indorama Petrochem wins award for efforts to mitigate greenhouse gases

Published October 19, 2019 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

https://www.nationthailand.com/biz-moves/30377541

Indorama Petrochem wins award for efforts to mitigate greenhouse gases

Oct 18. 2019
By THE NATION

136 Viewed

Indorama Petrochem Ltd (Rayong), a subsidiary of Indorama Ventures PCL (IVL), has received a plaque recognising its commitment and continuous efforts in mitigating greenhouse gas emissions.

The plaque was granted by the Thailand Business Council for Sustainable Development and the Thailand Environment Institute.

Additionally, IVL’s product, purified terephthalic acid, has been certified with the Carbon Reduction Label. The awards reflect the company’s dedication to enhance production efficiency that results in lower greenhouse gas emissions.

This is also in line with its commitment to leveraging efficient resource consumption through recycling, lowering carbon footprint and boosting the use of renewable energy, which will have a positive impact on sustainable development in the long term.

From left: Prasert Bunsumpun, chairman of the Thailand Business Council for Sustainable Development, Nisakorn Kositratna, president of Thailand Environment Institute, and Chan Chaiyaruk, manager for system coordination of Indorama Petrochem Ltd (Rayong).

HP extends online presence, offers major discounts through Shopee

Published October 19, 2019 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

https://www.nationthailand.com/biz-moves/30377519

HP extends online presence, offers major discounts through Shopee

Oct 18. 2019
By THE NATION

230 Viewed

HP Inc Thailand is strengthening its online presence by joining up with leading e-commerce platform Shopee. Through this partnership, HP is aiming to firmly establish itself online and connect with more consumers across the nation.

“As e-commerce continues to gain traction in the Thai market, it is important for brands and companies to serve shoppers better through a wide variety of products and convenience. HP is pleased to offer our print and PC innovations to customers through our omnichannel partners. This gives us an opportunity to strengthen the HP brand online while really making lives better for the people of Thailand through technology,” Alvin Gregory Charles, Country Head of Omnichannel Sales, HP Inc. (Thailand) said in a press release.

“At Shopee, we are committed to our vision to help improve the lives of people across the region with technology. This includes establishing strategic partnerships with top brands like HP to provide users access to the best innovative products and technology essentials. We are delighted to partner with HP to further provide users with greater convenience and cost-savings, and look forward to strengthening our partnership to bring even more exciting deals and exclusive offers from the brand,” added Siwagorn Siriwongpanupong, head of Business Development, Shopee Thailand.

As part of its continued partnership, HP and Shopee is holding the HP Shopee Super Brand Day today and tomorrow (October 18-19) offering greater savings and promotions including discounts of up to 50 per cent and voucher giveaways for an additional 10 per cent off.

HP has also teamed up with Shopee for the HP X Shopee Event which takes place tomorrow (October 19) at the BTS link on the third floor of Siam Square One. Consumers can look forward to exclusive deals and activities during the event.

Learning by communicating

Published October 19, 2019 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

https://www.nationthailand.com/biz-moves/30377516

Learning by communicating

Oct 18. 2019
By The Nation

159 Viewed

The 12th edition of EDUCA 2019 comes to an end tonight after 3 days of educational events designed to enhance the teaching abilities of the some 3,000 teachers and school principals from both public and private schools attending the event.

Organised by Pico, EDUCA 2019 has as its keyword “The Power of Learning Communication”.  Silchai Kiatpapan, Pico’s chief executive says he sees teachers as the guiding light for students who hold future of the country in their hands and bills the event as an important venue for all expert teachers to meet and share their views and practices.

The highlight of the event is the 7th International Conference of School Learning Community 2019 where lecturers from many countries, among them Manabu Sato, a Japanese professor who introduced the School as a Learning Community (SLC) approach, exchange their expertise. The SLC programme started in Japan before expanding to South Korea, China, Taiwan, Singapore, Indonesia, Mexico, Vietnam and Thailand and has led to an educational network called The International Network for School as Learning Community. It focuses on three approaches, educational philosophy, democracy and excellence, and promotes collaborative learning in the classroom, collegiality in the staff room and learning participation by parents.

