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Home > Article – "Are you ready for financial mashup widgets?"

Article – "Are you ready for financial mashup widgets?"

09FinancialWidgets.jpgMy latest CAMagazine article is out.

In January, I was invited to address a group of CIO’s and CFO’s from some of the world’s largest insurance companies — a pretty heavy duty crowd. My challenge? Get them away from focusing just on the here-and-now, and think a bit about some of the challenges that tomorrow will present.

Part of my voyage took them into a view of what their industry might look like ten years out. Here’s a few extracts:

Are you ready to open up your accounting and financial systems to the Facebook generation? In 10 years, that won’t seem like a silly question. But even today, it’s an issue you should think about

In the next few years, we are likely to enter the world of the “accounting mashup,” in which customers, suppliers and business partners start to interact with you through online widgets. As this happens, you’ll discover new business models that will provide sales opportunities, streamline customer support and reduce operating costs.

Young people entering the workforce are able to instantly and easily reshape information so that it is more accessible, shareable and far more interesting. They’ve taken to the world of music and video and have learned how to reassemble bits and pieces into something new.

My favourite music mashup, from years ago, came from a DJ group known as The Kleptones. Their “A Night at the Hip-Hopera” remix took a swath of music from Queen, wrapped it around other sounds and songs, all in a story about early attempts by the music industry to shut down music sharing.

So what does this have to do with accounting? Who is to say that the Facebook generation isn’t going to look at the Best Buy Remix idea and rethink the whole concept of an accounting system in light of that? Why would we expect them to sit in front of a boring web browser, reviewing data on a boring ERP screen? Why would we not consider the possibility that they might write a tool that gets things done in a different way?


Predicting the future often involves the extrapolation of current trends. Given that mashups are a big part of youth culture, it shouldn’t be surprising that we’ll find the concept making its way into business in the next several years. Get ready!

  • Read the full article They’ll spice up your systems

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