Digital Transformation » There’s no time to stagnate in an age of automation

The impact of automation is being felt from boardroom to the shop floor – and the financial sector is no exception. Technology is steering the finance industry and determining the future of business operations, from fintech startups through to centuries-old banks.

If organisations are to implement successful digital transformation and compete with disruptive startups, then they must turn to the latest technology solutions to help.

The future of finance

Digital disruptors such as Monzo, Atom Bank and Starling Bank have tapped into our cultural obsession with technology and reshaped consumer expectations of banking and the finance sector. This has left traditional banks in a race to keep pace, to meet rising customer expectations and remain in the game.

Yet the real challenge lies in taking the right action. Traditional banks need to start their transformation journey by looking at their internal infrastructures and make sure they are still fit for the modern market. In addition, they must also look at streamlining their operations and processes to ensure human workers can be as efficient as possible.

The good news is that the latest evolution of RPA technology, connected-RPA can now open doors for the most digitally savvy employees to create, innovate and foster entrepreneurial spirit in traditional and outdated workplaces.

The corporate disconnect

However, to achieve these results requires a successful implementation of connected-RPA. As such, the benefits of connected-RPA need to be understood from the board to the interns. Too often, organisations jump into traditional RPA without educating and communicating the benefits to their employees

.This goes on to cause a lot of challenges when attempting to scale traditional RPA across the business. 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. Clearly then 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.

Reaping the benefits 

However, 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 both RPA (95%) and Intelligent Automation (93%) are 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.

For the finance industry, connected-RPA enables more traditional organisations to remain current amongst their fintech competitors. Gerald Pullen, head of continuous improvement & RPA from Lloyds Banking Group comments, “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.”

For example as the likes of Monzo and Starling are putting the customer front and centre of their offering, traditional banks must follow suit and place more emphasis on their customers’ needs. RPA enables organisations to do just this by focusing on less time spent on internal processes and more time on customer service.

To succeed in the twenty-first century, financial organisations must commit to making some dramatic changes in technology and how they engage their workforce in order to become future leaders in their field. As well as having the latest connected-RPA solutions, organisations also need to look at how they are training and communicating the benefits of connected-RPA and automation to their staff.

For businesses that get this right, the road ahead will be a prosperous one. However, get it wrong and you soon see yourself replaced by a digital disrupter.