Other activities include a workshop facilitated by a school principal from New Zealand on the topic of “Unlock Your Potential and Leadership to Empower Learning Community” and educational seminars about 21st Century Skills, Psychology, Curriculum & Pedagogy, and ICT.

UOB building staff skills with ‘Better U’

Published October 19, 2019 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

https://www.nationthailand.com/biz-moves/30377486

UOB building staff skills with ‘Better U’

Oct 17. 2019
Head of Group Human Resources Dean Tong

Head of Group Human Resources Dean Tong
By THE NATION

378 Viewed

United Overseas Bank (UOB) has launched the learning and development programme “Better U” to help its more than 26,000 employees build successful careers in the digital age.

Given that job roles will continue to be redefined by emerging technologies, Better U focuses on five core competencies essential for people to “remain relevant in the future”.

Through a 12-week foundation course, all employees will complete modules designed to teach skills for solving complex problems and progressing in the fields of digital innovation, human-centred design and data.

UOB designed the course based on behavioural science and training best practices. For example, many modules have been designed as games or interactive team-based formats for a more engaging experience. Almost all are also digital so that employees can learn at their own convenience.

Next, there are career pathways and learning tracks in the areas of data management and project management, and meanwhile a dedicated team will advise and guide employees as they navigate the future demands of work.

“By designing a holistic development programme that covers both soft and technical skills, we are sowing the seeds of learning to prepare our people for successful careers in an industry that is undergoing significant change,” said Head of Group Human Resources Dean Tong.

Better U is the first such training initiative that covers soft skills as well as digital and data skills to receive accreditation by the Institute of Banking and Finance Singapore (IBF).

Upon completion of the foundation course, employees will be awarded a UOB-IBF Certificate of Achievement.

Following the foundation course, UOB employees can choose to pursue specialised learning tracks or educational opportunities that are aligned with their capabilities and interests. They can also apply for financial support to advance their education up to a master’s degree should they meet the bank’s selection and sponsorship criteria.

UOB launched Better U in Singapore with close to 1,500 employees participating in a showcase at the bank’s headquarters at UOB Plaza. UOB will roll out Better U progressively across the group. By the end of 2020, the bank expects that at least 70 per cent of employees globally will have completed the foundation course.

SF Cinema’s new member’s card adds perks

Published October 19, 2019 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

https://www.nationthailand.com/biz-moves/30377484

SF Cinema’s new member’s card adds perks

Oct 17. 2019
 Naphat “Nine” Siangsomboon

Naphat “Nine” Siangsomboon
By The Nation

277 Viewed

SF Cinema introduced an “SF+” membership card on Wednesday (October 16) that promises, “The more movies you watch, the more ‘plus’ reward points you get.”

Nine and Suvit Thongrunpo

Nine and Suvit Thongrunpo

SF Group executive director Suvit Thongrunpo said the theatre chain wanted to give film fanatics an even better cinema experience.

Actor-singer Naphat “Nine” Siangsomboon will be promoting the SF+ card in adverts, on social media and in person with cinema appearances.

“Plus” points earned can be exchanged for premium seats and popcorn-soft drink sets and offer access to promotional packages suited to every generation’s lifestyle.

Group photo with Trinity, a famous Thai boy band.

Group photo with Trinity, a famous Thai boy band.

A seamless holiday shopping experience

Published September 30, 2019 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

https://www.nationthailand.com/business/30376867

A seamless holiday shopping experience

Sep 29. 2019
Helen Masters, senior vice president and general manager, Infor Asia Pacific

Helen Masters, senior vice president and general manager, Infor Asia Pacific
By HELEN MASTERS
SPECIAL TO THE NATION

819 Viewed

Holiday shopping has begun which, for retailers, means increased demand, extremely high customer expectations, and limited time for execution and fulfillment. In fact, consumers’ expectations of the retail experience have never been higher, which places massive pressure upon retailers’ shoulders to meet these demands.

