A look at where innovative businesses are headed.
The future isn’t as frightening as people might imagine. Automation isn’t going to take over, and digital assistants aren’t going to run the world. But the technological horizon is getting closer, faster, and that means all parts of your business can get simpler — including travel and expense.
What sort of impact can intelligent technology have on core business processes like travel and expense management? What kind of changes can you and your team look forward to? Here’s what’s right around the corner.
Trips that book themselves – Travel management is becoming a seamless, low-effort experience that uses traveller and business data to create entire trips that adhere to travel policy. And soon, virtual assistants will be able to book it all.
Expense reports that write themselves – You can already snap a photo of a receipt and have it auto-upload into an expense report, but as machine learning advances, it will be able to evaluate, track, submit, and manage every digit of expense data.
Data that analyses itself – When humans enter and audit data in your system, they make mistakes; sometimes, they commit fraud; and the process itself robs employees and the company of time. When machine learning manages data, it watches for trends and improves compliance, forecasting, and budgeting instantly and automatically.
What kinds of trends can you expect to continue?
- The personalisation of travel.
80% of business travelers rely on their phone to conduct business,1 and they’re using it to gain control of the travel experience. 88% of them, in fact, believe technology makes travel easier to navigate.1 When you equip your travellers with top technology and tools to make their own choices, it becomes easier for them to be compliant and for you to attract top talent.
- Increased focus on traveller safety.
Knowing where your team is located is only half the battle. It falls on you to keep them safe in a world where 63% of business travel managers feel that travellers’ risk has increased and 52% fear it’s going to rise more in the next year.2 To provide this level of security, you have to know how to reach and, if necessary, retrieve them.
- Global data consolidation.
88% of CFOs point to T&E costs as a way to optimise working capital.3 But getting those costs under control requires centralising travel and expense data across all your divisions. Accomplish this and you’ll not only help the company save time and money, you’ll reveal spend details you’ve never seen, helping improve processes and policies company-wide.
- A shift to mobile-first markets.
By 2020, there will be more than a million mobile payment users.4 They’re becoming the new normal and are transforming the way financial transactions are handled. Look for systems that embrace mobility to stay a step ahead.
- Machine learning and the shift to higher-value work.
49% of today’s jobs will be affected by automation5.When you integrate more intelligent technology into travel and expense management, and the tracking and reporting of spend begins to happen automatically, you’ll give your team more time to focus on more valuable tasks.
The tools and technology it takes to personalise travel, to make it safer – to do all of these things – are already out there. They’re at work in companies like yours around the world, and you can take advantage of them. Today.
How do you stay ahead as technology advances? Start with this infographic.
Blog #1 in series, to read blog #2: Innovation Isn’t All About The Future