Having got involved in both robotic and cognitive automation in banking, I am coming across several interesting, deep questions. For example, robotic process automation (RPA) is touted as a great choice where the business case for automation does not make
the cut for IT to take it up. This requires careful thinking.
Shouldn't the threshold to push projects through IT drop as IT becomes more agile, nimble and reactive to business needs? Isn't that what agile and devops are about? Also the larger question is - what happens to RPA-led automation when the entire back office
transforms to adopt hyper automation, high STP rates, and low latency eliminating manual interventions, drudgery such as data entry/ checks, and cognitive automation that can adapt to more unstructured and variable inputs, etc.?
If a bank is strapped for cash to transform its back office and legacy systems and continues to spend a lot in business operations that hide the complexity of the back office, RPA is definitely a good fit. But if the bank has already transformed or is transforming
its back office systems, the role of RPA needs to be looked at carefully. More than savings in business operations costs, the larger business benefits of core transformation vs robotic automation need to be weighed carefully. Rather the roadmap for back office
transformation needs to be laid out and then, RPA should fit this roadmap with a migration plan.
Banks accepting the current state of the back office and core systems and embarking on RPA-led business operations cost reduction may end up painting themselves in a corner in future. Avoiding such a scenario should be the responsibility of the automation
consulting partner engaged by the bank.
Who is your automation consulting partner?
- Are they taking such a wide perspective before recommending your automation roadmap or are they just partnering with vendors and showing you how many FTE's you can save through RPA?
- Are they looking at your processes for simplification, elimination and broader digitization before jumping on robotic or cognitive automation?
- Are they asking you to consider simplifying the entire business itself before launching automation?
- Are they looking at reimaging the relevant customer journeys before automating?