Finance and financial services were impacted globally in 2017 due to political upheavals and economic uncertainty. In India, the introduction of GST was a major economic policy change and caused major disruption in the way business activities are conducted in the country. Moreover due to the digital India drive of the Indian government, the entire GST filing process is online. People who did not have knowledge of online technology have had to take help. This and more has been causing changes in the finance segment of business management and 2020 will see the following trends emerge.
- Data will proliferate: Data has been a big game-changer for all business segments across the globe. Having access to and analysing data will be central to all things finance. Once data is available and tools to analyse it are understood, the same would be utilized for operations and technology processes for financial services.
- Blockchain is real: The finance sector is looking at utilization of blockchain technology with the Reserve Bank of India showing interest in understanding how it works and even contemplating making use of blockchain technology in banking. If the RBI approves the use of this technology in 2020, it will be a major trend that will reduce operational cost and increase efficiency.
- Skill gap will increase: Hiring finance professionals will be tougher in 2020 as the rise of technology usage would mean a lack of a skilled workforce. The organizations would have to train existing employees or search hard for suitably skilled employees. Employees would have to be trained in the use of digital technologies and software as well as data access and data analysis.
- Robotic process automation is here: Robots will be used even in the finance sector and offer a lot of help in reducing costs and increasing operational efficiency. However, from the perspective of roles in finance, leaders and managers would need to use this technology as a help alone and perform strategic tasks on their own. Taking the strategy first view, they can decide how the technology will fit in their plans.
- Simplified digitalization: All aspects of the business need a customer-centric approach. More businesses will have automated customer interfaces, especially in the financial services sector. Also, most of the financial activities of businesses will also be digitized in a way that they are easily understood by employees and customers alike.
The single major trend that runs across all the above trends is the fact that the world is moving towards a digital economy with bigger strides than ever before.