Thursday, 24 June 2021 13:02

Automation delivers competitive advantage, say majority of APAC financial services firms


Research commissioned by Appian shows automation is helping more than half of financial services organisations to build apps quicker than competitors.

A new global survey by Financial Times company Longitude has shown 63% of financial services organisations in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region reporting that “investments in automation have helped them gain a significant competitive edge in the market.”

We’re told “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.”

Luke Thomas, A/NZ Regional Vice President at Appian said: “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.

“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.”

So, how mature is automation in the APAC financial services market, according to the report, and what else was discovered?

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.

Thomas continued: “The research shows a strong link between the size of a financial services organisation and those that are leading the shift towards automation.

“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.”

The research also shows 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.

Meanwhile, 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.

Thomas added: “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.

“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%.

Financial services organisations can now use the Appian Automation Maturity Index – an interactive, online benchmarking tool designed to offer powerful peer insights from a survey of 500 global C-level executives – to assess their progress towards automation excellence by making comparisons by country, sub-industry, and organisation size.

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

Survey methodology

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.

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

Alex Zaharov-Reutt is iTWire's Technology Editor is one of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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