Friday, 1 March 2013

Last in line? Getting collections technology investment to the front of the queue

How often does it seem that investment in technology and innovation for Collection and Recoveries is at the back of the queue? Even when there is a persuasive financial case, scarce IT resources are often applied to more high profile parts of the business. Where there is a clear consumer benefit or regulatory need, technology investments can sometimes sneak up the queue, but too often they are over looked. Yet  there are still gross inefficiencies and duplications in the 'silo' way we work in this industry and we owe it to our businesses – and to the debtor – to release them.
The good news is that new business models can help and are more cost effective than you might think. The provision of platforms as a service (PAAS) technology dramatically reduces that up-front capital investment and in certain instances it is not even required. The Financial Times recently estimated that the cost of PAAS is around one tenth of the traditional alternative. There are a number of credible niche service providers – just like TDX Group – who focus on offering cost effective solutions for specific needs. This allows investments in technology and data to be leveraged across a number of industry participants reducing the cost of entry for everyone. Who would now invest in a SMS engine, for instance, when they can source the service at pennies per message?  

We, as an industry, need to get better at seeking expert support and, critically, at passing data securely between service providers. While data security has to be paramount, we can’t paralyse our businesses by restricting data flow. We need to work with legal teams and IT security experts to find ways to facilitate our industry’s future.

By changing the approach to investing in our industry’s future, performance and the debtor experience can be radically improved.

By Andrea Davis, Managing Director, TDX Industry Solutions

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