Financial organisations have to face a constantly evolving market - partly as a result of European directives (PDS2) - which has become increasingly more competitive following the entry of new players that approach the market with new, highly flexible business models. Last but not least, the Covid-19 pandemic has shown the limits of many financial institutions trapped in stiff, under-performing organisations and information systems that are resistant to change, within a system of relationships that has driven consumers more and more to interact with them through digital channels. The need to learn how to deal with market changes has made it clear that it will be important for financial institutions to adopt flexible business models based on agile and scalable platforms in times of uncertainty.
Traditional banks are an important reference point for the Italian population, while online banks respond to new market needs . Banks need to adopt a pragmatic approach in implementing their digital transformation programme, with a focus on constant improvement. Defining an incremental process automation programme is one of the possible actions that banks may implement to streamline operations and increase their efficiency, to identify new sources of value and to promote customer experience with a view to gaining significant market drive.
The introduction of automation, which includes the adoption of new technologies (Robotic Process Automation - RPA, Artificial Intelligence - AI and Machine Learning - ML) seeking to redesign and optimise banking processes, offers Banks the opportunity to increase their operational efficiency by reducing low added value manual activities, to improve customer experience by shortening, for instance, waiting times, and to assign capacities and skills to activities with higher added value, while also rewarding the human resources involved, who may be trained and reallocated. Exprivia's offer includes professional services and management of services capable of responding to the "need" for automation. Working from the problem to the solution, it uses a scalar and adaptive approach based on the customer's automation maturity level (Automation Maturity Model), since there is not just one single path towards automation excellence. Exprivia's technological offer is focused on main RPA, AI and BPM areas.
RPA may be defined as software that replicates the actions of human operators, usually the most repetitive and time-consuming actions, with faster implementation times than traditional software and without the need for interventions on existing systems.
Process Mining solutions allow us to detect processes from application logs (e.g. CRM, ERP) with the aim of designing "real" business processes and relevant performance data and of assessing automation opportunities and their benefits and impacts. The focus is to shape, monitor and improve processes by analysing the data available in the Event Logs of existing information systems. Logs contain information about actual process execution. They provide an analytical overview that reveals deviations and opportunities compared to the processes defined "on paper" and the operational interpretations of the company players involved.
Low-code Business Process Management (BPM) solutions, which are now widely available on the market, are the answer to achieve “structural flexibility”. Alongside the rapid and simplified development of enterprise applications, these solutions focus on intelligent workflow orchestration in which the components - represented by people, AI algorithms and RPA bots - are correctly and dynamically mixed and balanced to become a resource for boosting efficiency and competitive advantage, as well as for supporting risk management, compliance, change management and corporate strategy.
The combination of Artificial Intelligence and RPA tecnologies with BPM systems is what is referred to in technical jargon as Intelligent Automation System or HyperAutomation (term coined by Gartner in 2019).
The benefits that may be obtained from automation are many and of different types:
- Saving of process execution time and costs
- Reduction of potential operational losses
- Availability of resources from repetitive and low added value activities, thereby increasing employee satisfaction
- Ongoing monitoring of performances and automation levels
The experience gained with some of our customers has shown that there are some distinctive process features that make them candidates with high automation potential:
- High volumes
- Repetitive and "digital" activities (e.g., data entry)
- Strict SLA-compliance or quality level requirements
Of course, Hyperautomation is not the right technological path for all banking processes because full automation would require a complex and multi-year implementation and transformation, as well as a radical change in the organisation's mindset and culture.
Quality, Speed and Simplicity are the main customer requirements to which digital process evolution shall have to respond.
The optimisation of activities needs to be dealt with using an integrated and end-to-end perspective between central structures and local agencies.