Artificial Intelligence

4 charts that show the opportunities and challenges of RPA

  • Automation has the potential of transforming the financial industry.
  • Given organization challenges, though, it's not a done deal.
4 charts that show the opportunities and challenges of RPA

The hype machine is revving up for the arrival of robotic process automation, or RPA. As with most new technologies, the fanfare is way ahead of where adoption is today.

Combining machine learning, artificial intelligence, and big data, automation today is best suited to complete menial, repetitive back office tasks. Though the deep technology isn’t ready yet, we’re eventually talking about machines thinking and acting like humans.

Here are four charts that show the size of the automation opportunity along with the challenges associated with rolling out such an ambitious set of technologies.

RPA isn’t quite here yet

RPS is coming soon

Consultants like to whip up the financial FOMO whenever a big new technology appears on the scene. While the market appears to be massive, the financial industry isn’t quite there when it comes to adopting RPA. Nearly two-thirds of respondents to a new KPMG study plan to fully implement RPA within three years.

There will be challenges, though. Slow rates of adoption and implementation can be further hindered because of looming organizational challenges common in the financial industry.

4 stages of intelligent automation

4 stages of intelligent automation

Automation isn’t binary — it doesn’t happen that a company just turns on automation from one day to the next. It’s a spectrum, and as companies begin to experiment and rollout RPA, they move away from just creating islands of automation to incremental and even transformative business models.

“A lot of change has to happen that’s really uncomfortable and sometimes political, and most companies are not prepared for that,” said Cliff Justice, KPMG partner and leader of Cognitive Automation initiatives. “Projects implemented from the bottom up are not going to scale because they haven’t been designed to scale. If this isn’t a C-level initiative, then it’s not going to be successful at scale.”

Bot farms in an office by you

RPA deployment

When polled, executives first point to the back office as the first destination for automation technologies. With this view, automation onshores many of the activities that were sent offshore over the past two decades. But instead of a desk jockey hammering out reconciliation reports, it’s an army of bots filling in spreadsheets while we sleep.

But the more forward looking leaders can see beyond the financial industry’s biggest cost centers. These executives look out to the front end of the organization — to customer service and marketing — to unlock the value in automation.

The market for intelligent automation

automation market

The RPA market is growing quickly. Depending on how broadly you define the market to include artificial intelligence and machine learning, we’re already talking about billions of dollars. It’s the expected growth a few years out where things start to get interesting.

But getting broad adoption will be an issue. Moving from small POCs to broad adoption of automation requires sweeping company changes. Not all financial institutions will make the leap.

“Many traditional businesses with legacy approaches risk falling behind digital-first companies if they stay with the status quo,” said KPMG’s Justice. “It takes a comprehensive transformation of business and operating models to compete in their own market at the level at which a Tesla or Amazon do in theirs.”

Artificial Intelligence, Podcasts

Flybits’ Hossein Rahnama: ’90 percent of digital transformation budgets are spent on managing IT complexity’

  • Banks struggle to provide automated recommendations.
  • Flybits wants to remove the IT complexity that eats away at their time and budgets.
Zack Miller | August 27, 2019
Artificial Intelligence

How Genpact’s AI and predictive analytics helped a Formula E racing team finish in the top 3 all season

  • AI and predictive analytics are being applied with positive results to Formula E racing.
  • Genpact's Armen Kherlopian joins us to discuss how this applies to financial services.
Zack Miller | July 29, 2019
Artificial Intelligence, Podcasts

American Express’ Stephanie Schultz: We differentiate customer service by using a blend of automation and human assistance

  • American Express' Digital Labs wants to make the company a bigger part of its customers' lives.
  • VP Stephanie Schultz describes her team's work with new payments technology and messaging platforms.
Zack Miller | July 17, 2019
Artificial Intelligence, New banks

For South Africa’s first challenger bank, conversational AI isn’t just a nice-to-have

  • TymeBank has launched Max, an AI-powered digital assistant.
  • Developed by Finn AI, Max enables the challenger bank to scale.
Zack Miller | April 02, 2019
Artificial Intelligence, Podcasts

The future of AI and ML in banking with Kony’s Bill Bodin

  • Kony has recently rolled out two new products that incorporate AI in different ways.
  • CTO Bill Bodin joins us on the podcast to talk shop on AI and ML in banking applications.
Zack Miller | March 20, 2019
More Articles