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4 Obstacles to Robotic Process Automation in Financial Services

4 Obstacles to Robotic Process Automation in Financial ServicesWhile almost any business can benefit from robotic process automation, there are certain industries that are particularly ripe with opportunity. One such field is that of financial services. With such a high volume of daily transactions and mountains of require documentation, being able to leverage the power of automation to streamline operations and maximize efficiency while also cutting costs is the key to maintaining competitive advantage. Yet, there are still a great number of institutions that have yet to jump on the RPA bandwagon, and one or more of the following obstacles are what’s typically standing in the way.

It’s not a business priority.

In the IT realm, automation has long been regarded as a godsend and is widely used across most industries. Extending those technological capabilities and benefits beyond the IT department and into a broader business process tool hasn’t been quite so openly embraced. This is due in large part to a lack of knowledge and a failure to grasp the full spectrum of benefits that robotic process automation can present.

In reality, RPA has the potential to transform the financial services industry, dramatically enhancing how businesses are run and improving services levels both internally as well as at a customer level. It is flexible enough to fit with just about any business model and can scale up or down to meet the changing needs and demands at any given moment. Furthermore, the vast majority of routine daily tasks can be handled by machine, which makes for a much faster output that is free from the risk of human error.

Traditionally, financial institutions lack agility.

It’s somewhat paradoxical if you think about it, considering how frequently we hear of mergers and acquisitions in the financial sector, but in truth, banks and other institutions have traditionally lagged behind in terms of the ability to quickly adapt and respond to changing market forces. Furthermore, the increasing and evolving demands from a new generation of customers are forcing financial companies further out of their comfort zones. The thought of adding one more change – adoption of a new technology – can seem nothing short of overwhelming.

The beauty of today’s robotic process automation tools is that they are specifically designed to be robust yet lightweight and flexible. They don’t require a significant amount of training and they can be managed by just about anyone, regardless of technical know-how. As a result, institutions can have a significant portion of their tasks and workflows automated in just days, a far cry from the cumbersome software changes of the past.

Existing applications and systems aren’t compatible.

Another reason many financial service firms have not yet begun using RPA is because of the misconception that their legacy systems won’t be able to handle the transition. While this may have been true of certain products that were introduced to the market in years past, today’s robotic process automation software tools have been specifically developed to be compatible and fully integratable with just about every system and application currently used in the industry today.

What’s more, the right RPA tool can actually make your entire operations more cohesive by bridging gaps, eliminating silos and creating a much more unified infrastructure.

Concern over compliance and governance issues.

Without question, the financial industry is one of the most heavily regulated fields in the world. Institutions know that strict compliance with government and other regulatory bodies is absolutely essential and that failure to do so – no matter how miniscule the incident – could bring about monumental consequences. This fear has caused many leaders in this sector to avoid adoption of extraneous technology, which is how RPA is often viewed.

The robotic process automation solutions of today are actually ideal for highly regulated fields such as finance and insurance because they offer the enhanced ability to view, track and report any changes to business processes. Automated tasks are managed and controlled using a centralized dashboard. Furthermore, all tasks, workflows and processes can be documented and tracked for auditing purposes. Lastly, the right RPA product will be built with the utmost security in mind.

With the growing volume of data looming and rising costs associated with managing a successful financial services firm, banks and other institutions have no other choice but to take advantage of the technology that’s available to them. Recognizing the main concerns that may be holding you back and understanding the reality behind these misconceptions can make adopting and implementing RPA a much smoother and positive transition for everyone.

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