Although the stakes are high, retailers can come out on top this holiday season with efficient technology that supports successful supply chain management. Here are three ways in which retailers can ready themselves for this holiday season:

Sufficient preparation

Logistics providers need to ramp up their capacity before the holiday season is here. Beginning in the summer months, or even earlier, will leave an adequate amount of time to anticipate the holiday needs. Like with any distribution network, whether for energy, data or inventory, there will be surges when products are moving through the network. Therefore, the network needs to be ready with extra capacity to meet these needs.

Logistics providers need to think along three paths: storage, transportation and labor. Storage, in terms of warehousing capacity, needs to be secure and flexible in terms of the location of extra capacity. The same rules can be applied to the transportation aspects. Use historic data from inventory flows to better understand what the needs are for the network and how to start to plan for these potential needs. Historical data, coupled with robust planning, artificial intelligence and human planning will better prepare your network. Finally, labour must be taken into consideration. Labour is a seasonal need for logistics providers, but logistics players must look at how can they educate and arm employees with tools to make efficient decisions on hiring and retaining labour.

Retailers’ hyper-awareness

Retailers are increasingly dependent on their logistics backbone to provide the underlying infrastructure to ensure inventory and service to the customer, but retailers’ roles are also imperative to a smooth holiday shopping season. Of course, the standard efforts are required – when and how to run sales efforts, what products to push, what regions to target with what mix, etc. However, when it comes to the holiday season, retailers must strive to expand their lead times and better integrate within their own organisations. Brands and retailers are always looking to get ahead of customers’ needs, anticipate demand, and lock in the most favourable costs and markets. Therefore, retailers and brands need to be hyper-aware of changes in demand and leverage their digital footprint to better communicate with their networks. As can be seen through the battle for limited edition sneakers in June 2019, this was the case study on how the brand could react faster to unexpected demand. Could they have done a better job reacting to these demand signals? Retailers need to lean on, but not rely entirely, upon the digital data that they have access to. There must be a fine balance between the data, the people, and the systems in place to better address these potential issues and opportunities.

Anticipating customer needs

Brands and supply chains are trying to work in harmony to meet the consumers’ ever-growing and changing demands. Today we recognise that the power has swung over to the consumer. Via digital and always-on connectivity, the consumer is the entity that drives the conversation. Like consumers during the holiday season, retailers must be better at planning and anticipating needs, otherwise they will be caught scrambling and unable to fulfil customer demands. Access to a plethora of information regarding pricing, availability, size and colour, is necessary to navigate the waters of the holiday buying season better than previous generations. But like our supply chains, if we do not use this data properly, how can we expect better outcomes?

Closing thoughts

At the crux of the holiday season, logistic providers and retailers have the ability to better plan for, anticipate and react to what will inevitably be a hectic holiday season. Foundationally, it comes down to better usage of the digital data that is available. This data should power our decision-making and our ability to better see what is happening. While in isolation, this data holds minimal value, coupled with the people and systems at our disposal, can enlighten retailers as we enter the holiday shopping season.

Helen Masters is senior vice president and general manager, Infor Asia Pacific.

Standard Chartered looks to digital, new markets in time of disruption

Published September 18, 2019 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

https://www.nationthailand.com/business/30376304

Standard Chartered looks to digital, new markets in time of disruption

Sep 17. 2019
Bill Winters, Group Chief Executive at Standard Chartered Bank.

Bill Winters, Group Chief Executive at Standard Chartered Bank.
By The Nation

928 Viewed

Standard Chartered Bank (SC) said it is aiming to become a big support for the future global investment market while also preparing to deal with digital disruption.

The bank saw an opportunity throughout Asia as the economy of Asean countries grew rapidly in recent years. It is investing Bt60 billion annually to improve its digital banking services, and will this year see a 26-per-cent growth, matching the previous year, said Bill Winters, the group chief executive for Standard Chartered Bank

Winters said the strategy for this year is to seek new business opportunity, especially opportunities to support high-growth markets such as Thailand.

The Bank has been in Thailand for 125 years, and its history has encouraged the bank to move forward. It now provides services in every major Asian jurisdiction, including China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and India, as well as in Africa and the Middle East.

