Automation Delivers Competitive Advantage to Financial Services: Survey

Sixty-three percent of financial services organisations in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region report that investments in automation have helped them gain a significant competitive edge in the market. This data comes from a new global survey conducted by Longitude, a Financial Times company, and commissioned by Appian.

Automation is driving competitiveness by helping 58% of APAC financial services organisations to build and launch new applications faster than their rivals, as well as achieving significant cost savings for 78% of such organisations.

“At a time when financial services organisations are facing new customer expectations and a highly competitive marketplace, the ability to adapt with immediacy opens up business opportunities,” explained Luke Thomas, Australia/New Zealand Regional Vice President at Appian.

“Leveraging automation to build apps more cost-effectively and more quickly helps accelerate business processes, improves the customer experience, and makes the entire organisation much more efficient.”

The automation maturity of APAC financial services is currently tracking high, with 58% reporting they use automation extensively across their business and that they are an industry leader in automation. A further 20% said they have some automation pilots and tools in place that they are looking to scale up.

“The research shows a strong link between the size of a financial services organisation and those that are leading the shift towards automation,” continued Luke. “It is these leading financial services who are making automation gains that are shaping the future of the industry, however the research also clearly demonstrates that all organisations across the APAC region have made significant investments in automation.”

Financial services organisations in the region are also making long-term commitments to automation, with 78% having implemented an organisation-wide strategy and 68% having established an automation centre of excellence. In recognition of the importance of having an organisation-wide, rather than a siloed departmental approach to automation, 80% of those surveyed said they use a unifying platform to manage all of their business-critical process automations.

“An automation platform that allows a single unified end-to-end view of the customer and all business processes is vitally important for financial services organisations,” added Luke. “That’s why we’re seeing such high numbers of financial services organisations in the APAC region implementing company-wide rather than ad hoc departmental automation strategies.”

The key benefits of automation for APAC financial services organisations include:

  • Rapid access to a real-time, end-to-end view of all customer journeys, processes, activities and associated data – 83%
  • Faster customer onboarding processes – 83%
  • Easy access to all necessary data from a single interface – 80%
  • Less time spent by employees on repetitive, manual processing tasks – 75%
  • Quick and simple upgrades and changes to systems and processes – 73%.

Part one of the research findings, “The Best Versus the Rest,” is aavailable.

Longitude, a Financial Times company, in partnership with Appian, interviewed 500 senior banking and asset management professionals from around the world about the drivers, challenges, and opportunities on the path to automation maturity.

Respondents represented four sub-industries (retail, commercial banking, investment banking, and asset management), three levels of seniority, and a wide range of organisation sizes. Both technology- and business-focused executives were included, covering management, strategy, operations, BPM, finance, IT, data science, sales, risk, legal, regulatory, and specialist automation roles. Executives contributed from the UK, US, France, Netherlands, Germany, Italy, Spain, Hong Kong, and Singapore.