By Chris Bradshaw, Chief Marketing Officer at Blue Prism
The entire finance sector is feeling the impact of digital transformation, from fintech startups through to centuries-old banks – but some are embracing change better than others. If organisations are to implement successful digital transformation and secure their future position in the market, organisations must capitalise on the latest technology solutions.
Fintech or Techfin?
The finance sector has a tech-first attitude. So much so, that economies in Asia are rephrasing the term ‘fintech’ into ‘techfin’ as a means of recognising the fact that technology is steering the future of finance. Digital disruptors such as Monzo and Starling Bank are transforming the market and reshaping consumer expectations of banking. In turn, traditional banks risk being left behind if the right actions are not taken to meet rising customer expectations. In order to remain in the game, these banks need to ensure their internal infrastructures are fit for the modern markets and then streamline their operations and processes to safeguard the efficiency of human workers. Thanks to connected-RPA (Robotic Process Automation), organisations can create a connected entrepreneur enterprise. This means organisations can become more agile operators but minimise on the risk that comes with innovation. For example, connected-RPA unleashes an organisation’s entrepreneurs and innovators from time-consuming and processed-based tasks and frees them to focus on creative work that drives the business forward. It is these opportunities that will help businesses break outdated practices and embrace new ways of working.
The communications barrier
If the finance sector is to capitalise on automation to keep pace in its fast-changing sector dominated by disruptors, it must execute a successful implementation of connected-RPA. This means more than creating a strategic IT plan. It also means the benefits of connected-RPA must be communicated and understood across the entire organisation – from CEO to intern. Fail to educate and communicate these benefits, and organisation risk a failed scale-up and backlash from workers. In fact, recent research from Blue Prism highlights there is still progress to be made in terms of communicating the benefits of RPA.
One of the most striking findings from this research is the news that despite popular belief that employees are afraid of losing their jobs to automation (a belief held by 70% of decision makers), just 37% of knowledge workers harbour fears about job loss. This gap in understanding is further highlighted by the fact that 94% of business decision makers understand the benefits of RPA and Intelligent Automation but only 73% of knowledge workers feel the same. The research highlights that there is a huge imbalance between the perceptions and realities of automation in business and, as a result, there is a need for both decision makers and knowledge workers to work together to better communicate the real impact of RPA for businesses and workers alike.
Capitalising on automation
Despite a lack of understanding about the impact of RPA, business decision makers and knowledge workers are in agreement on one thing – RPA is integral to the future workplace. Business decision makers believe that RPA (95%) is crucially important in driving digital transformation. More than a third of knowledge workers also agree, with 34% of them not believing their business can remain competitive in the next five years with a purely human workforce. This, alongside time-savings, cost-savings and the improved accuracy that automation offers, could be amongst the reasons why an incredible 92% of business decision makers plan to extend use cases of automation across their businesses. Yet although decision makers and knowledge workers might agree on the importance of automation, the real challenge is how financial organisations choose to implement use cases of automation across the business to best capitalise on the technology.
For the finance sector, connected-RPA enables centuries-old banks to remain current amongst their fintech competitors. Gerald Pullen, Head of Continuous Improvement & RPA from Lloyds Banking Group has stated that “embracing RPA has been a part of the ‘bank-of-the-future’ objective and freeing up colleagues from mundane, repetitive tasks. We’ve taken the robot out of the human, in order to enable those colleagues to fulfil more purposeful roles, as we forge ahead with the next stage of our strategy.” Thanks for RPA, traditional banks can put customers front and centre of their offering and can compete alongside the likes of Monzo and Starling, through spending less time on internal processes and turning their attention to customer service.
Financial organisations must secure their future by embracing digital transformation and engaging their workforce in new ways. In addition to implementing the latest connected-RPA solutions, organisations also need to ensure they are training and communicating the benefits of connected-RPA and automation to their staff. Breaking down this communication barrier is critical if businesses are to capitalise on automation successfully. If the entire business is not on board, then financial organisations will lag in the race to secure their future position in the market.