Standard Charter’s main strategy is to invest more on facilitating cross-border trade, while also investing in every border-trade market due to the recent rapid growth. He forecast that over the next 20 years, growth in the global market will depend significantly on border trade.

Moreover, the bank is also attending to business expansion and approaches to entering new markets. Recently, SC received permission to pursue banking s in Saudi Arabia, adding more investment opportunities in a new market.

In the next three years, the bank is forecasted for 3-5 per cent constant yearly income growth.

“Every bank has an upturn or a downturn in every market. Some markets have a good economy but some don’t. Some markets face politically change. However, we have to follow our motto ‘Here for Good ’. This means we will stand beside our customers whether in an upturn or a downturn.

“When we decide to invest, it means a long-term investment. We intend to expand our business constantly. Our strategy is to improve what we have been doing well in such markets and to take part in growing such markets.”

With digital disruption hitting every sector, banks are also having to adapted to change, he said. In doing so, the bank will evaluate its processes so as to offer better service.

Banks have invested $1-2 billion, about Bt60 billion, with the main investment focussed on digitisation to reshape traditional services as digital services. Previously, the bank provided the service through a new licence. But digital services don’t have to be based only stand-alone banks. The new services are now available in 10 countries, including India, Singapore and in Africa, with Hong Kong the next to open for digital services. Providing digital services to many countries is vital to the future success of the bank, he said.

From left: Bill Winters and Plakorn Wanglee

From left: Bill Winters and Plakorn Wanglee

Plakorn Wanglee, the president and CEO of the Thailand office, said the bank here will grow at a similar rate to last year, which was 3-5 per cent for the full year.

Their most important business strategy is encouraging businesses to invest more in both internal and external markets. A business satisfied with the internal market will seek opportunities outside the country, especially in Asia and particularly the Asean countries such as Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar. The bank is eager to offer its support to encourage investment in both markets.

The bank is also looking to growth of the stock market, especially during fluctuating markets. The bank will take part in risk management during fluctuating markets for a business. As well, it creates new products to support institutional investors and foreign investors.

“The disruption has encouraged bank to adapt to the new change. We have to invest more in digital technologies to support our customers’ business, such as cooperating with the Bank of Thailand (BOT) to develop a payment application,: said Plakorn. “Recently, we collaborated with PTT on a trial of a digital oil-trading system on the Voltron blockchain-based industry platform in order to improve services for our customers.”

Asian consumers lead index in new tech adoption

Published September 17, 2019 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

https://www.nationthailand.com/business/30376278

Asian consumers lead index in new tech adoption

Sep 17. 2019
By Vishal Bali
Special to The Nation

789 Viewed

For the past 10 years, Asia has been repeatedly touted as the next big thing that will change the world economy. Enter 2019, that’s not true anymore. Asia IS already the BIGGEST thing for adoption of tech products with advanced features.

Over the past 20 years, the middle-class segment in Asia has been burgeoning, and with their increased spending power, they are buying more new tech products.

According to a report by Wolfensohn Centre for Development, in 2009 28 per cent of the world’s middle-class was estimated to come from Asia. Come 2020 and this percentage is expected to hit 66 per cent, compared to just 50 per cent in United States.

WWith their newfound wealth and spending power, Asians are keen to adopt new tech products, and are particularly interested in products that are novel, fun and sophisticated. This is mostly great news, but there’s still a “but”.

With choices galore, buyer sophistication is rising in Asia, and often retailers, advertisers and brands have less influence on purchase decisions. According to a study by GfK (Growth from Knowledge), 62 per cent of Asia-Pacific consumers turn to online reviews from other shoppers and 56 per cent seek personal recommendations before making purchases, so word-of-mouth and social influence plays a bigger role in purchase decisions.

In addition, brand loyalty is rare among Asian consumers as nearly two in every three (64 per cent) respondents surveyed in Asia said that they are less loyal to any one brand – a 7-percentage point jump from two years ago. In comparison, the proportion of respondents in the US and Europe who shared the same sentiments were significantly lower.

