Industries are under constant pressure to reduce operational costs, while continuing to build on revenue growth. Banking & Financial institutions experience added pressure and are under higher scrutiny as they are required to comply with changes in regulations and the constant need to improve their services to stay relevant with respect to the competition. The BFS industry views Automation (IA) tripod that encompasses RPA, AI and Analytics as one of the crucial digital levers in delivering amplified outcomes from an operations and business perspective, both internally & externally.
A practitioner’s view, use of technology, and best practices for adoption of Intelligent & Cognitive automation solutions were the key topics at a recent BFS summit hosted by LTI, along with analyst partner firm, Everest Group.
Some interesting conversations that emerged were:
- What is the ground reality as opposed to the hype?
Contrary to the belief that the technologies of the IA tripod reap high cost savings at a faster pace as opposed to other technologies, the reality is that there are multiple factors that affect the success of the program. These include:
- Complexity of the process
- Evolutionary applicability of the tripod technologies across business
The general consensus was that higher levels of satisfaction were achieved by automating low or medium complexity processes, as opposed to high complexity ones.
- How do we solve the ‘scaling’ problem?
Enterprise-wide automation rollouts must include a further level of detailing and planning compared to PoCs/ Pilots as they could extend to multiple functions within a LOB or multiple LOBs. Hence, the success metrics of a PoC/ pilot should not be extrapolated to an enterprise wide rollout. Mentioned below are few initiatives that organizations could undertake to ensure that the program successfully graduates from the PoCs/ pilots to scaled operations:
- Be Ready: Organizations should equip themselves to handle the high expectations by adding in-house talent with the required skill-sets and/or partnering with proven service providers to set clear definitions of goals and objectives for IA deployment and fill in the gaps in the technology landscape
- Take a Holistic Approach: Organizations should align the IA initiatives with an overarching digital strategy, rather than looking at them as siloed interventions
- Setup an Intelligent Automation CoE: One of the key aspects of automation industrialization is having an Intelligent Automation CoE as part of the target operating model for execution. The CoE, led by automation evangelists or Innovation labs, is the driving force that lays the foundation for the program in an organization and ensures adherence to best practice guidelines
- Continuous Commitment: The leadership should continue to invest and show their commitment to the automation program even if roadblocks are encountered along the journey
- Have an Effective Governance and Change Management Plan: The future state of automation enterprises is a collaboration of the digital and human workforce with a robust governance model. Automation elevates the need for an effective change management process to be triggered for assisting the key participants to re-draw and familiarise the new way of working, along with the IA Tripod
- Is ROI the only Parameter of Success?
More often than not, the lack of clarity in the program vision results in selecting incorrect success parameters to measure outcomes. Predominantly, ROI and cost savings are considered as the yardstick to validate success. However, the benefits of such engagements should be viewed holistically – tangible + intangible.
Some tangible benefits that enhance the overall business delivery for customers include:
- Improved Productivity
- Reduced Turnaround time
- Increased Processing Accuracy
- Optimal Workforce Utilization
- Reduced TCO
Some intangible benefits include:
- Enhanced Customer Experience
- Reskilling & Repurposing of Human Capital
- Resource redeployment
- Faster scalability
Business examples for some of the above-mentioned benefits for Banks include – Automated Account opening, KYC, Loan Processing, Claims, Reporting etc.
That said, the BFS industry has only scratched the surface with Intelligent & Cognitive Automation. As more institutions explore and implement varied and innovative use cases, and the benefits start to accrue, this journey will further accelerate, and a whole new digital way of banking will emerge.