Hi Brian, welcome to our Fintech interview Series. Please tell us about your fintech journey so far.
“Having worked in the technology industry for the past few decades, I have been associated with several large financial companies and banks from a customer perspective. Banks that I have worked at include HSBC and the Bank of Ireland, and during my time at these institutions, I was focused on bringing automation and digital workers into the core structure of operations.
“My focus in this industry has been helping organisations to transform their operations through the use of a digital workforce, aligning both digital and human workers. I have been able to help businesses build the foundations for their automation journey within the financial services industry.”
In what way is SS&C Blue Prism contributing to the FinTech industry?
“SS&C Blue Prism started in the financial services industry more than 20 years ago, so we have a long history and a lot of expertise in this area. We’re at the forefront of digital transformation efforts by providing businesses with the platform to adopt digital workers. We’re providing large-scale banks, insurance companies and other financial service providers with a software-enabled environment for them to begin and scale their automation journey. Aside from the platform itself, we provide a wealth of professional service options, as well as access to a global network of experienced partners in the space. We are also one of the largest users of digital workers within our own environment, thus allowing us to provide customers with advice and suggestions for implementation of their digital workers.”
RPA Market Forecast to Grow at Double-Digit Rates Through 2024 Despite Economic Pressures from COVID-19. What is your perspective?
“The fintech and financial services industry is undoubtedly still growing and adopting new technologies, but looking specifically at the concept of a digital worker, the implementation of this workforce option has a lot of room for growth. Previously the finance industry saw businesses look to offshoring or outsourcing to help manage demand, with this becoming the dominant operational model. The adoption of digital workers in operations will likely work in a similar way, but this is only the beginning. Many large companies have already begun adopting digital workers into their business, creating extra capacity to aid their existing workforces. There is still a long way to go. Using this new type of labour will allow companies to manage the increased demand for financial services and meet consumers’ new digital expectations.”
The benefits of automation remain largely untapped. Could you citefew examples in this context?
“The potential of automation and digital workers is substantial, and we have only scratched the surface of the benefits these technologies offer. Specifically, in operational tasks that deal with data, such as data transfer between systems or data-driven decision-making, there are various activities that can be automated within a company to enhance process efficiency. As we continue to explore and harness these advancements, we will witness the significant advantages they bring.
“For instance, processes such as KYC, account opening, regulatory reporting reports, anti-money laundering operations, transaction monitoring, and reconciliations, are all types of processes that can be automated. Whilst automating these processes helps businesses improve customer response time and reduce turnaround time for basic operations, it also will change the nature of what a company does and how they deliver results to its customers. For example, companies can streamline operations to go from two-day lending to one hour or reduce turnaround times from hours to minutes. The speed of implementing digital workers and automation within financial services will not only provide customers with faster results, but help reduces risks, and human errors and maximise employee time. We will also see this have an impact on customer experience as businesses can strategically and tactically review complaints and use digital workers to target problem areas to reduce or eliminate any causes of those complaints.”
How can banks maximize the benefits of intelligent automation?
“To optimise the advantages of intelligent automation, companies should approach their implementation with strategic thinking at the forefront. They must think in terms of strategic business outcomes and work backwards from there. Be it improving customer experience, employee satisfaction, or boosting profitability, intelligent automation can be a huge driver in achieving an organisation’s strategic objectives. Without a comprehensive and all-encompassing perspective, automation programs lack the ability to effectively address isolated processes and generate significant results. Consequently, they fall short in harnessing their complete advantages.
“Security and privacy are key concerns for businesses within the financial services sector, so organisations should consider intelligent automation partners that can provide the best value in this respect. With the right platform, companies have full control and traceability over this data. Businesses can track and trace how data has been used, where it was accessed from and why, tracing the pathway to highlight any issues, errors or privacy leaks. Banks and other financial institutions can maximise the key benefits of intelligent automation, with digital workers providing a new type of secure workforce.”
How is import and export of data between DATEV and SAP automated?
“The integration and transfer of data between DATEV and SAP depend on the specific operational setup of each company. In situations where data needs to be moved across multiple source systems, which is common in financial services, traditional IT processes may be insufficient. This is where automation can provide valuable support to IT teams. While human workers are typically involved in collecting data from diverse environments, formatting it, and adding it to SAP for analysis, businesses have the option to leverage digital workers as an extension of their IT team. By utilising automation, companies can enhance their core IT team’s capabilities and streamline the process.
In what perspective are you leveraging artificial intelligence? How is it beneficial?
“From a wider industry point of view, I see digital workers as the best vehicle for businesses to begin introducing AI into their wider business model. One of the challenges of implementing AI is how companies can integrate this into their pre-existing business infrastructure. Digital workers provide the fundamental platform for such transformations. Implementing digital workers for robotic processes, gathering data and structuring processes helps to create context from which AI can be deployed to give decisions and predictions for the future. Digital workers are a foundational component for businesses looking to integrate AI within their business. And with the generative AI debate continuing in the media and wider tech industry, we will likely continue to see some insightful use cases over the next few years of how businesses can rapidly adopt these new automated techniques.”
What are the biggest challenges a CEO/CFO faces while implementing automation strategies in their ORG?
“There are a few key challenges CEOs and other c-suite executives face when implementing automation, and one of the biggest is promoting confidence within an organisation. CEOs must ensure they promote a top-down level of confidence and support for their employees during the process of automation implementation.
“Alongside confidence and vision of scale, CEOs also often face the challenge of ownership. Ultimately, automation technologies should be owned and controlled by operations teams, with assistance from IT leaders. Operation teams can control and configure the technologies as part of their operational blueprint, ensuring the technology complements and supports the pre-existing infrastructure.”
We’d love to know what are your predictions for the fintech domain for 2025.
“From a pragmatic perspective, the ongoing adoption of automation and digital workers in the financial services sector still has ample room for growth and refinement. While there may be a tendency for businesses to become overly fixated on the latest technological trends in the industry at large, it is crucial to recognise that we are only scratching the surface of automation’s potential. There remains a substantial demand for banks and financial institutions to embrace digital workers, and by the years 2024/2025, we can expect to witness further instances where businesses have familiarised themselves with the core capabilities of this technology and are strategically utilising it within their operations.
“Undoubtedly, the race in the field of AI will persist. By 2025, we are likely to witness many new AI led innovations. The possibilities for digital workers and automation within the financial industry are boundless, and it is truly exciting to observe how this sector will evolve in the coming years.”
Thank you, Brian! That was fun and we hope to see you back on globalfintechseries.com soon.
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Brian collaborates closely with Blueprism’s major clients to assist them in incorporating Blueprism’s Digital Workforce as a strategic asset in their business operations. Before joining Blueprism, Brian oversaw the global automation program at HSBC and established Robotic Process Automation (RPA) as a fundamental capability for the Bank of Ireland.
SS&C Blue Prism allows organizations to deliver transformational business value via our intelligent automation platform. We make products with one aim in mind — to improve experiences for people. By connecting people and digital workers, you can use the right resource, every time, for the best customer and business outcomes. We supply enterprise-wide software that not only provides full control and governance but also allows businesses to react fast to continuous change. Exceed customer expectations, stay competitive, accelerate growth.