If the above sounds like bad news, don’t worry, it’s not all doom and gloom. With the right approach, marketers and brands can still garner consumer interest and attention.

Here is an approach to engaging early adopters in Asia.

Getting it right – Introducing the New Tech Adoption Index

Based on GfK’s proprietary point-of-sales data, we analysed new consumer technology adoption of over 250,000 products in the consumer durables and technology industry across nine Asian and six key European markets to create an Index known as the New Tech Adoption Index.

The Index indicates a market’s propensity to adopt new tech products based on how much higher or lower they are positioned from the baseline of 100. The index helps brands and retailers understand the consumers’ inclination towards adopting technology and consumer products with advanced features or technology.

 

The index also shows a wide-ranging spectrum of new tech adoption from 46 to 146 across Asian markets, highlighting the vastly differing levels of adoption in the region. Two of the fastest growing economies; China and India are on the opposite ends of the spectrum with China leading the index, and India scoring the lowest, while the adoption in Thailand is positive at 102.

As part of the index, we have also classified consumer technology products into four different segments:

• Fun & Social: Products that enhance home living and boost entertainment experience, like headsets, panel TVs and loudspeakers

• Comfort & Convenience: Products that make life comfortable and making cleaning easier, like vacuum cleaners, washing machines, air conditioners and air treatment

• Freedom & Lifestyle: Products that empower people and make life on-the-go much easier, like headphones, digital cameras and wearables

• Essential & Integral: A must-have for individuals who want to be adept, informed and in control, like smart phones.

 

We found that unique country-specific traits take centre stage when it comes to the adopting of new tech products. For instance, new tech adoption for the “Freedom” category is led by Indonesia, Vietnam and Thailand, where the population is generally younger, while the mature markets of South Korea, China and Singapore exhibit higher new tech adoption for the “Fun”” category due to their greater spending power.

What does this mean for brands, and how to win in Asia?

With an undeniable desire for all things tech, Asia is a haven for new product testing. Apart from this, what else can be done?

Take Asia seriously to launch new tech products

When it comes to tech, Asia is no longer playing second fiddle to the West. Therefore, it is practical for marketers to launch new tech products in Asia as the interest and take-up rate among Asian consumers are on the rise.

Experiment boldly

Audiences in Asia are less loyal to brands; love new experiences and enjoy sharing their perspective and being heard. Brands that don’t keep up with these expectations to offer unique experiences, will fall behind the competition. Therefore, whether it’s AR, VR or good old retail, it is wise to invest in creating unforgettable moments.

Go hyperlocal

Too many marketers still see Asia as a single entity and could not be more wrong. Use hyperlocal insights to reach your audience where it matters and take into consideration the cultural and behavioural differences between each country, as being generic is not the way to go.

Put mobile first

With 55 million active mobile internet users in Thailand, Thai consumers are using their mobile devices for shopping and payments. Focus on developing an effective mobile-marketing strategy to engage and convert your target audience.

Work on buyer experience and capitalise on their passion for technology

We observed that 33 per cent of respondents living in Asia Pacific reported that they are always among the first to try new technology and electronic products. Case in point: 69 per cent of them said they were open to making purchases on smart home devices such as smart speakers.

These broad principles aside, what is more important is for retailers to refrain from treating Asia as one homogeneous market – it is not ideal to adopt a one-size-fits-all approach for your marketing strategy.

It is important for brands to understand where their greatest potential of early adopters are, as this group can create a network effect for their products, and here’s where the New Tech Adoption Index comes in handy as it can help identify key markets, and even pinpoint the specific cities and regions within each market for brands to succeed in.

About the Author:

Vishal Bali is managing director for GfK Asia’s Apac-Middle East, Turkey and Africa segment and is responsible for driving client value and growth across GfK’s businesses in these markets.

Finance 2025: Predicting the future of finance

Published September 14, 2019 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

https://www.nationthailand.com/business/30376158

Finance 2025: Predicting the future of finance

Sep 13. 2019
Thavee Thaveesangsakulthai

Thavee Thaveesangsakulthai
By SPECIAL TO THE NATION

472 Viewed

Digital disruption has been changing what we do and how we get things done in numerous ways.

