Martin McCann, CEO of technology provider, Trade Ledger, gives his view on the challenges and opportunities for 2023 ahead of the publication in January of an in-depth Predictions Report featuring contributions from a number of industry experts including Microsoft, Virgin Money, KPMG and Thought Machine.

2023 is shaping up to be the most brutal business year that most of us will have ever experienced. We’re going to see a return to business fundamentals and a re-emergence of a cash-is-king mentality.

Organisational designs will flip, and supply chain management will tighten. And the most difficult part will be driving innovation while purse strings are pulled.

Leaders who juggle short-term business environment challenges, and layer in long-term changes (involving data, technology and new operating models) will emerge from this cycle as the most competitive and aggressive industry movers. However, nine out of 10 organisational change initiatives fail. The bigger an organisation, the less likely it can transform in time to be a winner in next-generation working capital.

Established players have been relying on their expertise, reputation and customer relationships to keep up. But it’s not enough anymore. Digitisation in the next few years will require all participants to learn new skills. They’ll have to develop new operating models and go-to-market strategies.

There is, however, a danger in investing in technology for technology’s sake. Everyone’s talking about APIs and open banking right now. These are the right technologies to meet the moment, but too many people don’t understand their true impact.

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Not all APIs are equal. Anyone can claim to be an API provider. But not all APIs will have the same capabilities. Not all will help reinvent a business model. Or take advantage of things like embedded lending, which lets financial institutions reach customers using new platforms and channels.

I do, however, believe that when it comes to the way working capital is delivered and accessed, we’re approaching an inflection point. I think we’re going to see a new generation of technology and data-enabled services in the next three years. And that means 2023 will be pivotal for those that want to deliver technology-enabled and digital services in the banking for business space; this is the year that they must pay attention and be ready to make the move.

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