Finance & Digital Departments: The role of SaaS in the finance function

January 21, 2021

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With a market of 157 billion dollars worldwide, SaaS solutions are booming. These “Software-as-a-Service” refers to software hosted directly by its publisher and accessible via the Internet, in the cloud. According to a recent Markess study, they are part of an intense digitalization context and the need for business agility and represent a major challenge for the finance function.

The emergence of “native SaaS” finance solutions

The wave of the Cloud now constitutes a deep and lasting transformation of financial information systems. These new solutions offer new potential in terms of their integration capabilities, and easier opening up to third-party solutions.

They offer the possibility of being extended with technological innovations such as Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain via PaaS (Platform as a Service). With this architecture, PaaS favors “low code” approaches, giving finance teams the tools they need to configure new functionalities directly. These solutions constitute a new benchmark in software for finance departments.

Today, the challenge is no longer to simply provide an effective technical solution for good business management. It’s about giving the company the ability to manage its performance, model a new business, integrate and collaborate effectively among business units.

The new financial management solutions enable a customized deployment from a fully packaged model.

Technology and analytical tools empower the finance department to enhance its advisory role on strategic decision-making.

The importance of SaaS in new financial solutions

The digitalization of the finance function essentially involves complete solutions  implementation on subjects such as financial performance management, consolidation, closing and, auditing.

The Markess study reveals that the new SaaS-based financial management solutions enable these fully digitalized and cross-functional processes. The approach of collaboration and exchange within the company is also imperative. With the implementation of collaborative software, the finance function opens up and communicates dynamically with the different departments to provide better reactivity in its support.

Volume and growth of the SaaS market

According to Markess, the health crisis had slowed down most of the investment projects. And, also there was an impact on the growth of SaaS, on consulting, and on services. However, the study anticipates a rebound this year. The crisis has made companies aware of the need to review their costs related to new digital software adoption. Markess, therefore, anticipates an acceleration of the switch to SaaS solutions starting this year.

SaaS solutions, more ergonomic and faster to use than integration, are the first market growth source.