Robots, smart machines and blockchain are working along side human beings to build and deliver products, provide services, as well as track and monitor resources. These technologies and innovations will make impacts that matter for the future of finance.

In this article, predictions on the future of finance are discussed to imagine what would be possible if we combine different technologies to reimagine the future, how the work of finance would get done and who would do it, and how finance could contribute even more to the success of the company. Finance 2025 will be about more efficient delivery of better financial information in a more timely and less expensive fashion, which will change what we do and how we get things done in finance organisations.

Here are some predictions of what we can expect to see over the coming years:

First, operational finance (end-to-end processes, including order-to-cash, procure-to-pay, and transactional accounting), will be leaner while business finance (including business partnering reporting, planning budgeting and forecasting) will continue to grow. The focus of finance will shift to design, configuration and maintenance of systems, with real-time data processing and monitoring.

Automation will simplify processes and free up people, leading to a hybrid workforce model, a combination of traditional employees, along with contractors or freelancers. There will be a premium on talent that understands technology and business. The workplace in finance will change, with finance command centres with smart dashboards and chatbots implemented. Stakeholders will benefit from seamless, intuitive interactions with technology and data.

Second, the role of finance will also change. Business partnering will shift upstream, from budgeting and reporting, to scenario planning, advanced forecasting and better visualisation. Computers will handle routine requests from business leaders, allowing finance to be more proactive in business planning and resource deployment.

As finance goes real time, periodic reporting will no longer drive operations and decisions. Both actuals and forecasts will be produced instantly on demand. Forecasting will not be performed once a month or quarterly, but will be made in real time, with continuous tracking of sales, cash flows, inventories, etc. The workforce in finance will integrate data scientists and professionals who can engineer automated reporting, forecasting and end-to-end processes. These new employees will be working alongside traditional business analysts to deliver real time information and insights to finance customers.

Self-service will become the norm, where budget queries and report production will be automated. Business leaders can get their questions answered by a digital voice on their smartphones. Over time, smart agents will learn what kinds of business information an individual needs, and deliver that information proactively. Data in spreadsheets will be replaced by visually rich information that is intuitively accessible and easy to use. Chatbots will become the primary mechanism by which people interact with technology and data.

New service delivery models will emerge as robots and algorithms join a more diverse finance workforce with integration of freelancers, gig workers and crowds. There will be more collaboration among finance, IT and the business. Teams will include experts in robotics, blockchain, and cognitive technologies, with diverse talent models.

As more companies move to cloud-based enterprise resource planning (ERP), they are choosing to become more standardised. Instead of building customised systems, companies will buy what they need from the marketplace of apps and microservices. Cloud-based ERP will help ensure that they are constantly updated on the latest systems releases. This will reduce the complexity and cost of technology without sacrificing functionality.

Although automation and cognitive will make it easier to get the work done, it will still be difficult and tedious to align and integrate data. Data is a technology issue as well as a cultural issue. If a company lacks leaders who value data quality, the organisation will struggle with data challenges that keep people from doing their best work. Instead of delivering insights and services to the business, these organisations are constantly backfilling, distracted by questions of data integrity and completeness.

Las, the workforce of the future will work with cross-functional teams and leverage constant collaboration. Data scientists will work alongside business analysts to solve problems that no individual could solve alone. Employees will be doing new things in new ways. CFOs should work with HR to define the talent requirements and make sure that the new hires represent the future that the companies are looking for, including strong customer service orientation, flexibility and good collaboration skills. Automation tools including predictive modelling, self-service reporting and digital assistants will enhance the capacity for employees to provide more advice on strategic interventions.

As the needs of businesses are growing and the pace of innovation is accelerating, the CFO can either plan for change, or plan to retire. They need to work now to get the right people and technology in place to take advantage of the inevitable disruption. The years ahead hold great promise for finance organisations that want to create more value for the companies they support. Getting there may not be smooth and easy, but it will certainly be exciting.

Thavee Thaveesangsakulthai is a financial advisory services partner at Deloitte Thailand.

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