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Process automation: technology solution and staffing innovation

In the report, “Top financial services issues of 2017: Thriving in uncertain times,” PwC stated that 2017 could be a breakout year for digital labor or Robotic Process Automation technology in banks and credit unions. We say, “We agree!” Of course, EnableSoft has been developing RPA software for the financial services industry since 1995 so to PwC’s prediction we add, “RPA is a twenty-plus years in the making, overnight success story.” More important, though, is to emphasize that RPA isn’t solely a technology innovation.  It is also and especially a staffing innovation.

The 2016 PwC Survey analyzes the extent to which business organizations are adopting automation.

  • 4% Have not started exploring options/Not sure
  • 22% Have no current implementation but have started exploring options
  • 57% Have no broad implementation but have done one or more proof-of-concept(s)
  • 13% Have begun enterprise adoption, but not completed
  • 4% Have widespread adoption across the organization

While process automation software adoption is still taking hold, it is on the cusp of tremendous growth. In fact, Grand View Research projects the global RPA software market to reach $8.75 billion by 2024.

stop vs. a standard

Process automation is synonymous with the notion of digital labor or the Automated Employee. But process automation is much more than a buzzword for digitizing menial, repetitive work that employees otherwise have to slog through by hand. PwC reports that financial services organizations typically use process automation software to connect legacy systems that don’t otherwise communicate with each other.  In this scenario, RPA tools remove the bottlenecks to successful data remediation, reporting, reconciliation processes and more.

The most efficient financial institutions understand the benefits of digital labor go far beyond streamlining data operations. Banks and credit unions with the best RPA practices look enterprise-wide and treat automation as both a tool and a staffing initiative. Think about the many ways process automation can help employees:

  • Frontline staff is freed to do more rewarding, revenue-focused work
  • IT staff is freed to handle more back-end development
  • Savings on both the setup and solution sides of automation software help create a culture of efficiency within an organization

According to PwC, there’s a large gap between institutions that are leaders in applying automation software and everyone else.  The leaders use RPA as more than an occasional, tactical fix for a scattering of remnant manual processes. The efficiency leaders treat process automation as an extensive staffing initiative:  supplementing their workforce with teams of automated employees – scripted and led by human employees – which radically increase productivity without adding any actual FTEs. Some of you may remember the old Miller Lite beer commercials where famous sports figures claimed that the beer either, “Tastes Great,” or was “Less Filling.”  In the end, they agreed it both tasted great and was less filling.  Similarly, with process automation software that is designed for easy enterprise adoption, RPA can be both a great technology solution and a game-changing staffing innovation.



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