We’ve previously discussed technological transformation, so I thought now would be a good time to discuss automation, especially automation in the back office.
Automation is an essential part of every company’s digital transformation journey. Originally, the key objective of automation was to drive efficiency, reduce errors and reduce costs. The main goal of automation today is to enable your clients and front office to reduce the time it takes from the origination or ingestion of data and its conversion into useful information in the hands of those who can use it.
However, automation, like the broader technical transformation journey, is best served by a combination of technologies and approaches. There is no single tool that can optimize the back office, and yet in some pockets, specific tools are viewed as the solution to all that ails.
For example, Robotic Process Automation (RPA) has been promoted as having broad benefits, but in reality, it is an ingredient in an automation strategy, but certainly not the sole ingredient.
RPA is marketed as non-intrusive automation, but if the overall strategy is not thought through, you’re simply taking a bad process and making it faster or squeezing a bottleneck a little further down the path. If this is the case, you won’t see the anticipated overall business benefit.
UI-based RPA implementations, or “screen scraping” as it is affectionately known, are even more challenging. While this approach may provide a quicker time-to-market and lower initial cost, the maintenance of such an approach becomes prohibitive for a business that makes modifications or wholesale changes to its UI.
Many components are required to drive real, effective, sustainable automation that can help you to provide your clients with the experience they deserve. Business process re-engineering, which was all the rage two decades ago, is still a primary component of ensuring that you are attacking issues where they are, not where you think they are. To map and measure processes, required several months of analysis and consulting expertise, but it can now be accomplished with some slick tools that can provide months’ worth of analysis in a matter of days.
Leveraging that analysis to determine where to use elements like RPA, artificial intelligence (AI)/ machine learning (ML), intelligent optical character recognition (OCR), and even cognitive capabilities is an approach that can provide you with a path to success on your automation journey. It is not so much the ingredients in your automation cake that determine your success as it is the recipe, and how you combine those ingredients.
As the lines between back office and middle office operations continue to blur, technology can be a key enabler to lead the automation of the two. Craft a vision and a plan for your automation journey that will allow you to demonstrate early success and gain momentum.
At LTI, we’re leveraging our Mosaic platform to transform the data-to-decision ecosystems, along with LTI Canvas Insights, to build a sustainable model for our technology-led operations platform. We believe that digital operations provide financial services organizations with a unique opportunity to reimagine their business operations.
Some food for thought in your automation journey:
- Will your solutions to today’s automation challenges still be relevant tomorrow?
- Realizing that each of the automation ingredients requires different skill sets to implement and optimize, do you have what you need?
- Are you building a strategy that provides for near-term benefit or do you risk being stuck in ‘analysis-paralyses?
More from Derek Lynden
As the global pandemic began, I had just received approval on the city permits for a sizable…
The post pandemic boom in the IT service industry, has forced many companies to build a robust…
For operational excellence, a production workload must emit information necessary to support…
The future of the enterprise is on the cloud. The numbers back up this claim: the global public…