Information Liaisons: An Intro to Integrating Systems and People for Fintech

By Drew Carrick, Director of Financial Analysis, Compliance, and Operations, Long Island University

Drew Carrick, Director of Financial Analysis, Compliance, and Operations, Long Island University

Throughout the course of the modern era’s financial evolution via the incorporation of financial technology systems, or fin-tech, one consistent variable remained a key element in successful integration —people. In integrating software and systems into an entity, one must not overlook the critical value that comes with understanding the culture and behavior of people as employees. If this variable is overlooked, even the most well-designed systems will be unable to operate at maximum efficiency and effectiveness levels.

Systems should be developed based on actual human behavior that is adaptable, malleable, and most importantly capable of being controlled [to an extent, of course]. This is not a novel concept to those who understand the bridge between processes and procedures application, and actual system and technology development. Having a liaison that acts, in a sense, as a translator for communicating the needs of the end users – a need that is being established and designed by individuals who are not information experts, computer scientists, or informatics professionals – can be a critical resource. Ideally, a fin-tech focused employee will be able to utilize their knowledge in the content-driven discipline of finance, and propose it in such a way that system developers and information technology specialists can properly interpret and produce an output that meets the desires of those original concept creators.

The benefit of creating a corporate culture where technology involvement and integration is embraced is that there will be less resistance to paradigm shifts. In this sense, having people-focused and people-developed processes and procedures in place prior to the implementation of any technology will be a key to a successful roll-out. If the current process does not work on “paper”, it certainly will face great difficulty in working on “screen”. The involvement of key players and users of the technology, managed and assisted by information liaisons, will allow for knowledgeable and pragmatic information organization.

In looking at something such as developing internal budgets for various departments within an entity, one can see very simply how a basic and easy to follow process will enable the entity to efficiently develop, monitor, manage, analyze, and report on the financial data. For large entities, this becomes even more important, as the process for monitoring in entirety each and every expense item, requisition request, procurement and purchasing request, and payment request is beyond tedious and time consuming to be bottle-necked by overbearing oversight from top levels of senior leadership. To touch softly on the subject of human resource talent, this is why it is critical that entrusted individuals are enabled to make decisions swiftly and promptly to keep the flow of work moving along well.

"The benefit of creating a corporate culture where technology involvement and integration is embraced is that there will be less resistance to paradigm shifts"

As many entities look to do in order to save costs year-over-year, budgets are cut, reduced, and reallocated. In this type of environment, a top down approach of keeping in the hands of the heads of each department, an ability to monitor and tend to their budget is extremely successful. An information liaison, with a background understanding in budgets, can help the team to create the correct step by step approach to a working tracking system. Much advancement has been made in budgeting technology, but the need for computer scientists focused on coding does not outweigh the importance of turning all of the people into liaisons in their own right for communicating needs of the systems they utilize to the information technology team.

While we may only just be beginning to understand the important of information specialists for integrating computer science with the financial discipline, there is plenty more to discuss in the realm of utilizing these individuals for successful system implementation. 

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